Last week our family went for a vacation. The primary goal of this vacation was to let our oldest daughter see her favorite animal (the cheetah) in person. My wife did some research into various zoos and my mom suggested the Columbus Zoo in Ohio based on a Jack Hanna segment she saw on TV. We ended up scheduling two days at the zoo and one day at a related safari style park called The Wilds. The zoo was fantastic. We only planned for 2 days at the zoo itself but probably could have spent an additional 2 days wandering around. The Columbus zoo even has water park available with rides. The Wilds was very neat and I highly recommend it. We took an open air tour bus around the park and saw quite a few threatened herd animals that are being preserved through their breeding programs. Rhinos, bison, antelope, deer,and wild horses were just a few of the many creatures to see at The Wilds.
Zoos tend to have very interesting botanical elements. Often they try to mimic the natural environment of the animals but they also tend to incorporate a lot of native plants around the zoo. I often end up watching for interesting plants and their arrangements more so than the animals! The Wilds also has a butterfly garden project which covers several acres of land across the road from the park. The butterfly garden has all kinds of native plants including echinacea, monarda, milkweed, coreopsis, gaillardia, and many others.
Here are a few more photos from our visit to the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds!
Above is a bed of zinnias and below petunias with salvia.
Buck-eye in bloom, we were in the Buck-eye state!
Soon to be blooming coreopsis.
Labels: wildflowers, zoo