Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo Announces New Zip Line Attraction
Binder Park Zoo, in Battle Creek, has announced a “high-flying” attraction of epic proportions coming to the zoo this summer. SkyLark Ridge is a thrilling, three-story rope course style attraction, featuring five modern zip lines that curve around the structure allowing participants to soar freely through the air suspended by a safety harness. A separate structure called “Little Larks” will have the same components but scaled for younger guests under 48” tall to have the same exciting experience.
Construction has begun on the permanent aerial adventure called Charles and Lynn Zhang SkyLark Ridge where zoo-goers can soar while viewing the zoo grounds. The zoo’s course design will anchor to eight steel columns that span 15,000 total square feet rising to 36’ at its highest point for spectacular views of the zoo grounds.
The cost of having a high-flying adventure doesn’t come cheaply. The anticipated cost to build SkyLark Ridge is $2,000,000 of which the zoo has raised $1,800,000 in donations from generous benefactors. Lead donors Charles and Lynn Zhang launched the fundraising campaign with a historic gift of $1,000,000 and the overall naming rights.
Diane Thompson, zoo President & CEO says,
“Charles and Lynn share a deep love and respect for wildlife and they understand that meaningful zoo experiences can change the narrative for saving animal species. Their gift is an investment in the preservation of our natural world for which we are very grateful.”
The Charles & Lynn Zhang SkyLark Ridge will be located in the East Zoo across from the Binda Conservation Carousel and will be the largest structure of its kind in the state of Michigan. Initially, the experience will be available to zoo guests, but once complete, the zoo will modify a new, separate entrance for guests to enter SkyLark Ridge as an exclusive experience.
A Binder Park Zoo release states,
“SkyLark Ridge will have a positive impact on the local and state economy. The increase in visitors' stay time in the area will result in additional gas, food, and lodging purchases. It will encourage visitors to explore other attractions, activities, and venues in the region as well. It will also create additional fun, fair-paying seasonal jobs at the zoo. Staff will be hired and trained exclusively to manage SkyLark Ridge and will receive extensive operational and safety instruction.”
The exact opening date for SkyLark Ridge has not yet been announced, but zoo staff expects it should be sometime this summer.