Redwood Canopy Walk
Sequoia Park Zoo is the only zoo in the world situated among redwoods, adjacent to a 70-acre multi-aged forest of coast redwoods that form a magnificent backdrop. The Zoo is the perfect venue to provide an opportunity for the public to enjoy “up-close and personal’ experiences with wildlife and historic redwood forests.
What will be the only redwood canopy walk in North America, the Phase II expansion (scheduled to open late Spring 2020) is poised to deliver an unparalleled and unique experience that will drive attendance growth from across the country and internationally. An integral part of the Zoo experience and anchored in the Native Predator zone, the Redwood Canopy Walk will educate and engage tourists and regional residents alike in an educational eco-adventure like no other. Several ancient redwood trees still stand in Sequoia Park and display complex canopy growth and structure unique to this species and ecosystem. A walk through the trees at mid-canopy level, to learn about the life cycle and bio-importance of these magnificent and ancient trees, will be the ultimate, universally-accessible expedition high in this urban redwood forest.
World-renowned canopy ecologists, arborists, and tree adventure experts have visited the zoo and park to assess the potential, agreeing that the Zoo is the ideal site for a canopy walk given the forest composition, topography, history and location. It will provide the “missing link” experience for visitors to the redwoods.
“The Sequoia Canopy Walk will transform the way that people view our iconic redwoods, as the first-ever glimpse of their special canopies. This amazing skywalk will have the power to inspire all visitors with a new appreciation for trees and perhaps encourage future generation of scientists among those who will “walk in the treetops,” says Meg Lowman Ph.D. (aka, CanopyMeg), canopy science pioneer and Senior Scientist, Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability, Lindsay Chair of Botany, California Academy of Sciences.
The aerial walkway will be a unique and much needed outdoor attraction and education project providing an accessible, ADA compliant experience for people of all ages and physical abilities, where they can travel at their own pace through the narratives as told through interactive, multi-media interpretive materials presented on the tree platforms and at the launch deck. This ‘tree classroom,’ will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about redwood trees and redwood forest ecology from within the mid-canopy level, high above the ground.
This combined exhibit is poised to deliver an unparalleled transformative and unique experience that will drive attendance growth, generate added revenue.
Highlights of this experience will include:
- Accessibility for all ages – will allow multi-generational families to experience the canopy, unlike other adventure type courses
Launch Deck – Views into the Native Predator exhibits and Redwood Canopy Walk. Will include interactive exhibits, interpretation, nature/parallel play areas, and amenities for events
- The ADA section will be 25-30 feet above ground and feature 5 x 5 30 ft. long. pathways, and 5 platforms. At 8 feet wide, they will accommodate two-way traffic
- Several suspension bridges create a one-way loop over the ravines in Sequoia Park, 30 – 90 ft long
- 5 viewing and interpretive platforms range from 50-100 feet high in the trees
- Built to last generations, it will offer distinctive educational opportunities that tie together nature, local animal species, history, culture and adventure
Zoo Advisors (a full-service consulting firm providing business, organizational, analytical, fundraising, and financial expertise to zoo, animal, and conservation organizations) in their 2016 Strategic Business report for the Zoo, noted that the addition of the Canopy Walk and Native Predators is a tremendous opportunity for the Zoo to become a leader in the regional tourism attractions arena.
The City of Eureka and the Zoo Foundation view the Canopy Walk and Native Predators as a great economic driver to benefit to the communities in the immediate area (Eureka, Arcata, Ferndale, Fortuna, McKinleyville, et al) and for all Humboldt County.