MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) The next time you come to the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo, you’ll notice a few new structures around the park.
“The original structures were derelict” says Tom Pearson, Director of Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo.
3 main structures at the zoo have suffered wear and tear from the elements overtime, which he says makes them dangerous to guests.
“The Australia exhibit decking as we call it, it actually had to be closed over the last couple of months because frankly it became too dangerous to let our guests go out on it. Not of collapse, but just broken wood, and wood that was cupping and warping upward. It just became too dangerous to have it open” Pearson says.
Now they have new life thanks to the Louisiana National Guard.
The fish feeding station, or the observation deck, was a similar fate; it was starting to sag and just became unsafe. we were actually getting close to closing it until it was replaced. The boat dock behind me, it was ok but it just looked so tired.”
The zoo partnered with the National Guard, as these projects served as practice events for the guard’s engineering battalion.
“We provided the materials, they provided all of the workmanship so to speak; the drawings, things like that and all of the construction as well to give us three replacement structures that were well overdue for being replaced here at the zoo” Pearson said.
The work was completed within 2 weeks, just in time for the zoo’s Zoobilation fundraising event.
The decks are not the only new thing that the zoo has. It’s about to open up its budgie exhibit that you can see right behind me, eventually this will be full of parakeets. It’s expected to be open sometime this summer.