North Alabama Zoological Society in Agreement to Purchase Two Limestone County Properties to Develop First Modern Zoo Park in Decades
LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Following an extensive search, the North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS), a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, has identified expansive space on two separate properties to support a new zoological park in Limestone County.
According to NALZS research and such as what NALZS is planning, the United States has not seen an expansive nonprofit zoo or zoological park built from the ground up in roughly 45 years.
NALZS is looking forward to creating an historic partnership with Lansing Companies, who is purchasing the 687-acre multi-use site of which the zoological park site will be taken from. This development is easily accessible to all communities across North Alabama from US72, US-31, and exits from I-565 or I-65 at the Huntsville Browns-Ferry exit.
Spanning 279 acres, the central portion of the park will be a traditional walking zoo located just north of Martin Line Road and adjacent to I-65 south of Tanner. In the park, there will be three Adventure Trek Areas representing national parks and preserves from North America, Asia, and Africa. Beyond observing wildlife, guests will be able to ride horses, zipline, and safari through these areas.
NALZS has also identified a second property north of the City of Madison along Limestone Creek. The 200-acre property is an extension of the zoo and will focus on sustainable farming research for humans and animals. Sustainable agriculture products from the site will be used to feed the animals and supply the restaurants at the zoo. NALZS will share more information about this property in the coming weeks.
"We have been working on the project for the last two years setting the groundwork for creating a much-wanted experience in our area,” said NALZS Executive Director Ethan Woodruff. “Other regions and communities our size have them, now is the right time for North Alabama to get one.”
The amount needed for NALZS to purchase both properties approximately $11 million. The Society is currently working with corporate and civic leaders to secure funding as well as seeking help from the community for the land purchase.
“As one of the largest land developers in the country, a project such as the North Alabama Zoological Park project will be such a blessing to the community and we expect it will bring substantial economic growth to the I-65 corridor that will be a catalyst for further highly beneficial projects in not only Huntsville, but also nearby Athens and Decatur,” said Lansing Companies President and CEO Greg Lansing. “We are so grateful to Ethan Woodruff and the entire NALZS team to be a part of this landmark project.”
Extensive market research indicates a zoological park and aquarium would be successful in the greater Huntsville area. An economic impact report from the University of Alabama in Huntsville shows that once the park is built it is estimated to generate more than $100 million for the local economy with a quarter of a million visitors a year. The Park will be built to Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards with the goal to be AZA accredited within the first year of operation.
"Limestone County continues to be blessed by growth and the addition of this unique North Alabama Zoological Park, by the North Alabama Zoological Society to our county is exciting,” said Limestone County Commission Chairman Collin Daly. “We welcome the addition of this landmark project and look forward to being a part of its success for many years.”
“We are delighted that the North Alabama Zoological Society has chosen Limestone County to call home for this one-of
-a-kind project,” said Limestone County Economic Development Association President and CEO Bethany Shockney. “This investment will be a very unique economic driver for tourism, and I certainly expect this to be a catalyst for other major complimentary projects and activities to follow.”
The community can support this endeavor by visiting the NALZS website and click ‘LOOKING TO DONATE … CLICK HERE’ at the top of the page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All media inquiries should be directed towards North Alabama Zoological Society’s marketing and communications team at email@example.com.
About the North Alabama Zoological Society
The North Alabama Zoological Society (NALZS) is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. Founded in
2019, the organization has more than 40 volunteer staff and board members making an impact in North Alabama. NALZS is establishing leadership in conservation by partnering with local, regional, and national organizations to bring focus to efforts meaningful to Alabama. As an active wildlife education resource for area schools, students, and families, NALZS is promoting the life science, biology, and ecology portions of STEAM.
NALZS mission is that while establishing a world-class zoo and aquarium, we connect the communities and visitors of North Alabama with the world’s wild places and wildlife; are a standard of conservation, research, action, and education; and inspire a better tomorrow.
The organization is classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is funded by a combination of grants and donations. For additional information, visit www.N
About Lansing Companies
Founded in 1984, Lansing Companies is the leading expert in Southern California land development. Practical expertise, combined with integrity, creativity, and perseverance, has produced consistent, substantial returns for our investors and partners. Lansing Companies has acquired, developed, and sold properties and currently owns and manages more than 20,000 lots and more than 35,000 acres throughout the United States. Our master-planned communities are well-known for their distinctive character and life-enhan
cing amenities. Lansing Companies also leads the way in renewable energy land development in the Western United States.