Brookfield Zoo, Hamill Family Nature and Science Plaza


Hamill Family Nature and Science Plaza

Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Brookfield, Illinois

Project Scope

Former home of Baboon Island, the newly developed 1.5 acre Hamill Family Nature Plaza now provides guests with the opportunity to relax in a serene, natural environment. Winding pathways feature opportunities for nature play and education while surrounding an open-sided, three-season pavilion for seasonal chats with Brookfield Zoo staff and Animal Ambassadors. Education programs and private functions such as weddings, receptions and corporate events are held in the evenings.

Guests can also discover nature in the science exploration garden for structured zoo educational programming. A sensory garden full of raised beds helps guests learn about flowers and vegetables that can be planted at home.

Other plaza features include the council ring for structured classes and large gatherings. Finally, the complete renovation of the old Scoops Restaurant has a newly branded Peacock Café and Grill with food options themed around sustainable dining.


Brookfield Zoo
3300 Gold Road
Brookfield, Illinois 60513


Dr. Stuart D. Strahl
President and CEO

Rich Gamble
Chief Operating Officer/
Executive Vice President

Category: Specialty Land Development

Budget: $7,000,000

Featherstone’s team worked with quality, safety, timing and budget in mind. Their efforts transformed the former site into a vibrant location for learning, science exploration, dining and events.

– Rich Gamble
Chief Operating Officer
Executive Vice President