Council Moves Zoo Project One Step Closer

Press Release

Press Release - Elk Grove City Council Moves Regional Zoo Project One Step Closer to Reality

Posted: 03/24/2022

A new zoo hasn’t been built in the United States since 1988, but on Wednesday, the Elk Grove City Council took an important step toward developing a modern zoological park for the region in partnership with the Sacramento Zoological Society.

“While there is still much more work that must be done, action taken by this Council allows work with the Zoological Society and more in-depth conversations with the community to continue,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. “The potential economic, conservation, and recreation benefits included in the study justify exploring this further.”

Under the terms of an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA), the City and the Zoological Society have worked collaboratively over the last six months to study the potential development of a new zoo in Elk Grove. Findings from the feasibility study, developed by RS&S (Relevant Strategies and Solutions) under contract with the Zoological Society, and an economic impact analysis were presented to the City Council on March 23. The studies show that a new zoo could be feasible. View the March 23 City Council Presentation.

Wednesday night’s meeting is an important step forward, but there is much work still to come. Council directed City staff to work with the Zoological Society to extend the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement and negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue working together. Following execution of the MOU, master planning, an environmental impact review, and a financing and operating plan would be started. Based on the results of those efforts, an additional Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) could be developed to memorialize the financing, construction and operating plan. During this time, the Zoological Society would begin discussions to secure partnerships and donations that would be included in the financing plan.

“The Society’s partnership with Elk Grove creates the possibility that we will be able to give our region - and this state - a new zoo and all of the incredible experiences that come with it,” said Elizabeth Stallard, President of the Sacramento Zoological Society Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled to continue this planning and study process.”

These next steps are estimated to take 24-30 months to complete and will require additional action from the City Council to proceed further. Extensive opportunities for public review and comment will be built into the process.

To learn more and receive notifications about future opportunities to participate in the project, visit elkgrovecity.org/zoo.

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