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Information about Phase I of the Nature's Wild Backyard project and the future plans for Phase II.

Nature's Wild Backyard rehabilitates the original 1959 Storyland Zoo infrastructure, creating an immersive, child-focused experience and building on the success of the Arctic Shores, Entry Plaza and Wander Trail projects – the 1st phases of the 2005 Council-approved Edmonton Valley Zoo Master Plan.

Completion of Nature's Wild Backyard will establish the zoo as a leader in its field, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to animal welfare, education, conservation and environmental stewardship. This revitalization project will feature landscape-based experiences connected to the ecology and lives of key animals including: lemurs, gibbons, farm animals, meerkats, foxes, and various other smaller animals. Habitat areas will be designed as naturalized educational areas to provide more opportunity for the public to interact and 'Get Closer' to a wide variety of animals. The project will also renew and upgrade guest amenities that have reached the end of their lifespan, such as washrooms, concessions and the carousel.

Nature's Wild Backyard has been divided into 2 phases of construction. Phase I is currently fully funded and completed. Phase II will include the remaining elements.

Visit Phase I - Nature's Wild Backyard

Phase I

  • Construction Start Date: 2017
  • Budget: $25 million - This project was partially funded through the efforts of the Valley Zoo Development Society

To contribute, donate to the Valley Zoo Development Society.

Project Overview

Nature's Wild Backyard will be comprised of 4 zones where visitors can explore how animals make their homes under, on, between and above the surface. Each area will be layered with play and educational activities.

  1. In the"Under" Zone, visitors will experience a gradual descent underground, offering eye to eye views with prairie dogs, burrowing owls, red foxes and naked mole rats. 
  2. The "Between" Zone celebrates the unique adaptations of animals that live both on land and in water including capybaras, agoutis, beavers and waterfowl. The Between Zone features split-level viewing, an oversized Brazil nut puzzle challenge and giant lily pads for visitors to hop their way along the water's edge. 
  3. The "On" Zone will showcase wild animals that demonstrate a range of strategies for locomotion on the ground including wallabies, emus, and fallow deer. The On Zone will also feature an Urban Farm that provides a renewed home for the zoo's popular existing Urban Farm exhibit. 
  4. The "Above" Zone will transport visitors into the spectacular tree canopy so they can explore the world of species that fly, leap and climb including lemurs, red pandas, gibbons, and exotic birds. The Backyard will also renew and upgrade guest amenities that have reached the end of their lifespan such as washrooms, concession and carousel.

Donate to the Zoo

Partner donations help develop our zoo and support animal charities.

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311


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