The Chicago Park District is planning to close small zoo in the West Rogers Park neighborhood.
Indian Boundary Park Zoo has been around for nearly 90-years.
Officials want to replace the zoo with a wildlife habitat.
Many neighbors don’t like the new plan. They say the zoo is historic, nostalgic and a gem that draws visitors to West Rogers Park.
Five chickens and a goat are all that remain of the animals in the Indian Boundary Park Zoo, which at one time housed llamas, alpacas, cows and a bear.
The zoo has survived multiple threats of closure over the years.
140 neighbors met Wednesday night to make their strategy to fight the park district’s plan.
The Chicago Park District owns the land and maintains the infrastructure. The animals are in the care of the Lincoln Park Zoo.
“Our feeling is that we don’t need a nature center, because we already have a nature center” said Jennifer Albom of the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council. “We also have a bird sanctuary and we have a lot of wildlife already in the park. This is not a necessity. What we do have, which is extremely special, historic and absolutely unique to this park is our little zoo.”
Park volunteer Michael Oster said, “We were willing to fundraise, and get corporate sponsors. It’s all been met with a hand, ‘no.’ We were flat out told we were no longer in the zoo business.”
The park’s advisory council is planning to march and protest at the zoo on Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Chicago Park District issued a statement saying, ” The Chicago Park District proposes converting the portion of Indian Boundary park that houses the zoo into an interactive nature center featuring native plantings designed to attract a variety of wildlife. This proposal will revitalize that portion of the park, bring the concept of a neighborhood zoo into a modern context, and save taxpayer dollars in the process. The animals currently onsite will be relocated to Lincoln Park Zoo.”