LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The North Alabama Zoological Society is working with the Lansing Companies to purchase and develop land for a North Alabama zoo. The success of the project depends on the acquisition of land and financing.
“It really all depends on the land,” said Ethan Fitzgerald, spokesman for the North Alabama Zoological Society. “Once you have the land, many funding opportunities open up.”
In August 2021, the North Alabama Zoological Society announced that 279 acres of land in Limestone County would be the site of the new zoo. Fitzgerald said the location north of Martin Line Road off Interstate 65 just south of Tanner has been taken off the market.
Fitzgerald said that even if Limestone County property is not purchased for the zoo, the project will continue to move forward with their development partner Lansing.
“We still have a great relationship with the Lansings, and we’ve actually developed relationships with other potential developers,” Fitzgerald said. “So we’re not just putting all our eggs in one basket with the site that’s currently on offer.”
The Lansings pledged a million dollars for the project. Six million more are needed to start construction.
“There are many different grants and conservation groups that would work with us and accelerate this project,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re one community partner away from making this an expedited project. »
Once the land is purchased and the money collected, Fitzgerald said construction of the first phase of the zoo will likely begin within a year or two.
Fitzgerald did not reveal where the project’s backup properties might be. While they plan a zoo, the North Alabama Zoological Society will continue to work on conservation projects and run summer programs for children.
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