LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An expansion project at the Louisville Zoo received a financial boost from the state. 

Twenty undeveloped acres at Louisville Zoo will be transformed into the Kentucky Trails Habitat. 

What You Need To Know

  • Louisville Zoo is expanding with a new exhibit

  • The Kentucky Trails will highlight the state’s natural wild heritage

  • Point 3 goes hereThe state’s general assembly invested $10 million to the project

  • Construction will start once a majority of the funding is secured

The habitat will celebrate the natural wild heritage of Kentucky. 

It’s a project Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams is excited to support.  

“It’s just going to be an incredible cultural awakening,” says Raque Adams. “Louisville struggled, our communities have struggled with the pandemic and schools closing in, so we really made a deliberate decision when we were putting the budget together this time that we need to fund projects that build up communities.”

The Kentucky general assembly invested $10 million to help make it possible. 

Senate President Robert Stivers says they could do so with excess income from being disciplined.  

“Because of that and the surge of federal dollars that came in, we were fortunate to have a strong budget to where we are able to budget items into areas that will make a difference,” says Stivers. 

Kentucky Trails will have native Kentucky wildlife like bison, elk, turkeys and cranes. 

The Upland South Safari experience will also include restaurants, paddleboats on the lake, and a local bourbon experience. 

“It allows the city and the country to bridge each other’s kind of spectrums and spheres of influence,” says Stivers. 

Construction of the $30 million project will start once two-thirds of the funding is secured. 

“The first $15 million is there from the cities. Five from the city, 10 from the state and hopefully the community and the foundations here will step up quickly with the other money so it can get underway,” says Stivers. 

Stivers believes the project is building a better community.  

“For Kentucky to be strong, Louisville has to be strong, and this is part of the strength of this city, this county, and this state,” says Stivers. 

The Kentucky trails could be open to the public as soon as 2025.