Low Impact Design

Wall made from sand filled bottles
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Gravity culvert to rain tank
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Solar panel structure
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Solar panels
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Solar interactive kiosk
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Water cistern sign
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Bees in the trees
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Composted zoo doo
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Herb garden at zoo school
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross
Sculpture at zoo garden
- Photo Credit: Francesca Gross

The Birmingham Zoo uses several conservation practices called  ‘Low Impact Design.’ This includes a rainwater harvesting system of four tanks around the Junior League Splash Pad area, and an array of 280 solar panels atop the pergola near the splash pad. In addition to generating energy from the sun, the solar panels create a shaded area near the Zudzu Cafe. Alabama Power installed an educational kiosk on the side of the Cafe, where visitors can view how much energy the system is producing.

The Birmingham Zoo recently established the EcoGarden in conjunction with the Trails of Africa Exhibit.  The EcoGarden provides nutrition and enrichment to the zoo’s animal population.  The EcoGarden’s 22 acres at the back of the zoo are used to teach Birmingham City Schools’ 7th Graders participating in a weekly Zoo School about the science of organic gardening and other on-site conservation practices. The outdoor gardenclassroom  teaches children about nutrient cycling through composting of elephant dung, planting vegetables in the garden with the compost, then harvesting and preparing the vegetables to feed to the elephants.