Spend a day exploring a different side of the 102-year-old San Diego Zoo—its green side. Zoo grounds are a living, growing example of San Diego Zoo Global’s commitment to education, awareness, and connecting with other organizations in a global effort to conserve habitat. In this full-day program, we’ll go beyond the Zoo’s world-famous animal collection to explore gardens that have been recognized by the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Collections Network as well as the American Alliance of Museums. Here, the interplay between flora and fauna occurs in ways that many botanical gardens don’t have the opportunity to experience. Learn about the Zoo’s dedicated browse program that grows food for animal diets, addressing vital nutritional needs such as bamboo for the giant pandas and eucalyptus for the koalas, as well as providing behavioral enrichment. Go behind-the-scenes to the nursery where staff propagate threatened orchids, aloes, bamboo, Erythrina, acacia, cycads, Ficus, palms, and Hawaiian native plants.
You’ll have private, special access to the Zoo’s Orchid House—home to more than 3,000 orchid plants from over 900 taxa, including many that are rare or threatened, plus many varieties and cultivars. Highlights include a Botanical Bus Tour through the Zoo and a bountiful buffet lunch. We’ll save some time for you to spend exploring the Zoo on your own, because there’s lots more to see: the newly opened Africa Rocks boasting an African Garden with baobobs, Moringas, aloes, and Alluadia, just to name a few; the largest Erythrina collection in the continental US; one of the most extensive cycad collections in the world; a carnivorous-plant bog garden; historic Fern Canyon; and the largest Ficus watkinsiana in the US. Before departing San Diego, we’ll take a tree tour of Balboa Park’s urban forest, one of the oldest public, recreational parks in the US.
Lunch will be provided on this tour.