Roll Up Your Sleeves in the Urban Farm

The Cause

Children are fascinated by the natural world, especially by animals. By providing them with a fun setting in which they can learn about the natural world, we can create lifelong ambassadors for the long-term health of all species on our planet.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is transforming into a 21st century centre of education, research and conservation. Heading into Phase 3 of the redevelopment, ‘Nature’s Wild Backyard’ will embrace interactive play and discovery, immersing kids in a unique environment which will allow them to experience the world in the same manner as the animals that inhabit it: Under, Between, On and Above. A main feature of the “On” zone will be an Urban Farm – which is the basis of this application.

The goal of the Urban Farm is to personally engage guests in the world of a working farm. For the majority of urban children today, a visit to the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s Urban Farm will be the only time they will every have an experience on a farm. There is a vital connection between people and food sources that is particularly important today as this connection is being eroded in an increasingly urban culture. The Urban Farm will work to revitalize this relationship and educate through interpretation and playful ‘touch and feel’ environments.

The farm will include indoor and outdoor spaces for farm animals including but not limited to cows, sheep, pigs, and goats. The interior of the barn will feature a seasonal incubator and parallel play opportunities. Outdoors, a contact yard will provide the opportunity for guests to interact personally with a variety of species. It will also feature a large garden where food will be grown for our animals. The green roof of the barn will be home to the zoo’s goats.

Visitors will take away a deeper and more intimate understanding of how the relationship between agriculture and humans, and how people and food sources work.

While positioning the Edmonton Valley Zoo as a worldwide leader in its field is a key goal of Nature’s Wild Backyard, the Zoo is committed to making the City of Edmonton a better place for its visitors and its residents.

Join us in educating the next generation on farm life, where our food comes from, and helping to build an understanding about the importance of connecting with the land.

Who Will it Benefit?

The Edmonton Valley Zoo provided education and recreational programming to close to 500,000 visitors in 2016. School groups come from all across Northern Alberta and the Zoo has seen more school groups coming in from Saskatchewan as well.

While Nature's Wild Backyard is predominantly geared towards youth/school aged children, each interactive zone - including the Urban Farm - will be an important educational tool for people of all ages and abilities.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo holds a special place in the hearts of generations of visitors. It is the ambition of this project to reignite this passion and to ensure that our Zoo becomes a place where lasting memories are forged for generations yet to come.

Please join us in creating a new space that will inspire new ambassadors that care deeply about and are committed to preserving the natural world around us.