POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Animal lovers can expect a new feature at Zoo Idaho this Spring.
As part of the Zoo’s entrance improvement project that began in 2015, the Zoo is constructing a log cabin gift shop and ticket office at the entrance on South 2nd Avenue.
The project is relatively low cost for the City of Pocatello, in part because of community donors, according to zoo superintendent, Peter Pruett.
The new fixture is being made possible with a generous donation from Connections Credit Union, who has a long working relationship with the Zoo, as well as donations from the Zoo Idaho Zoological Society.
“The donation allowed us to do the project, to finish the project off,” Pruett said.
But the City is being frugal and using in-house expertise rather than hiring contractors to build the facility.
“We wanted to extend (CCU’s) donation as far as possible. We have a very talented Parks and Rec department,” Pruett said. “It’s not just a matter of saving some costs, it’s using the best talent available within the city and our Parks and Rec department has it.”
The unusually dry winter has helped keep the construction teams on pace to finish the facility by the time the Zoo opens on the first Saturday of April.
“That gives us some extra time. We don’t have to rush the project, so we have the ability to do it correctly and to the best of our abilities,” Pruett said.
The gift shop will be stocked with souvenirs by local artisans and crafters.
“We’re going to try to get as much product as we can from local Pocatello and Idaho vendors,” Preutt said. “There’s a ton of talented artists, just in Pocatello alone.”
The Zoo is also working with Fish and Wildlife Services on a grant for a pollinator garden and picnic space for people to rent out.