Pittsburgh’s Aviary recognized with design award
This one’s for the birds.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. It is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eleven other countries.
The recognition is among the highest honors in exhibit design, said Dan Ashe, the association’s president and CEO.
“AZA congratulates the National Aviary for designing a novel, immersive habitat that ensures high-quality animal care as well as meaningful guest experiences,” Ashe said in a statement. “The Tropical Rainforest exhibit goes above and beyond AZA’s rigorous standards for animal management, safety, conservation, and education.”
The aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side received this national award during the Association of Zoos and Aquariums September conference in New Orleans.
The renovation of the aviary’s oldest room has resulted in a beautiful habitat, with carefully chosen trees, plants, and water features that represent the environment tropical bird and mammal species would inhabit in the wild, Cheryl Tracy, the aviary’s executive director, said in a news release.
Tracy said the docents and interactive signage promote understanding of rainforest habitats and how to protect them.
“We were intentional about using bird-friendly glass in our redesign, which benefits the birds inside and outside the National Aviary, and in ensuring that the glass from the original 1952 structure was given new life through beautiful works of art created by local artists,” Tracy said in the release.
Ashe said the Tropical Rainforest exhibit goes above and beyond the association’s rigorous standards for animal management, safety, conservation, and education.
The aviary invested $1.2 million to renovate the exhibit, which was originally constructed in 1952. The space is home to more than 80 birds representing nearly 30 species and a Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .