Next time you are at the Zoo, check out the "Green Roof" display outside the Karen Peck Katz Education Center! A green roof is a vegetative roof cover using native plantings. Plants on a green roof act like a sponge and absorb water when it rains, which reduces the amount of water runoff into storm sewers. Green roofs also provide habitat space for wildlife, and the lush greenery absorbs heat and helps cool the building. Acting like a natural insulator, as the water from the plants evarporates and the plants absorb sunlight.
The Zoo also has several rain gardens throughout the grounds that are designed to catch storm water and work in conjunction with our permeable pavers. You may have noticed our permeable pavers while walking through the Zoo's Aviary and giraffe areas, Zoo Terrace, and parking lot. While aesthetically pleasing, permeable pavers also allow storm water to pass through and soak into ground, replenishing groundwater supplies rather than running off into storm drains.
The Zoo makes an effort to include many native plants around its grounds. Native plants provide food and habitat for Wisconsin birds and native insects. They are also very efficient at absorbing water and require fewer pesticides and fertilizers to maintain.