Edmonton Valley Zoo Conservation Carousel
A rare piece of history spins in our city and your kids can get in on the fun. Bonus – it’s all in support of animal conservation! The Conservation Carousel at the Edmonton Valley Zoo is an incredible piece of art, an incredible story and an incredible opportunity! It is one of just two working original Herschel Spillman carousels in the world! (The other is in the Herschel Spillman museum!) The carousel, which dates back to 1959, re-opened in Fall of 2022 after years of remarkable renovation work.
The incredible re-creation
Since 2017 volunteers from Fort Edmonton Park’s woodcarving group have been hand-carving wooden animals, along with two chariots. (One of the carousel’s chariots is removable to allow wheelchair access.) The level of detail on each carving is incredible! A mother owl with two babies, a stick of wood in the beaver’s mouth, and a little seal on the back of the polar bear, to name a few. Carvers have spent thousands of hours creating 20 new critter seats, plus a few spares. The animals aren’t the only part of the carousel that has been refurbished. The ride has new decorative panels and decking. Its mechanical, electrical, light and sound systems have been upgraded too. The carousel currently sits inside a temporary building up on the hill near the Arctic Shores play area. It will eventually move to a permanent home with the Zoo’s “Nature’s Wild Backyard” expansion.
Supporting animal conservation
Each of the carousel animals represents an endangered animal that calls the Valley Zoo home. Rides on the carousel are available by donation and all proceeds will be donated to conservation programs supported by the Valley Zoo. Supporters may also purchase Conservation Carousel colouring books or smaller versions of the animal carvings at the Zoo-tique store. Monetary donations to the zoo, the carousel project, and conservation programs are also accepted. The Conservation Carousel will be open during the 2022 Zoominescence festival. It will also be open daily once the Zoo resumes regular hours in the New Year. Riders must be below 54 inches and 50 lbs.
The Conservation Carousel
–LEARN MORE: on the Valley Zoo Development Society’s website
We think that a visit to the Edmonton Valley Zoo isn’t complete without checking out this awesome Edmonton Playground – don’t miss the incredible Howling Coyote Playground in Laurier Park!