The new Karen Peck Katz Conservation Education Center opened in September 2004 in response to the rapidly-growing education programs the Zoological Society offers. ?The Zoological Society has one of the largest education programs at any zoo in the United States, if not the largest,? said Education Director Dawn St. George. The new facility runs workshops during the academic year and camps throughout the summer. The Zoo?s goal is to tap into the curiosity in young minds and spark a lifelong interest in animals, conservation, and the environment. With the new 25,000 ft2 Center, the Zoo has expanded its educational programs to serve more children and adults.The Center features eight classrooms, a two-story investigation and discovery laboratory, a conference room, a library, and offices. The new building is no ordinary educational building. Since the curricula of all the workshops is science-based and focuses on environmental awareness, it only made sense that the building itself should encompass the same earth-friendly guidelines as the programs.
With grants from We Energies and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD), the building also includes a green roof. The GreenGrid? green roof is composed of 294 Extensive (2? x 4? x 4?) modules and one Extensive (2? x 2? x 4?) module totaling 2,356 ft2.The GreenGrid? Extensive modules were planted with five species of Sedum, including Sedum acre, Sedum album, Sedum ?Bailey?s Gold,? Sedum kamtschaticum, Sedum rupestre ?Forsteranum,? and Sedum spurium ?Dragon?s Blood.? In addition to the green roof, 160 Ecoballast modules were installed for the maintenance pathways. The photos were taken shortly after installation was completed.The Milwaukee Zoo is performing temperature monitoring of its GreenGrid? green roof, which was installed in Summer 2004. Data and a live webcam of the GreenGrid? green roof can be seen at the Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s website here. The Zoo will also be monitoring stormwater runoff from the green roof. As soon as the information is available, it will be placed on the website.