Hattiesburg Zoo gives new details on water park expansion

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Residents in Hattiesburg will soon start to see construction at Kamper Park as the zoo expands to include a water park.

The new attraction, Serengeti Springs, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

Hattiesburg Convention Commission Executive Director Rick Taylor said the plans for the expansion have been in the works for about two years.

“We have been talking with city council members, and of course, our commission, and the biggest thing is we recognized our splash pad was standing room only,” Taylor said. “With kids standing in a splash pad is not what they like. They like to move around a little bit, and from that evolved the opportunity to put in a water park, to incorporate it into the zoo.”

With the increase in traffic flow on Hardy street and Park Avenue, Taylor said there are also construction plans for easier road access.

“We are going to be working with this street, Park Avenue, putting a turn lane in,” Taylor said. “We are working with the city with traffic flow. We don’t think there is going to be issues in the east-west traffic, but obviously, getting in and out of this site, that turn lane will help substantially.”

The construction of the newest attraction will include underground water tanks, which will be used to support the water at the park, including the 150,000-gallon lazy river and the 800-gallon water dump bucket.

“A lot of people ask how much water is it going to take,” Taylor said. “Actually, the only real daily water issue will be evaporation. So water will go in the tanks, it will be treated, and then it will be recycled back onto the apparatus into the big giant buckets that we will dump onto the children. It’s going to be very efficient, as well as very safe, very clean. This site has been a place for the kids in the community to run and play, burn off some energy, and enjoy life here in Hattiesburg.”

Serengeti Springs will have areas that will be accessible to guests of all mobility levels.

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Marissa McCardell

Marissa McCardell

Marissa was born and raised in Clovis, CA. Growing up as a child, she remembers watching the evening news every night with her parents, which introduced her love for broadcast journalism.