The John Ball Zoo Meerkat Habitat in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been awarded the Sustainable Sites winner in the Certified Green Building Awards by the US Green Building Council of West Michigan (USGBC-WM). The awards recognize high-performance building projects that have received certifications for their sustainable practices.
The John Ball Zoo has a long history of commitment to animal welfare, sustainability, and environmental conservation. The Meerkat Habitat is a reflection of the zoo’s dedication to these values, and it is a testament to the zoo’s innovative approach to building beautiful, mindful habitats for the species that reside there. The habitat is the first in the world to receive SITES Gold certification under the Sustainable Sites Initiative.
The habitat features a lush green roof filled with native plant species, solar panels to offset outdoor lighting, recycled and reused materials from local sources, and accessibility features to accommodate all visitors. The green roof is not only aesthetically pleasing but also helps to reduce the zoo’s carbon footprint. The use of solar panels also helps to reduce the zoo’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
The USGBC-WM Leadership Awards aim to promote green building initiatives by recognizing projects, organizations, and individuals who have made significant contributions to creating healthy and energy-efficient green buildings in Michigan. The award serves as recognition of John Ball Zoo’s commitment to sustainability, and it shows that economically sound decisions and green buildings can go hand in hand.
In conclusion, the Meerkat Habitat at John Ball Zoo is a true example of how zoos can be a leader in sustainability and environmental conservation. The habitat’s certification by the USGBC-WM is a testament to the zoo’s commitment to these values and serves as a model for other zoos and organizations to follow.
The Editor-in-Chief of ZooReviews with a passion for zoos, conservation and species preservation. Mr Zoo has worked with zoos around the world to help develop enrichment programs, along with helping to build zoo volunteer organizations across South East Asia.