Sequoia Park Zoo Goes Native!

Sequoia Park Zoo Goes Native!

Sequoia Park Zoo launches its initiative to create a native plant botanical garden throughout the zoo campus. Today begins the replacement of the non-native escallonia hedge along the front sidewalk with a hedgerow consisting of over 20 species of plants native to Humboldt County. This new hedgerow will allow more room for pedestrians to use the sidewalk safely, will eliminate the large maintenance burden of trimming the overgrown hedge, and provide a more wildlife-friendly habitat. The native plants have been carefully chosen for aesthetics, compatibility with the space, and those which will provide food and shelter for birds.

The Native Plants Initiative furthers the Zoo’s proud commitment to conserving wildlife and biodiversity.  Our goal over the next few years is to convert 90% or more of plant species on zoo grounds to flora native to the Humboldt County bioregion.  Restoring native landscapes is becoming an urgent priority as global numbers of pollinating and other beneficial insects have declined dramatically due to habitat loss, the introduction of invasive plants, and other land management practices. The transformation of the Sequoia Park Zoo grounds into a native botanical garden is championed by the Zoo’s Conservation Advisory Committee, and features projects including a pollinator garden and a native sedge lawn to be planted in the spring. “This is one of the most impactful projects the Zoo has undertaken that will help sustain our local biodiversity. We are excited to see how this transformation unfolds over the next few years,” said Zoo Director Gretchen Ziegler.

This important project will enhance sustainable horticulture practices, educate visitors on the significance of native flora and fauna, and showcase the beauty and diversity of native plants from our unique floristic region of the world. For our Earth Day Party For The Planet celebration in April, native plants and seeds will be given to zoo guests for planting at home, supporting our mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by instilling wonder, respect, and passion for wildlife.

As an AZA accredited facility, Sequoia Park Zoo incorporates wildlife conservation as an essential part of its mission. This includes spreading awareness about threats to wildlife and habitats, inspiring conservation action among our visitors, and helping to fund conservation field work.