TOLEDO, Oh. (WTVG) – The Toledo Zoo and Promedica are partnering together to renovate the Zoo’s 80+ year old Museum of Science.Today, the two organizations will announce the details of the new partnership to re-open the WPA-era building in the spring of 2019 as a natural history museum. The new facility will have a focus on biodiversity, or the variety of life in the world, throughout the course of history shown through the lens of local habitats and wildlife along with their ties to global counterparts.
Through their $3.5 million donation, ProMedica is generously supporting a fully collaborative effort to combine the messaging in the new Museum with the missions of both institutions. Through tangible interactives and a proposed doctors as docents program, ProMedica will assist in educating Museum visitors about the connections between human quality of life and wellbeing with natural biodiversity.
“ProMedica is proud to partner with the Toledo Zoo and sponsor this amazing Museum where people will learn about the connection between our environment, living organisms and modern medicine,” said Randy Oostra, CEO/President of ProMedica. “As an anchor institution, ProMedica’s role is to support institutions like the Toledo Zoo – one of our city’s crown jewels — as part of our continued commitment to helping build on the progress and momentum taking place in Toledo from downtown into the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Construction on the Museum of Science began in 1934, putting many local craftsmen to work during the Great Depression and utilizing re-purposed local materials, including slate slabs from the Maumee River. Throughout the renovation process, which began in fall of 2017, the footprint and most of the framework of the historic building was kept intact. With the addition of the greenhouse on the front, the new facility will total 66,000 square feet.
Not to give too much away, but visitors can expect to experience Ohio 13,000 years ago, touch live animals, walk through a two-story sensory-rich tropical greenhouse, and truly feel like a fly on the wall in a 30x larger than life oak forest! And that is only the beginning of the immersive and interactive adventure that awaits in the new haven of habitats and bounty of biology!
“We are honored to have a partner that understands human health and well-being is supported by a healthy natural environment. Since the very beginning, ProMedica has shared our vision of creating a new educational yet entertaining opportunity for the local community to enjoy. This Museum serves as a tangible link to how our animals and conservation efforts are interconnected throughout the world and spans of time and we can’t wait to share it with our guests,” said Jeff Sailer, CEO/President of Toledo Zoo.
The new partnership of Toledo Zoo and ProMedica encourages the public to stay tuned for updates on the status of the renovations. Together, we really will achieve much, much more!