Saturday, February 5, 2011

Portland City Club discusses the Portland Zoological Gardens in 1976

Today's trip  with Mr. Soden to the Oregon Zoo, formerly the Portland Zoological Gardens, spawned this interesting history dig of documents.

While funding the zoo has always been a dubious venture, I doubt that I have ever come across a document that ever questioned the validity of this institution quite as much as this sixteen pager. However, there is a certain wry comedy about their criticisms of this long-standing organization. However, whatever your opinion of The City Club of Portland may be, take the time to read some of these short excerpts (I shall save you from having to read the whole document), and consider how the zoo has changed over the years.

While the Oregon Zoo, as with many other institutions of its kind, have turned to conservation practices instead of pure entertainment, the idea of pony rides seems like it would have a hell of a lot of fun. And elephant rides? Dear lord, I would have loved to have had that opportunity. Alas, those days are long gone. I vaguely remember the interactive lighted panel/food game that was seemingly criticized and praised by this committee. Needless to say that this was gone by the mid-eighties.

My trip today brought back some nostalgic thoughts of the old zoo. Gone is the Tundra exhibit. No more lemming counts, musk ox, and pictures of ice age life. Also gone is the children's zoo where you could pet pygmy goats and see bunnies. And there aren't any tapirs. No damned tapirs. But the zoo is still wonderful. Even better, I must say. even at the cost of a tapir in a fence. This is what we call progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment