Reid Park Zoo Details Plans for Expansion

Big changes are underway in Reid Park. This beloved oasis in the heart of Tucson will be the subject of many improvements over the next few years. These upgrades include new playgrounds and splash pads, improvements to walking paths and the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, and an expansion of Reid Park Zoo.

Reid Park Zoo will be expanding west into Reid Park and bringing a new world to Tucson. This expansion, called Pathways to Asia, will allow guests to get up close to red pandas, fishing cats, and brilliantly-plumed birds. Additionally, the crown jewel will be a spacious Malayan tiger habitat that is five times larger than the previous tiger habitat at the zoo. Malayan tigers are a critically endangered species, with fewer than 300 individuals left in the wild. This new habitat space will also allow Reid Park Zoo to play a crucial role in the Malayan tiger Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Construction on this project is scheduled to begin in February or March 2021, and will be completed in early 2023. 

These improvement plans were made with input from the local community at every turn. The plans were approved by voters in 2017 and have been discussed widely in council meetings, during more than 100 presentations with members of the community, and with local media. A 2019 open house held by the Parks & Recreation Department indicated that 92% of attendees approved of the zoo’s expansion plan. 

There are many improvements underway in Reid Park, outside of the zoo. Tucson Parks and Recreation is working on a number of exciting additions to Reid Park, including a new splash pad and playground as well as improvements to walking paths and the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. The north pond and waterfall, which will remain a part of the public park, will also soon see significant improvements.

The City of Tucson is investing in a new pump system in the next few months, which will improve water quality for the local ducks. You can follow the progress on these and other park improvements on the Tucson Delivers Park Improvements website, https://tucsondelivers.tucsonaz.gov/pages/parks-connections.

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