New Natural Landscape Playground at Zoo

Sixty years ago, Robert Kallman—then owner of a thriving nursery and later a county supervisor—played a pivotal role locating the Santa Barbara Zoo in its current location; as an accent note to that accomplishment, Kallman and his family provided key funding for the creation of a new children’s play garden at the zoo, which opens this weekend. The new garden was designed to give kids a more natural landscape on which to frolic rather than a traditional playground jungle gym. By doing so, the thinking is that kids can be encouraged to play in nature rather than on built structures. To this end, designer Amy Pryor included a toddler-appropriate maze only 18 inches high, climbing boulders, a dry artificial creek bed, statues of small animals, and a kid-sized teepee covered in pink Wonga Wonga vines. According to the press release, adult conservationists “almost always had a transcendent experience in nature as children.”

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Crime Rates Down, Youth Arrests Up in Santa Barbara County

A 'high percentage' of misdemeanor citations happen on school campuses.

Will Hollister Ranch Access Deal Hold Up Under Public Scrutiny?

State commissioners are taking a closer look at settlement over beach access to Santa Barbara County gated ...

Faced with a Gun, Sheriff’s Sergeant Holds His Fire

Sgt. Freddy Padilla reflects on potentially life-saving decisions during welfare call.

Quick Response in Large Numbers Held Holiday Fire at Bay

Record heat on July 6 destroyed crops and livestock.

Los Padres Officials Ban Campfires, Firearm Discharge

Temporary measures are enacted during peak fire season.