Rain, rain…come our way!
What do rainwater harvesting tanks and reforestation have in common? They’re just a couple of the many environmentally friendly ways we create a self-sustaining ecosystem at the Dallas Zoo.
Conservation has been a pillar at the Zoo for some time now. And we aim to maximize the conservation of plants and wildlife by leading the way in sustainability and green initiatives. Through water conservation and reforestation, the Zoo reduces its ecological footprint. We hope it will encourage visitors to actively incorporate sustainable living into their own lives.
“We encourage people to lessen their ecological footprint on the earth,” said Randy Johnson, Dallas Zoo horticulture manager. “This positive impact can be a leading example for generations to come. We’re not only saving the environment, but also future generations.”
We’ve installed two stainless steel tanks to retain about 70% of water runoff at the Zoo. These tanks hold up to 3,125 gallons of harvested rainwater, which can be used for irrigation and other purposes, such as exhibit maintenance, throughout the Zoo.
This rainwater harvesting system reduces demand on the existing water supply and saves thousands of gallons of water over a single year. The system helps cut down on the amount of rain that washes into rivers and sewers, preventing flooding, erosion
and pollution. Think about it: water is a precious commodity, and rainwater tanks are an inexpensive and low-maintenance way to conserve.
We know trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and help offset the negative effects of climate change. As a result, the Dallas Zoo is committed to planting more native trees onsite. We’ve already planted 50 trees around the 106-acre Zoo, many in the Giants of the Savanna habitat.
Most importantly, plants and trees make up the backbone of all habitats, where animals depend on them for food and shelter. We want to use as many native plant species as possible to ensure a healthy ecosystem for the Zoo’s biodiversity.
In fact, you might say that green’s our favorite color!