September 15, 2008

Maryland Zoo Accredited After Improvements

Officials at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore say the tourist site has gained national accreditation thanks to a series of on-site infrastructure improvements.

Zoo President Donald Hutchinson said while the zoo was given the accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, that doesn't mean zoo officials shouldn't continue to strive to make on-site improvements, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

"One of the bittersweet things that happen when you have a success like this is that sometimes it lets people breathe too easily," Hutchinson told the newspaper. "Part of my job is not to let anyone involved with the zoo to breathe easily. There is still so much more to do."

Hutchinson's comments come after zoo officials worked for a year on making improvements to The Maryland Zoo to help the 132-year-old facility meet accreditation standards.

Included in the improvements were raises for the site's staff members and achieving a line of credit that would allow the zoo to avoid defaulting on vendors and prevent employee layoffs.

The Sun said a $1 million water drainage project is also on the zoo's agenda, along with additional renovation projects to various on-site locations.