I wholeheartedly agree with Monday's letter to the editor "County must fix zoo parking area," which held that something needs to be done to repair the badly deteriorated road and parking area by the Lake Wingra entrance to Vilas Park Zoo.
But Dane County is not about to do so.
Though the county is responsible for zoo operations, the streets and parking areas surrounding the zoo are maintained by the city of Madison. If the county wanted to improve these, it would have to work with the appropriate city agencies. Wouldn’t it be nice if an independent advocacy organization would coordinate such a project and raise the funds needed to finance it?
But wait, there was.
It was called the Henry Vilas Zoological Society, and for over a century it worked to support zoo operations through its advocacy, community outreach and fundraising. At the end of March, the county executive chose to evict the society, and its good work was abandoned.
The zoo has always been one of our community’s greatest assets. But with the county’s plans to convert the Alliant Energy Center grounds into a regional conference facility, and with the city dealing with its failing municipal golf courses, I don’t know who’s going to come forward with the energy, commitment and financial resources to support the ongoing needs of our zoo. Any suggestions?
Warren J. Gordon, Madison