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Zoo wins awards for tiger exhibit landscaping

Land of the Tiger
Land of the Tiger

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens walked home with two accolades for its Land of the Tiger exhibit at the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association awards.

The recognitions included Landscape Award of Excellence for a New Public/Institutional Installation and the FNGLA Floriculture Award, which is given to the entry that showcases the most effective use of plant material creating color and texture.

The landscape was designed and planted solely by the Zoo's Horticulture Department.

"The landscape at the Land of the Tiger is designed to immerse our guests in a lush tropical forest, which gradually opens up to an Asian savanna surrounded by towering cliffs" said Bob Chabot, Director of Facilities, Horticulture and Exhibits. "This gave us an opportunity to introduce several new plant species to our collection. We are honored that FNGLA has voted to recognize us once again with these prestigious awards."

The zoo received honors for the Gardens at Trout River Plaza in 2010 and Asian Bamboo Gardens in 2012. Both gardens won Best New Public/Institutional Installation during those years and are popular venues for weddings at the zoo.

The zoo changed its name to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in 2004 and created a botanical garden master plan. The first garden, Savanna Blooms, was planted in 2005 near the Giraffe Overlook.

"We create an atmosphere. An experience. And I think people are appreciating that plants are as important as any single exhibit, any animal" said Tony Vecchio, Executive Director of JZG.