Report analyzes equity, incapacity entry at Henry Vilas Zoo, Dane County parks

MADISON Wis. — Dane County has unveiled the success and tips of an unbiased review into how to make the Henry Vilas Zoo and county parks much more equitable and obtainable to all visitors.

The analyze appeared at who is — and who is not — applying the zoo and parks, Lisa MacKinnon, the sustainability and application analysis coordinator for the Business office of the Dane County Board, stated.

When the report arrives just months after the zoo was generating headlines for allegations of racism and animal mistreatment amongst administration, MacKinnon pressured to News 3 Now Tuesday that that is a independent unbiased investigation.

“That began about a week and a 50 percent back,” she reported.

Related: Dane Co. Board approves unbiased investigation into Henry Vilas Zoo

“I listened to that the zoo management and employees are eager to talk to the investigator and they will make results and recommendations I assume when the task is around,” she explained.

The equity evaluation by the outside group Eager Unbiased Analysis outlined nine recommendations immediately after collecting 600 survey responses from stakeholders as properly as visitors. 

A person guest proposed partnering with corporations that work with communities of color but also giving them much more transportation and obtain to parks and the zoo. 

“They affirmed that the zoo and the parks are now accomplishing a whole lot all-around equity and access in conditions of their programming, in terms of their interaction,”’ MacKinnon claimed, “but there was area for even additional revolutionary procedures and improvement and addressing some gaps.”  

The language barrier was also a hole for Dane County residents who may be extra snug with details in Spanish, Hmong, or other languages.  

“Some of those parts of suggestion are far more steady language access systems at parks and zoos,” MacKinnon said, “and that would be all-around communicating in a multilingual fashion far more continuously in newsletters and signage at the zoo and at the parks.”   

To be extra available to men and women with disabilities, the report encouraged much more adaptive devices and signs for much larger slopes or more durable terrain.

“Another suggestion was to companion extra robustly with group companies that provide people today with disabilities,” MacKinnon stated.

It’s also advised to achieve additional men and women with sensory needs,  like headphones or quieter areas at periods.  

“There was some discussion around furnishing badges or buttons to detect for persons who would like to recognize as men and women with sensory sensitivities,” MacKinnon mentioned, “as nicely as buttons for team who are experienced.”  

According to MacKinnon, it’s essential to be certain all communities really feel welcome in recreational places.

The county and the zoo are looking at what action arrives out of the analysis, she added.

Read through the complete report right here.