INNISFAIL – Discovery Wildlife Park has been approved for a significant development upgrade that will include two new cabins for its campground.
At council’s Jan. 22 regular meeting a development permit application from the zoo was presented and approved for the construction of a new washroom facility and holding tank, a new registration building at the entrance of the campground, a new water well near the campground and two cabins in the campground area.
Doug Bos, co-owner of the zoo, said the investment for the new amenities is worth about $120,000. He said construction will begin immediately, with the new facilities up and running when the zoo opens for the season this spring. Bos, who is a town councillor, recused himself from council’s discussion on the zoo application.
The park’s report said the intent of the new washroom facility and holding tank north of the main park building is to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the zoo, including those coming on bus tours. He said the new washroom will have six women’s and three men’s stalls along with four urinals.
He said the idea for the two new cabins, which won’t be serviced, is to round out the park’s "camping opportunities” by attracting more visitors from large urban centres.
"Many people who live in the cities don’t have tenting gear or anything,” said Bos outside of council on Jan. 22. "Last summer we had a number of tenters there that when the wind came up it blew their tents away, so now they can move into a cabin.”
The report presented to council said the new registration building will function as a small store and office.
As for the new water well, it was noted in the administration report that the zoo is currently serviced by private water, and the additional well will support park operations. The report also noted the best location for the zoo’s new well has not yet been identified by a water well driller, but once that is done the park must notify the town.
The park will also need to secure a water well licence as required by provincial requirements, said the report to council.
Doug Bos, co-owner of Discovery Wildlife Park"Last summer we had a number of tenters there that when the wind came up it blew their tents away, so now they can move into a cabin."