The rainforest exhibit reopened last Monday after being closed for two weeks for maintanence. Although guests could not enter the dome, they could look through the glass at any time during the day and see staff and volunteers hard at work doing a various range projects that can’t normally get done when the rainforest is open to guests.
During the first morning of the closure, supplies were immediately brought in so the biologists could get right to work. Everyone had big plans for their respective sections. In the picture below, you can see the abundance of plants waiting to be secured in their new home.
The plant collection grew signficantly. Biologists added plants to the ground level, as well as to the trees and walls. They also created a whole new living wall on the Costa Rica level! This process takes a lot of time because the horticulturists had to secure moss on the wall before adding each individual plant. It looks great!
In order to keep the smaller plants safe on the ground, the horticulturists made paths so that the other biologists wouldn’t accidentally step on anything. The paths look very natural and makes it much easier to get around.
Herpetologists also added plants to their terrariums as they cleaned and rearranged exhibits. Almost every exhibit looks a little different with the new plants, substrate and even some new animals! Here is a picture of a volunteer cleaning out one of the Costa Rica exhibits:
The biologists were not the only ones working hard. Electricians, engineers and contractors came to help on different projects. One of the more difficult activities was replacing the old and cracked glass panes that make up the outside of the dome. Everyone had to work together to make sure no butterflies or curious birds escaped. You can see the netting that was put over the top of the hole just in case one of the free flying critters did manage to sneak through.
The closure was an all around success. It allowed everyone to complete some lingering projects that needed to get done in order to keep the rainforest healthy.
You just got a small taste of what you can expect when you visit. Come check out the difference and see what you think in person!!