The recently opened Roo Valley Australian-themed exhibit marks COST’s sixth consecutive project with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Built as part of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s “More Home to Roam” vision, Roo Valley provides interactive fun and educational experiences for the entire family.
The Kangaroo Walkabout is a barrier-free exhibit where homo sapiens and marsupials share the pathways, one may wonder, who is on exhibit here? The 15,000 sq. ft. area has quickly become a must-see and experience exhibit.
In addition to Kangaroo Walkabout, the blue penguin exhibit is also part of the Australian expansion. The Cincinnati Zoo has North America’s largest little blue penguin colony. The exhibit allows for above and below water views of these penguins within a naturalistic, well-shaded setting.
Cincinnati Zoo’s staffed design team worked with zookeepers to better understand the needs and inclinations for their kangaroos and blue penguins. The new habitats include extensive simulated rockwork, watering holes for the kangaroo, streams, and waterfall areas for both the kangaroo and blue penguin habitats. The rock formations accentuate the exhibit’s rolling hills and provide for enrichment locations within the rock.
A few other attractions at Roo Valley include “Hops” an outdoor multi-tiered beer garden. Hops features several local breweries in addition to well-known microbreweries from the coasts. The Cincinnati Zoo is known for its green initiatives and Hops follows suit in seeking a 4-star rating from the Green Restaurant Association.
A two-level ADA accessible interactive climber called Kanga’ Klimb rounds out the fun. Kanga’ Klimb is scheduled to open in Summer 2021.
COST began the themed exhibit by providing preconstruction services including initial consultation, models, and shop drawings. General contractor Pepper Construction led the overall construction efforts with COST field teams providing the simulated rockwork, water features, and enrichment areas.