A key attraction for tourists and locals alike, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens has served as a major source of recreation, education, and discovery since 1966. Located in the heart of Griffith Park, the Zoo’s 133-acre facility is home to more than 270 species of animals as well as a rich collection of native plants and trees. To ensure the Zoo continues to provide unique, interactive experience for its visitors for years to come, Zoo staff have partnered with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering (BOE) to embark on an ambitious 20-year long project known as the L.A. Zoo Vision Plan. The proposed Vision Plan would implement a comprehensive eight-phase redevelopment project that would serve to upgrade and modernize the long-standing facility, with the ultimate goal of improving visitor experience and increasing annual Zoo visitation. The Plan includes significant physical improvements to the Zoo grounds, including but not limited to:
Before the Vision Plan can become a reality, the BOE must draft a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR) consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As part of a larger team, The Robert Group was selected to lead the public outreach effort for the Vision Plan EIR. We developed and implemented a comprehensive Public Outreach Plan designed to notify, educate, and engage a broad range of citywide stakeholders and interested parties in the Vision Plan. Elements of the outreach included key stakeholder interviews, where we engaged local opinion leaders in the earliest stages of the outreach. These were followed by two scoping meetings attended by community members, where we learned about their own visions for the LA Zoo as well as how their concerns could be integrated into the environmental review process. TRG also designed and developed www.visionplan.lazoo.org, a dynamic project website that serves as the public portal to all project information and participation related to the Vision Plan—we suggest you check it out!