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Review underway for Phase II of Africa at Audubon Zoo and Improvements to Woldenberg Riverfront Park

Audubon Nature Institute submitted a request Thursday to the New Orleans City Planning Commission for $8 million in capital funding for two projects: infrastructure upgrades for Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Phase II construction on a new Africa exhibit at Audubon Zoo.

Following a staff review, the funding requests from the city’s Capital Budget must be approved by the Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council.

Audubon is seeking $5 million for the Africa exhibit. A $5 million private donation is already in hand for the project’s first phase which is currently under design. Click here to read more about Phase I.

Phase II will expand the number of animals cared for at Audubon Zoo to better present an African ecosystem.

Audubon also is seeking $3 million for the Woldenberg Riverfront Park improvements designed to better support festivals and other events regularly staged in the park. Audubon plans to raise a matching $3 million from private donors for the Woldenberg project.

A request for $10 million in capital funding submitted to the planning commission by Audubon last year to unite linear parks along the Mississippi River from Crescent Park to the Morial Convention Center has been withdrawn.

“The Riverfront development request is from last year and has been removed from the 2018 request because the city is addressing riverfront development through other avenues,’’ said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “The total requested amount came from both Audubon and non-Audubon projects.’’

Audubon welcomes public input on all its projects. Comments can be sent to

The next meeting of the Audubon Commission is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, July 27 in the President's Room at Audubon Zoo.

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.