John Ball Zoo | Adaptive Master Plan

The John Ball Zoo Adaptive Master Plan set out to build upon previous Master Plan work undertaken over the last 10 years. Rather than re-creating the entire zoo, the intent was to efficiently identify immediately impactful projects, longterm goals, and critical improvements necessary to meet the growing needs of guests and the animals that call John Ball Zoo home.  

Project Details

This Plan focused on a few key areas. Guest circulation and accessibility are challenges for the Zoo; its beautiful hills and valleys make for a scenic walk through a western Michigan forest. However, the uphill climb can be a daunting one for even the fittest explorers. Updated circulation paths were analyzed to improve the guest experience and lay the groundwork for future expansion. Overall, the Zoo was organized into six defined zones: Waters of the World, Front Entry Complex, Tropical Forest, Asian Forest Realm, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Each zone includes enterprise zones, guest amenities, guest-animal interaction and learning opportunities, and more. John Ball Zoo’s Adaptive Master Plan will serve as a guide for projects and development over the next 5+ years and as a tool for building excitement and galvanizing public support.


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