Photos and Updates
May 20, 2010
Weekly Toyota Elephant Passage Construction Update
To support the plant life within Toyota Elephant Passage, Denver Zoo has constructed a new 3,000 square-foot greenhouse within the City and County of Denver’s greenhouse complex in City Park.
The zoo greenhouse is modified to allow for tall plants including a variety of palms, banana trees, bamboo, ginger plants and more for the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit. Another section will grow beautiful Asian orchids that can be rotated within the exhibit during bloom. The facility also will provide plants for Tropical Discovery and Bird World.
The City is completely renovating its facilities and graciously provided space for a zoo greenhouse. Denver Zoo provided support as well to construct a community room at the greenhouse complex.
A number of modifications will enhance the “green” footprint of the new greenhouse. In addition to more efficient heating and cooling systems, re-circulating water will make this greenhouse environmentally friendly. A $25,000 grant from the Colorado Garden and Home Show allowed us to purchase additional features including rolling benches and a heat-retention blanket to further help this effort.
Denver Zoo’s newly renovated, 3,000 square foot greenhouse. The facility is adjacent to the zoo and City Park. The oversize garage door will allow access for tall plants anticipated for Toyota Elephant Passage, including palms and banana trees.
Gary Davis, Tropical Plant Curator, with a tropical hibiscus. Ten full-time horticulture staff are responsible for the entire 80-acre gardens at Denver Zoo.
The 16-foot raised roof will allow large tropical plants for Toyota Elephant Passage to survive the winter.
An in-floor heating system will conserve energy in the renovated facility.
A 22-foot long swamp cooler will cool the greenhouse while also conserving water.
A number of beautiful plants will be cultivated in the new greenhouse, including this orchid, Paphiopedilum rothschildianum x stonei.
Plants such as this bromeliad, Orthophytum navioides, will bring the tropics to Bird World and Tropical Discovery.
A variety of tender succulents can be propagated in the greenhouse in the winter, and later moved to zoo grounds to add seasonal interest.