American Prairie Exhibit Named at Henry Vilas Zoo
May 19, 2006
Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced a $1.4 million donation to the Dane County Henry Vilas Zoo from George A. Fait for the new prairie exhibit at the Zoo. The exhibit is being named the “George A. Fait North American Prairie” in honor of Mr. Fait’s $1.4 million donation to the zoo.
Mr. Fait has a 20-year history of donations to the zoo, and his generosity has helped the Rezoovenation project and the ten-year improvement project between 1990 and 2000. Mr. Fait's Children: Joel Fait, Diane Zilner and Leslie Farmer stated, “the entire Fait Family is very pleased to continue our involvement with Henry Vilas Zoo, we are all excited that this investment could be so significant.”
“Thanks to Mr. Fait’s incredible generosity, families in Dane County will be able to see bison, prairie dogs and badgers in a naturalized setting,” said Falk. “We are so appreciative of this wonderful gift.”
The exhibit is located on the Zoo’s south boundary adjacent to Wingra Drive and will exhibit bison, badger and prairie dogs in a naturalized exhibit with an elevated visitor viewing deck. It also includes a rain garden and prairie plants.
“We are truly grateful to Mr. Fait and his entire family. This gift is inspiring to all who love the Henry Vilas Zoo, and it will undoubtedly help us transform our free Zoo,” said Zoological Society Board President Keith Oleson.
The exhibit was paid for exclusively by funds raised by the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society, and no County levy was used.
A resolution accepting Mr. Fait’s donation and the naming of the exhibit will be introduced to the County Board at its meeting on Thursday, May 18.
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