E. Reports to Committee
SCHWETZ talked about upgrades to our prairie exhibit. A donor reached out to us and is
funding new educational signage for the North American Prairie space. Signage will
explain how animals handle changing seasons. We hope to have this completed in the
next year. Left over money will go towards our new giraffe exhibit. A new life-sized bison
sculpture made out of recycled tires will be a focal point. The Zoo feels the bison
sculpture will draw people to the zoo. Our horticulturist is working on restoring prairie
grasses/plants to the area surrounding the bison exhibit. We are working with Ho-Chunk
Nation to help with our interpretive signs as well.
The Zoo received the more design drawings for the giraffe exhibit. We are currently
working with public works to make sure all the design elements work.
The 2023 budget process is still moving along. The zoo has two amendments sponsored
by Supervisor Castillo. One will increase our training budget by $10,000, which
compliments a recommendation that came out of the recent zoo report from Judge
Bailey-Rhin. The second amendment gives additional funds for us to replace our seal
shade structure so that it can handle Wisconsin winters. The Zoo Commission expressed
support for both amendments.
MOALA updated the commission on events at the Zoo. Boo at the Zoo welcomed just
over 11,000 visitors to the Zoo and was a very successful event. The Zoo's upcoming
holiday events include Zoo Lights, which begins the day after Thanksgiving. The Zoo is
bringing back Brew Lights, a one night only 21+ event that includes the lights and brings
local breweries on ground. The Zoo is also hosting a free night of Zoo Lights again this
year for children dealing with serious health conditions.
SCHWETZ gave an update on the education grant from Woodland Park Zoo that will help
the Zoo create an interpretive master plan. The master plan focuses on educational
pieces in the zoo. It’s a 2-year grant and we are in the first year. 2023 will be when we can
see the whole plan and when we will see the first new signs installed on grounds.
DARCANGELO gave an update on the Zoo's outreach to our neighbors. He has
coordinated four meetings with the neighbors this year and has another one scheduled for
This report was approved.
F. Future Meeting Items and Dates
SCHWETZ went over the expectations from the county as we move toward hybrid
meetings. The County is not requiring hybrid meetings yet but if we do switch to hybrid
we need a vice chair. Ronda will get guidance from the County on how the commission
appoints a vice chair, which is needed for hybrid meetings. Consensus from the
commission was to stick to virtual for the time being.
G. Public Comment on Items not on the Agenda