Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tree House Play Area to Open at Zoo this Weekend

Installation of the Foster Tree House is nearly complete at the El Paso Zoo, and officials have announced that the new facility will open to the public on March 8, 2014.
The new Foster Tree House opens at the Zoo on March 8, 2014. (El Paso Zoo)

Paul Foster and Alejandra De La Vega Foster donated $500,000 for the play area which will consist of five tree houses, the tallest of which will rise 16 feet off the ground. The elevated platform will give children a 360-degree view of the surrounding Zoo area.

Also included are four slides, a “crazy tunnel,” log climbers, and cargo netting, all in an “adventure” type setting. The Foster Tree House will be located in a wooded area near the Hunt Family Desert Spring interactive water feature, also known as a “splash pad.”
The tree house was built by The 4 Kids, a custom play equipment company out of Greenville, Texas. (El Paso Zoo) 

The Fosters also donated $600,000 last month to purchase 4,000 annual family memberships to the El Paso Zoo for two years to be used by Fort Bliss families. Funds from that donation will ultimately provide additional funding for education programs, landscaping, and worldwide conservation.

And, an additional $900,000 has been pledged by the Fosters to help sponsor programming for the future Wildlife Theater that is part of the Zoo’s master plan that was announced last year. The shaded amphitheater will have about 300 seats and incorporate Zoo animals into the shows. It is scheduled to open in 2016, according to the master plan.
This artistic rendering shows what the Wildlife Theater may look like once completed at the El Paso Zoo, tentatively scheduled to open in 2016. (City of El Paso)

In all, the Fosters have pledged $2 million in donations to the El Paso Zoo. The Foster Tree House is scheduled to open this Saturday.