Updates from Bowyer Farm

Posted November 21, 2023 by Angela Hatke

The Cincinnati Zoo has been dedicated to sustainability and conservation not only on grounds within its Avondale location but at its off-grounds property as well. In 1995, a 529-acre farm called Bowyer Farm was willed to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden with the guideline that it could never be developed unless it is to further the mission of the Zoo.

Since then, the property has grown to 600+ acres, and there are a lot of exciting things happening!

Cutting down pear tree at Bowyer Farm (Photo: Shasta Bray)

Solar Array

There is a lot happening out at the Zoo’s offsite property at Bowyer Farm. The Cincinnati Zoo recently broke ground on a 30 MW solar array on the property. This array spans more than 140 acres of prairie and will be a sheep-grazed landscape. This infrastructure is not only a prime example of mutually beneficial ecosystems but also a massive step to achieve and exceed our Net Zero goals on the Zoo campus to become net positive energy and share the benefits with regional partners and communities.

Tiger Salamander Discovered at Bowyer!

Tiger salamander found at zoo's bowyer farm

Tiger salamanders have a large distribution range; however, they are considered uncommon in Ohio and especially rare in southwest Ohio counties. They are good indicators of a healthy environment because they need good, moist soil to burrow in. But pond disturbance, invasive fish, and road construction threaten the annual population. The Zoo is working hard to keep Bowyer Farm wild and promote biodiversity where it’s needed most. By converting acres of unsuitable land back into wetlands, prairies, and woodland edges, we are continuing to find new species as they move back in from the surrounding fragmented habitats. To date, we have documented 21 reptile and amphibian species on property.