To conserve our planet's water supply, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo employs a number of water-wise strategies.
- Constructed wetlands—The Zoo builds constructed wetlands within new exhibits whenever possible. This enables us to reuse water from exhibit pools, water features and other areas, significantly reducing the demand for new water.
- Drought-tolerant plants—The Zoo's horticulture program emphasizes the use of native, drought-tolerant plant species throughout the Zoo.
- Efficient irrigation—Most areas of the Zoo are irrigated, but these areas only account for about 2% of our water usage. Several different types of irrigation heads enable us to direct water to exactly where it is needed with little waste. Also, by controlling the amount of water put on the ground at one time, we minimize run-off, even on steep mountain slopes.
- Smart watering practices—After their second year, new plants are weaned off of frequent waterings and given periodic deep waterings as recommended by good horticultural practices.
As a side note, the Zoo uses very few chemicals or fertilizers in its program, probably using less in our 70 occupied acres than many homeowners use.