Text: Karla Jeltema
The sound of excited little feet can be heard rushing to the newly renovated entrance of John Ball Zoo at John Ball Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan—a haven for a myriad of animals, large and small, drawing out the child in everyone. From the tiniest of new red panda cubs and the splendor of African lions to the environmental realms, John Ball Zoo delights visitors throughout its nearly 31 acres.
While strolling through the grounds, make sure to peek in on a first-in-the-nation habitat, the Meerkat experience, which is unlike any other, with eye-level views of scampering mammals and their habitat partner, the African Cape Porcupine.
Through September 7, “BrickLive Animal Paradise” can be found throughout the zoo.“BrickLive” will have more than 40 life-sized animal sculptures, created with more than 1.8 million individually colored building bricks, including a life-sized giraffe sculpture which takes roughly 96,000 building bricks to construct and measures more than 12 feet tall.
John Ball Zoo is the first and only commercially registered Living Building Challenge project in Michigan. One of the project’s major highlights is the ability to manage a 100-year-rain event, diverting storm water coming from the Zoo, where it will be filtered to remove oil, debris, and sediment.
Visit https://www.jbzoo.org/hoursadmission#admission for information on hours and pricing. Advanced ticketing is recommended, as guest limitations are enforced.
Photos courtesy John Ball Zoo