Master Plan 2018-06-22T14:42:24+00:00
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Facility Master Plan

A New Cosley Zoo

Cosley Zoo and The Cosley Foundation are delighted to announce the launch of our new Facility Master Plan – a plan that will allow the zoo to teach, inspire, advocate, and interact with the community in new ways, all while preserving the best that Cosley has to offer.

The Master Plan envisions new, immersive exhibits, more enjoyable experiences for visitors with greater emphasis on the zoo’s conservation and animal welfare initiatives – ultimately, making Cosley Zoo the most popular and successful attraction in DuPage County and increasing its reach in the region.

Armed with this bold new vision, the zoo will fulfill its highest purpose: to create connections between people and animals that will inspire lifelong conservation of the natural world.

Various signs are posted throughout the zoo to highlight individual plan features. This project will be funded through a combination of individual, corporate, and foundation support.

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What’s in the plan?

  • Animal Welcome Center – completed in 2017
  • Barn Learning Center Renovation
  • Increased parking by 300% and improved traffic flow
  • New entry complex with enhanced visitor services and gathering space
  • Rivers Exhibit featuring underwater viewing of otters and beavers
  • Wilds of Illinois including bears, wolves, and cougars
  • The Forests of Illinois Biome, transporting guests to the treetops
  • Discovery Center, for interactive hands-on learning

Renovations will maximize the building’s foot print, engaging guests with farm animals through hands-on activities. The second floor will be transformed with large windows and a rustic atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for educational programs and special events.

A 220-space parking lot will feature an ADA-accessible passageway and permeable resurfacing. The passageway will reduce traffic congestion and allow visitors to safely cross Gary Avenue.

The new entrance to Cosley Zoo features expanded food service and gift shop, an adjacent butterfly exhibit, an interactive fountain, and a meadow with amphitheater. A new nocturnal animal exhibit will make its home in the current train station.

Explore Illinois’ aquatic life in this indoor/outdoor exhibit featuring spectacular underwater views of beavers, river otters, fish, and other animals.

This breathtaking new exhibit will feature cougars, bears, and wolves. A free-form aviary and rustic pavilion will complete this new experience.

Travel along multi-level boardwalks in this climate controlled “glass box.” Enjoy interactive learning opportunities as you journey from the forest floor up to the tree tops.

A two-story learning center featuring hands-on exhibits and classrooms, creating a unique gathering space for events, parties, and rentals.

For more information about the Cosley Zoo Facility Master Plan, please contact Sue WahlgrenZoo Director at 630.665.5534 or swahlgren@wheatonparks.org.