The American Alliance of Museums has chosen the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for two exciting new awards in excellence: the Sustainability Excellence Award and the Excellence in Exhibition Award. These award competitions were chosen by a committee from the American Alliance of Museums and in the midst of a competitive lineup between other zoos, museums, and aquariums.
The first award obtained by the Cincinnati Zoo is the Sustainability Excellence award. The purpose of this award is to educate, facilitate, and encourage green practice and to acknowledge and celebrate leaders in environmental sustainability. The Zoo has been made a model for environmental sustainability based on this award.
The second award given to the Cincinnati Zoo was the Excellence in Exhibition Award. This award was given to the Zoo on behalf of their Jungle Trails exhibit for “Special distinction, exemplary model of creating experiences for social engagement.” The judges on the committee for this award were impressed with the Zoo’s social engagement and listening to their visitors’ voices in creating a multi-sensory experience.
The photos above show a few examples of the interactive experiences that guests can explore in the Jungle Trails Exhibit. The Swing like a Gibbon interaction, on the left, is two parallel sets of monkey bars – one at kid height, one at adult height. This encourages guests to race as well as to collaborate to get their whole troop across without touching the ground like a family of gibbons would do in the wild. The Balance like a Lemur interactive experience is two parallel ropes that are suspended a few inches off the ground. The main goal is to get across, walking on the ropes and holding onto the dangling ones for balance – our most popular with guests!
The Cincinnati Zoo is very pleased to have been awarded these honors, and will continue to strive for award-winning exhibits as well as sustainable facilities around the Zoo as they continue their “Greenest Zoo in America” campaign. For more information about the American Alliance of Museums and their awards, please visit http://www.aam-us.org/.