Commonwealth of Kentucky
Senate Majority Caucus

For Immediate Release
September 22, 2022
Release # 09-018

Contact: Angela Billings
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 Contact:  Kyle Shepherd
(O) 502-238-5331 (C) 502-744-5639   


FRANKFORT, KY (September 22, 2022) — Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, celebrated the $10 million in one-time funds the General Assembly invested to construct the Kentucky Trails Habitat at the Louisville Zoo today. Both were joined by Louisville Zoo Executive Director Dan Maloney and Louisville Zoo Foundation Chair Sheryl Snyder. City representatives on hand to express their appreciation to the General Assembly included Mayor Greg Fisher and Louisville Metro Councilman Anthony Piagentini.

“We are especially appreciative of President Stivers’ and Senator Raque Adams’ championship of this landmark appropriation. We are extremely grateful to all of our friends in the General Assembly for this incredible first step to making Kentucky Trails a reality!” Maloney said. “We look forward to working with all our supporters to see this project to completion for the sake of our wildlife and wild places. All species are interesting, and all creatures have their unique stories. We are so excited to showcase our region’s wildlife and to inspire our guests to cherish and protect America’s amazing animals.”

This line item is a first for the Louisville Zoo. The habitat it will help fund will celebrate the wild and cultural heritages of Kentucky and for the first time will feature, large herds of bison and elk, flocks of turkeys and cranes, an “Upland South Safari” experience, a Rickhouse Hall restaurant for guests and catered evening events, paddle boats on the lake, local bourbonism and a bison encounter.

“Our exposure to the outdoors enriches our lives and this safari experience will bring our state’s natural history and these amazing animals to families and children from all over the state and around the world right here in Louisville,” said Adams. “Animals bring laughter and joy to our lives and I’m excited for the education and learning that will take place in such a fun and informative way.”

“This is an unprecedented state appropriation for habitat design and development for the Louisville Zoo, and we are extremely thankful to the General Assembly for their support,” said Snyder. “Families from all 120 Kentucky counties and tourists from across the United States visit the Zoo each year. With Kentucky Trails, these same families will be able to learn more about our native wildlife and natural heritage while visiting the #1 non-profit, paid-admission attraction in the state.”

“This is a fine example of how a non-profit organization fuels the economy and the whole state benefits from it,” said Stivers. “This one-time allocation demonstrates the General Assembly’s commitment to investing in programs that reflect the natural treasure that will educate thousands of Kentucky residents and draw tourists to the commonwealth, fueling our economy and lifting our state up even more.”

Piagentini, representing District 19 on the Louisville Metro Council, echoed Stivers’ sentiments.

“The Louisville Zoo is a catalyst for learning, tourism and recreation. Every year, tens of thousands of students visit our state’s zoo to learn about the importance of protecting animals and their habitats,” Piagentini said. “The future Kentucky Wildlife exhibit will help further the connection of our zoo to the people of Kentucky and will draw even more visitors when it is opened in the coming years.”

The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


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Senator Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, represents Kentucky’s 36th Senate District in eastern Jefferson County. She is the Senate Majority Caucus Chair. Adams serves as the co-chair of the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee. She also serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Health and Welfare, Banking and Insurance, Licensing and Occupations, the Rules Committee, and the Committee on Committees. She was recently appointed to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Organizational Structure, Operations and Administration Task Force for the 2022 Interim. Additionally, Adams is a member of the Legislative Research Commission; the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee, and the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.

 For a high-resolution .jpeg of Raque Adams, please visit:  

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, represents the 25th District, including Clay, Jackson, Knox, McCreary, Owsley, and Whitley Counties. He serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Committees and the Rules Committee. President Stivers is also co-chair of the Legislative Research Commission Committee. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Education and Judiciary, and was most recently appointed as co-chair to the Bourbon Barrel Taxation Task Force during the 2022 Interim.

For a high-resolution .jpeg of President Stivers, please visit: