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YNN – Rosamond Gifford Zoo Helps Save the Rain

By: Terry Ettinger, 10/07/2013 05:00 AM
The Rosemond Gifford Zoo does more than display wildlife. In this edition of Going Green, YNN’s Terry Ettinger tells us how it participates in the Save the Rain campaign.
The Rosemond Gifford Zoo is becoming more than a just a showcase for wildlife.
“We have on display now five different Save The Rain projects. We are capturing the rainwater, keeping it out of the system while at the same time we’re able to provide clean water for the animals here using less potable water from the city’s system,” explained Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney.
The idea is to re-use as much storm water run off as possible, or return it to the soil in a more natural way instead of running it through a sewage treatment plant.
“We have a cistern that is capturing the storm water and that cistern will run the water through a natural wetland that we’ve created to filter the water and it will make its way to where the waterfowl are,” said Mahoney. “In the past, that pond had to be drained every couple weeks and cleaned but now we’ve put a pump in that will take that water routinely back up to the top of the wetland so that it can run its way through again.”
Other projects include a green roof on the elephant barn that captures storm water and porous paving in the walkways and parking lots. The hope is the more people see tangible results, the more they’ll participate in the Save The Rain campaign.
Mahoney said, “It’s a great learning experience for people who come here to the zoo because they hear about Save The Rain but they can really see now what it is we’re talking about. We’re literally saving the rain. When the rain comes we’re putting it to good use and we’re returning it to the environment naturally.”
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