SALUTE TO KEVIN J. BELL AND THE LINCOLN PARK ZOO
WHEREAS, Kevin J. Bell, is celebrating two decades as president and chief executive officer of this city’s iconic Lincoln Park Zoo; and
WHEREAS, Kevin Bell, a New York native, was raised on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo where his father was curator of birds. He graduated from Syracuse University and, following in his father’s footsteps, began his career in 1976 as a curator of birds for Lincoln Park Zoo at the age of 23, the youngest curator in the zoo’s history. In 1993, he was appointed as the zoo’s director. After the zoo was privatized in 1995, Kevin was also named President and CEO of the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, that now manage and operate the historic facility; and
WHEREAS, Kevin Bell is a noted trendsetter within the zoological community. He has led the Lincoln Park Zoo’s $125 million capital campaign that created new state-of-the-art, award-winning animal habitats and developed an endowment to secure the zoo for the future generations. He has overseen the creation of one of the leading zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country; and
WHEREAS, Kevin Bell was recently elected to the prestigious council of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums at their annual meeting in Prague. He is one of three U. S. representatives on their nine-member council; and
WHEREAS, The Lincoln Park Zoo began with the donation of a pair of swans from New York’s Central Park in the summer of 1868, making it one of the oldest and most historic zoos in the nation. By 1872, the collection had grown to include a wide assortment of animals from buffalo, wolves, eagles and a bear, to peacocks and prairie dogs; and
WHEREAS, By1900, Lincoln Park Zoo had one of the largest collections of animals in the nation. Since that time many of the architecturally and historically significant buildings still stand on zoo grounds but their interiors have been renovated to provide modern, naturalistic and state-of-the-art animal habitats; and
WHEREAS, Kevin Bell has continued to improve the habitat conditions that were dramatically transformed in the 1970s and 1980s, with the additions of many new and more natural exhibits. He oversees the care of a wide variety of species, almost 1,250 animals. His recent undertaking, the creation of the Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation and Collaboration and Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, a $12 million ecological pond restoration effort, has been designed to create a natural ecosystem in Lincoln Park’s adjacent South Pond area; and
WHEREAS, The Honorable Michele Smith, Alderman of the 43rd Ward has apprised this august body of Kevin J. Bell’s noteworthy and significant milestone; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and members of the City Council of the City of Chicago gathered here this 5th Day of June 2013 A.D., do hereby salute Kevin J. Bell for his aggregated 37 years of remarkable civic contribution of leadership in conservation, science and education at the Lincoln Park Zoo and express our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the citizens of this city who are among the zoo’s estimated 3.5 million visitors annually.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be prepared and presented to Kevin J. Bell.
Alderman - 43rd Ward
The Bell Curve
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See Lincoln Park Zoo's proud history, from the first gift of a pair of swans in 1868 to our current status as a global leader in wildlife conservation and care.