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Future of Fejevary Zoo. Parks Budget requested additional funds full time curator for Fejervary Zoo Budget was cut $20,000 Council asked for more direction Alderman at Large Ian Frink was charged with compiling a task force to provided a recommendation .

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future of fejevary zoo
Future of Fejevary Zoo
  • Parks Budget requested additional funds
    • full time curator for Fejervary Zoo
    • Budget was cut $20,000
  • Council asked for more direction
  • Alderman at Large Ian Frink was charged with compiling a task force to provided a recommendation
fejervary park
Fejervary Park
  • Zoo is just 5 acres of the total park
  • All 75 acres -- focus of the task force attention
  • Includes Aquatic Park
  • Park area with playground and shelter
  • Former Davenport Museum of Art (vacant)
  • Putnam Museum
  • IMAX
  • Parks Administration Building

Fejevary Task Force Composed of Aldermen, Parks Staff, Park and Recreation Advisory Board Members, Fejervary Park neighbors, Naibi Zoo Director and Community Leaders

  • Professor Dan Ebener, Saint Ambrose University, facilitator
  • Alderman Ian Frink, Alderman at Large, Finance Committee Chairman
  • Alderman Bill Boom, Third Ward Alderman
  • Mark Nelson, Chairman, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • Mike Orfitelli, Member, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • Kelly Willet, Member, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
  • George Nickolas, Chairman, Fejervary Zoological Society
  • Paul Janecek, Vice Chairman, Fejervary Zoological Society
  • Dale Major, Park Manager, Supervisor Fejervary Park
  • Tom Stalf, Niabi Zoo Staff
  • Betsy Brandsgard, Fejervary Park Neighbor and Davenport One
  • Paul Vasquez, Fejervary Park Neighbor
  • Kim Findlay, Putnam Museum Director
  • Whitney Moon, Putnam Museum Board of Trustees
  • Frank Clark, Putnam Museum Board of Trustees
task force process
Task Force Process
  • Zoo Tours were set up
    • Task Force Members
    • Parks and Advisory Board Members
    • Council Members
  • Task Force’s Initial was meeting prior to Public Meeting on March 27, 2008
  • Three subsequent meetings
    • April 3, April 15 and 24.
critical issues considered
Critical Issues Considered

Immediate Issues

  • ADA Compliance
    • Restrooms and access to “lower bowl” zoo exhibits.
  • Department of Agricultural Compliance
    • Animal welfare and human safety issues.
  • Cost to Repair/Repurpose Existing Facility
  • Adequate Staffing to Insure Success

Long Term Issues

  • Multi-year Plan and Long Term Commitment
    • Noted the historical lack of political commitment from City.
  • Availability of Private Funding,
    • including Corporate Sponsorships and Philanthropic Grants
  • Refocusing Fejervary Zoological Society
  • Availability of Community Partnerships
march 27 th public meeting
March 27th Public Meeting
  • Public meeting was held and attended by roughly 120 citizens.
  • Small group idea generating process was used
  • Major Themes present by groups (distilled from 24+ items)
    • Education
    • Interactive/Children/Animals/Putnam,
    • Collaboration – Zoo/Imax/Putnam,
    • Animal Component (Welfare of animals)
    • Improved Marketing
    • Child Related
    • History
task force identified solutions
Combo Ticket for the “Hill” for whole day of activities

Native Center:

Animals (not sure of which ones)


Child Interactive


No “Zoo” name

Marketing “Hill” together

Fix What’s Broken

Address ADA Compliance

Address Restrooms

Shore Up Wall (crumbling)

Eliminate Existing Animals

Contract with private vendor to provide animal encounters Animals (not sure of which ones)


Gets more animals here

Install a Ferris Wheel as iconic feature attraction, revenue generator

Build a signature animal display, Eagles, River Otters

Partnership with Putnam

Education Center, Classroom, Bathroom, Storage, Concessions, etc.

Animal Themed Playground

Winter Venue

Animals (mix of farm and other)

Market Driven

Synergy with Education Center, Putnam, Animals, Playground, Winter

Task Force Identified Solutions
distilled ideas into 6 areas
Distilled Ideas into 6 Areas
  • Educational Opportunities
  • The “Hill” as a Destination
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Recreational Opportunities
  • Public Safety
  • Animal Component
task force priority rankings
Task Force Priority Rankings

Task force ranked input from prior meetings

1-6 priority scale (1 highest priority/ 6 Lowest of top six)

  • Educational Opportunities – 2.7
  • The “Hill” as a Destination – 2.8
  • Fiscal Responsibility – 3.5
  • Recreational Opportunities – 3.8
  • Public Safety – 4.4
  • Animal Component – 4.8
what kind of animal component is envisioned
Themed park, geared toward younger children, farm animals, interactive, touching, small, docile animals

Domestic animals can be more than farm animals

Opportunities to encounter/touch animals

Sub-contract with animal exhibitor, supplement with animal themed play equipment, other small, low risk animals/attractions

Need for icon, draw; keep current cats; petting zoo not a “draw”

River otters, eagles, small docile, interactive with young children

Signature exhibit; eagles, otters, exhibits entertaining for all ages; wrap around with static component

Eagles, history, conservation

Animal themed play equipment, complimenting exhibits


Maximize current capabilities- what we have, what we are doing; pull in plants, animals

Compliment, do not compete with current Putnam Environmental Education program

Outdoor, year around opportunities

“What kind of animal component is envisioned?”
gathered additional information
Gathered Additional Information
  • Quantify “financial” issues

ADA Compliance

USDA Compliance

Repair of cracked wall

  • Interview/question animal contractor
  • Grant funding availability
  • A committed “friends” group to raise funds
  • Cost to demolish/repurpose
  • Costs/availability of animal themed equipment
  • Other facilities within region with similar mission
13 of 14 members of the task force agreed that a live animal component at Fejervary should not be owned and operated by the City.
task force recommendations
Task Force Recommendations
  • Contract for petting zoo and other animals; end city’s ownership of animals.
  • Pursue ADA compliance, including restrooms that will serve the entire park and future park development.
  • Develop, in active cooperation with the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science, plans for an eco-centered, animal themed, educational focused facility that creates a destination on the “Hill.”
  • Begin this transition immediately by contracting with local petting zoo; commence environmental programming in June; initiate a search for homes for the current animal collection by the end of the season
  • Meet with the city’s design staff and form development plans

Possibilities of Fejervary Park Area: Nature Learning, Animal Themed Playground, Tie in to Green City Program, Putnam Museum

possibilities of fejervary area
Possibilities of Fejervary Area
  • Interactive and Educational Playground
  • Marketing Partnerships

(Putnam/IMAX, Fejervary Pool and Zoo, other City facilities)

  • Eco-Park

(Green Initiatives, Interactive Environmental Education)

  • Redevelop Park Roads and Parking Lots
  • Winter Experience
  • Frisbee Golf Course

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board unanimously approved the following recommendation to the Davenport City Council:

That funding be provided to ensure professional management

(i.e. a full time curator) for a minimum of three years

with the following conditions:

  • Zoo attendance and park use be continually monitored
  • A strategic plan be developed for the park and zoo
  • A focused zoological society is made responsible for raising a minimum of twenty-five percent of the operating budget in addition to assistance with capital fundraising