NY State Parks Announce New Upgrades to Bear Mountain
So here's some cool news I stumbled upon recently and that news is that visitors to the Hudson Valley's Bear Mountain State Park can expect to see new upgrades to the park's zoo and museum area. The announcement itself came straight from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC).
In total, nearly $2 million dollars ($1.8 to be exact) was dedicated to upgrading three different animal exhibits at the park as well as creating a new 'public loop trail'. I'll admit my own bit of bias here as well, because I loved Bear Mountain as a kid and I love it now so it's pretty cool to see the park getting some love.
New Homes For Beloved Animals at Bear Mountain
Now it's time to answer the obvious question; which animals will be occupying these new exhibits and calling them home? Well, the lucky three animal exhibits that have been upgraded are the Bobcat, Red Fox and Porcupine exhibits.
The former exhibits for all of these animals were all located in the same area. Each exhibit dedicated to the Bobcats, Red Foxes and Porcupines were lined up alongside one another in similar-looking large black cells. That being said, the description of the new exhibits sounds like a complete and total change for the better for the zoo and most importantly for the animals.
Constructing the New Open Enclosure
In an article from ILoveNY, it describes how the construction of the new exhibits began. For starters, the previous homes of the animals were completely deconstructed and removed. This move opened up the entire area for the creation of their new homes. The exhibits were then constructed out of the natural landscape itself.
The animals also literally have their own homes or maybe dens is the proper term, to call their home for the foreseeable future. The dens or 'night houses' as they were called in the article were constructed out of stone and lumber and they were modeled after the nearby museum. Just the description of these new exhibits makes it sound like a completely monumental difference and a welcome change for the zoo and its animals.
Many people are excited about the upgrades to the park and this includes State Parks Commissioner Kulleseid who acknowledged the great work done by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Kulleseid also expressed gratitude for the generosity of numerous organizations that aided in funding the project. The groups included the Garden Club of Orange & Dutchess Counties, New York Works and numerous others.
Some Bear Mountain History
Joshua Laird the Executive Director of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission in his time to speak stated that the zoo has been around for '96 years' and that it has been a place for numerous children and families to not only learn about the animals but also our region and its rich history.
Check This Out: 100 Years of Bear Mountain Being Put in a TIme Capsule
For those that didn't know, Bear Mountain's Zoo is a bit different from other zoos. That is because the animals that reside at the zoo are all animals that for one reason or another would not be able to survive in the wild. Laird would go on to state that the construction of these new exhibits was a symbol. This symbol...
represent Trailside’s future as we continue the Zoo’s educational mission while providing the best possible environment for the animals in our care.
Seeing investments like this made in a staple location in the Hudson Valley is something everyone should be excited about. More importantly, it sounds like I need to make a trip up to Bear Mountain to see the new attractions myself.