With an eye toward building a larger, more modern zoological park, as well as improving animal care and habitat, the visitor experience, and amenities, the Sacramento Zoological Society and the City of Elk Grove entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement today to evaluaterelocating the Sacramento Zooto Elk Grove.
Over the next six months, the city and the Zoological Society will explore the feasibility of the zoo's relocation and expansion and negotiate an agreement providing for construction of the new zoo on undeveloped land in south Elk Grove. The Zoological Society and Elk Grove officials say that if discussions are successful and an agreement is reached, the new zoo would be located in South Elk Grove in the Kammerer Urban Design Study Area, part of the city's Southeast Policy Area. The site is an approximately 60-acre northern portion of a 98-acre parcel located at the northwest intersection of Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway. The site's current zoning allows for a zoological park with approval by the city of a use permit. The City of Elk Grove recently secured an option to purchase the property from developer Kamilos Companies, which it would exercise if discussions with the Zoological Society result in an agreement.
"Our first priority is always doing what is best for the animals," said Zoological Society Board President Elizabeth Stallard. "That commitment is driving this opportunity to provide the zoo's animals with exceptional care in a larger, more modern facility that can better meet their needs and, in turn, inspire and connect more people with the natural world. We are delighted that the Zoological Society and Elk Grove share a vision for what a new zoo could mean for our region."
The current zoo is 94-years old and landlocked, with only 14.7 acres, and extremely limited parking for guests. After nearly four years of exploring several potential sites in Sacramento without resolution, and as the animal habitats continue to age and the zoo's accreditation is increasingly at risk, it is critical that the zoo find a new home as soon as possible.
"Elk Grove is well positioned to provide space and support for a new zoo that will be a major attraction for visitors throughout the Sacramento region and northern California," said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. "When we first learned of the zoo's search for a new home, we knew the project would be a perfect fit and would align with the City's values. The Elk Grove site will allow the zoo to become one of the country's world-class zoos while honoring its nearly 100-year history and heritage in the Sacramento region," Mayor Singh-Allen said.
"When we discovered our mutual interest in exploring a partnership, we recognized it could lead to a new, regional zoological park that could benefit wildlife conservation, our animals, and our guests," said Stallard. "We know the public is just as excited as we are, and people will be anxious to know more about our plans. Transparency is a key value for both the city and the Society, and we plan to update the public about our discussions as soon as possible and regularly throughout the process," Stallard noted.
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About the Sacramento Zoological Society
The Sacramento Zoo is home to nearly 500 native, rare and endangered animals and is one of more than 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Zoo inspires conservation awareness and action through exceptional animal care, education and recreation, and it welcomes an average of 500,000 visitors a year. The Sacramento Zoological Society formed in 1958 to support and raise funds for the zoo that was created in 1927 in William Land Park. In 1970, the Sacramento City Council adopted the name "Sacramento Zoo." And in 1997, as city funding continued to decrease, the Sacramento Zoological Society assumed responsibility for the Zoo's management and the majority of its financial support. For additional information visitsaczoo.org.
About the City of Elk Grove
Elk Grove is a high-quality suburban community of approximately 178,000 people located 14 miles south of the California State Capitol in the State's affordable Central Valley. Elk Grove is a young, ethnically diverse, modern city that incorporated in 2000. Elk Grove is a family- and business-friendly community with low crime, excellent schools, over 100 community parks, excellent dining and shopping options, numerous annual events and festivals, and over 270 sunny days per year. Major corporations like Kubota, Apple, Amazon, AllData, and the State of California call Elk Grove home. Elk Grove is governed by a five-member City Council consisting of the Mayor and four Council members and is served by the highly regarded Elk Grove Unified School District and Cosumnes Community Services District.