Edmonton Valley Zoo Awarded Top National Honour
October 05, 2012
The Edmonton Valley Zoo has been awarded the top honour for outstanding achievement among Canada’s accredited zoos and aquariums for the new Arctic Shores exhibit.
The Thomas R. Baines Award, the highest award given by Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), was presented to Edmonton Valley Zoo Director Denise Prefontaine on September 28, 2012 at the annual CAZA conference in Toronto.
“We are so proud of Arctic Shores and are thrilled to be recognized by CAZA,” Prefontaine said. “Arctic Shores is more than just an animal exhibit. Visitors can get closer to animals interacting here and we have made sure to include history, honour, an understanding of the environment and an appreciation of Northern culture into one inspiring experience.”
At the awards presentation, it was noted that the Arctic Shores exhibit is an outstanding example of the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s major transformation to an innovative leader in the creation of educational experiences. The construction and design principles of Arctic Shores demonstrate a long-term commitment to conservation and public education.
As part of a $50 million Edmonton Valley Zoo transformation project, Arctic Shores represents a significant advancement in the zoo’s approach to exhibits and the visitor experience. The exhibit uses the landscape as its central focus and includes human cultural elements as an important part of the story. In addition to its educational impact, Arctic Shores demonstrates leadership in design for conservation, using a salt water marsh to naturally filter the water used in the seal habitat.
In addition to the big prize, the Edmonton Valley Zoo was also represented on the awards list by zoo animal care team leader Sandy Helliker, who was recognized with CAZA’s Animal Care Professional Award, and zoo volunteer Barb Chapman, who was named CAZA’s Volunteer of the Year.
Sandy Helliker has worked at Edmonton Valley Zoo since 1987 and, in that time, has contributed significantly to the health of the animals in the zoo’s care. She has become a leading expert in the care of red pandas and sits on the Red Panda Species Survival Plan steering committee.
Barb Chapman is a dedicated zoo volunteer who has donated her time and talent in several capacities and made significant contributions to animal care, enrichment and fundraising.
“The Edmonton Valley Zoo is fortunate to have people as dedicated as Sandy and Barb. They both work extremely hard and we are very pleased CAZA chose to recognize their efforts,” Prefontaine said.
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City of Edmonton