Skip to main content

Forest Biome is at the green heart of Cosley Zoo’s expansion plans

Cosley Zoo big cat

Cosley Zoo, based in Wheaton, Illinois has just unveiled its long-term vision for the future.

It’s a bold new vision for the DuPage County attraction.  Zoo planning and development experts, Torre Design Consortium and Schultz & Williams, were involved in the six-month planning process. Now the Wheaton Park District and Cosley Foundation boards have approved the plan.  It will be implemented in stages over the following ten to twenty years.

The zoo will gain a new entry complex that will comprise enhanced visitor services and also a larger, more attractive, space for people to gather.

Parking will be increased by 300 percent, and traffic flow will be improved.

expanded parking at Cosley ZooOne of the most exciting plans is the Forests of Illinois Biome.  Guests will be transported to the treetops via multi-level boardwalks in the climate-controlled dome.  There will be interactive learning opportunities as visitors journey from the forest floor right up into the tree tops.

The Rivers Exhibit allows guests to explore Illinois’ aquatic life.  The indoor/outdoor exhibit allows for underwater views of beavers, river otters, fish and other creatures going about their lives.

Wilds of Illinois is a stunning new exhibit featuring bears, wolves and cougars.  A rustic pavilion and free-form aviary complete the attraction.

Building-wise, a new Discovery Centre is planned, offering hands-on exhibits and a variety of classrooms.  It is expected to provide a meeting space for parties, school visits and other events.

The first part of the expansion, an Animal Care Centre, has already been completed.

“While we are very proud of what we have accomplished the past 43 years, we are extraordinarily excited to look forward to this bold new vision for our future,” says Sue Wahlgren, Director of Cosley Zoo.

“The “New Cosley Zoo” will provide opportunities for us to create more meaningful connections between people and animals which will inspire the lifelong conservation of our natural world.”

Images courtesy of Cosley Zoo.

More from this author

Related content

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update