The Wander Trail is the Edmonton Valley Zoo's central corridor that houses and interprets the plants and small animals of Alberta's North Saskatchewan river valley, while providing opportunities for public education, shelter, transportation and relaxation. The Wander Trail serves as a main public pathway to the new exhibit areas as they develop, including the Arctic Shores exhibit that opened in March 2012. There is also a new river otter habitat in the entry plaza, renewed African Veldt viewing opportunities, and 2 trout ponds.
The water feature allows children to interact and play with glacial melt-water features along the river's path. The Wander Trail helps to shape our future zoo, as it moves from the great heights of the Rocky Mountains and falls swiftly from stone-filled mountain streams and pools, through wetlands, to the gentle meanders of the Aspen Parklands and prairies of Alberta. This trail is framed by the imposing story of Alberta's natural history and the flora, fauna that have come to live in and shape this region.
The Wander Trail provides ample room for guests to stroll leisurely through great mixed species native landscapes, picnicking in the shade of large groves of Aspen trees or observing free-range live animals. Each thematic area is differentiated not only by the plantings and the interaction with water, but also through the use of interpretive elements.
This area is a LEED® Silver candidate project with the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC).
LEED® is a certification program and benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance buildings and interiors. The certification is awarded by achieving credits in 7 key areas of sustainability:
- Sustainable sights
- Water efficiency
- Energy and atmosphere
- Materials are resources
- Environmental quality
- Innovation and design
- Regional priority
Over 50% of the wood used on this exhibit was harvested from sustainably-managed forests that promote reforestation and protect habitats against clear-cutting.