Sequoia Park Zoo has announced a new Redwood Canopy Skywalk.
Local tourism organisations have pledged $1.7 million for the construction of the new attraction, slated to open in 2020.
The new skywalk will allow visitors to walk through the giant redwoods at least 60 feet above ground level.
The Humboldt Lodging Alliance, the Eureka Lodging Alliance and the Arcata Lodging Alliance have, between them, pledged $1.7 million to fund the project. The news was announced at the Sequoia Park Zoo’s Flamingo Room. It is understood that the Eureka City Council will sign a memorandum of understanding to seal the deal.
Construction is expected to start this autumn, said Mike Dearden, president of the board of directors of the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation.
The skywalk forms part of the zoo’s master plan to update and remodel the attraction. Alongside the skywalk, there are also plans for a “Native Predator” exhibit. This will feature mountain lions, black bear and coyotes. The new skywalk will pass above this exhibit before moving outside the zoo boundary into the tall trees of Sequoia Park.
Rising popularity of canopy walks
Canopy walks are becoming increasingly popular at tourist attractions in tall tree areas. The Greenheart TreeWalk in Vancouver has become one of the city’s most popular features, taking visitors up into the forest of Douglas and grand firs, and cedar, many of which are over 100 years old. However the Vancouver canopy walk only stretches up 20 metres.
The lodging alliances at Sequoia have said they want the Redwood skywalk to go at least 60 feet above ground, and “preferably” around 95 feet. They have also said they want to sign off on the project’s final design.
“This tremendous local and regional support showcases the importance of the Zoo Master Plan and in particular the Redwood Canopy Walk to become a premier tourist destination in the region,” said a press release from the Sequoia Park Zoo. “This Phase II expansion, featuring the only redwood canopy walk in North America, is poised to deliver an unparalleled experience that will drive attendance growth from across the United States and internationally.”
Images: Sequoia Park Zoo