At Camp Prairie Schooner's new Aquatic Center in KCMO, our goal was to create a naturalistic climbing experience that would excite and challenge campers for years to come! The main attraction, an enormous, themed concrete boulder features a carved climb-able face which users can swim up to (one at a time) and free climb, without the use of ropes or harnesses. Once to the top of the wall (or as far up as they can get) users fall or jump back into the water, ensuring a safe yet challenging climbing experience. The camp's new Aquatic Center, which also features a naturalistic splash pad and several other themed concrete edge boulders is open to campers as of Summer 2019!
Hey everyone, we have been working on something brand new to us at our workshop this past week. As many of you know we build exhibits for zoos as well as natural swimming pools. We have been working at the Kansas City Zoo, and our most recent addition was installing a sun shade for Cairo the Hippo.
With this shade we also happened to take on the biggest sewing project in Total Habitat history. Over a hundred pins, 5 broken needles, and hundreds of feet of thread later we came out with a huge, beautiful, completed sun shade! With the added bonus of several of our employees getting to brush up on their sewing skills.
For more photos of this project check out our Instagram or Facebook page.
Matt for scale ^
^ Sophia the lead seamstress
At Wolf Park in Indiana, we are currently building a metal hoop house style structure to serve as the Grey Fox exhibit! The large metal hoop house framework will be covered with a netted grid wire and will feature a wooden vestibule (see the concept rendering above left). The pergola-style entry will have a double door system which will allow visitors to safely enter the enclosure without letting the foxes out.
The featured space, aptly named Grey Haven, will give visitors the opportunity to get up close with the fox ambassadors of the Wolf Park. Wolf Park is an education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana that specializes in the study of wild canid (dog) family species such as wolves, foxes, and coyotes.
The Total Habitat team onsite will, after taking a safety course, get to meet a wolf ambassador (the most socialized & trained of the wolves) up close and will hopefully get a “face greet” -- meaning a wolf will lick your face if they like you!
Check out the Wolf Park website to learn more about their research here
To do your part for the planet this Earth Day check out your local government and parks and recreation department for volunteer clean-up opportunities, or check out the earth day website to find out more what Earth Day means and how you can help with even small efforts. If you are local to the Kansas City area like us, check out Friends of the Kaw or Bridging the Gap for volunteer or donation opportunities!
One of our primary missions at Total Habitat is to inspire the next generation of nature lovers by creating authentically natural experiences that educate and challenge. We provide design, construction and consultation services to camps and retreats nationwide. We will work tirelessly to create that memorable, challenging and authentically natural experience for your campers; inspiring continued patronage and countless social media shares!
Inspired By Nature
As a Total Habitat designer, I get asked all the time, "what exactly do you do?" It seems like a simple question, but sometimes it can be surprisingly difficult to answer. I have thought about this a lot and have realized that though every new project we take on is completely unique and full of its own special challenges and opportunities, the one constant connecting everything we do, is nature.
Every space and experience we create, whether its a Natural Swimming Pool/Pond, an animal habitat, a public water feature, a climbing wall or artificial boulder, is in some way inspired by nature: In our projects, we often use natural materials (like wood, stone and plants), we mimic nature's own processes (especially when it comes to water cleaning and filtration), or we create things that just look natural (like waterfalls or our artificial boulders and climbing walls). No matter what new and exciting project we take on next, we will continue to take our cues from nature, and create memorable, authentically natural spaces and experiences.
We're so excited to find out what's next: Contact us today to get started with your project!
If you are looking to create an experience like none other for your retreat, camp or home, look no further than Total Habitat for chemical-free Natural Swimming Pool/Ponds and custom artificial rockwork! This epic jumping boulder features a stairway and waterslide, carved directly into the artificial rock: The play (and photo) opportunities are endless!
Reminiscent of a nautilus shell, this pool design features an underwater pebble pathway which spirals down into the circular swimming area. This pebble beach path (shown on the left below) is bordered by a mossy sandstone rock bubbler and a trio of "floating" stepping boulders.
This circular, 25,000 gallon Natural Swimming Pool is approximately 30ft overall with a 25ft x 20ft swimming area. Constructed of dry-stacked sandstone, this pool features a built-in biological filtration system, which keeps the water clean and clear without chemicals. This nautilus inspired pool can be built in 3-4 weeks for $70-75,000!
Ever stroll around a zoo and wonder who makes all this stuff?: The answer is we do! The goal of zoo exhibit design is to immerse visitors in the animal's natural habitat while still catering to the needs of the animal and its keeper. Each animal has special requirements, which can include major exhibit features like caves, streams or pools, dens, hollow logs, jungle gyms, etc., as well as things like special lighting or temperature regulators. For example, these small reptile enclosures, which we created for geckos at the Micke Grove Zoo, include integrated lighting and hidden keeper access doors. These museum-quality, hand-sculpted enclosures were themed (masterfully carved and painted by Allan) to look just like the geckos' natural habitat! Below is a glimpse into our process from concept drawing to finished product:
Top Left: Initial enclosure concept rendering Bottom Left: During construction Right: Finished gecko enclosure
Left: Enclosure in progress Right: Finished gecko enclosure
Total Habitat is proud to share this spectacular backyard transformation! We designed and built this space for a very special client who grew up swimming in a Total Habitat Natural Swimming Pool/Pond and is now ready for one of her own! This custom backyard oasis features three terraces, 200 linear feet of stacked stone retaining walls, steps made from local limestone slabs, an upper origin pool with waterfall and 80-foot long stream! The centerpiece of the space is a 95,000 gallon chemical-free swimming pond, featuring our signature crystal-clear clean water and built-in biological filtration system.
Check out the full video HERE
Check back with us each month for tips, new project pics, news, and more, here on our Total Blog!