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Virginia Zoo’s new ‘Nature Discovery Zone’ playground opens

Posted at 9:36 AM, Jun 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-15 09:36:45-04

NORFOLK, Va. – The Virginia Zoo christened its new “Run Wild! Nature Discovery Zone” playground during the Zoo’s annual Member Night last week.

The one-acre nature play space features a bamboo maze, “stump jump,” willow tunnel, giant boulders, dig boxes and balance beams for children to play on. A Conservation Cabin was also built to host educational programs.

Greg Bockheim, executive director of the zoo, said the space was built to encourage children to use their imaginations and develop their decision-making skills.

“This is a space where children and their families can let their imaginations run wild,” Bockheim said. “Using natural elements, we encourage free play in this space — there is no ‘right’ way to play.”

Visitors to the Zoo can expect informal programming from the Zoo’s Education Department through the Conservation Cabin, including meet and greet animal pop-ups with the Zoo’s animal ambassadors.