ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo's Honey Bee Garden exhibit has recently received an Award of Merit from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NCASLA) at the society's fall conference in Concord.

Joanna Lelekacs, the landscape designer responsible for the exhibit's site plan, accepted the award for the zoo and the design firm, Swanson & Associates, Carrboro.

The exhibit is designed around a garden setting for the purpose of educating the general public about honey bees and the economic and environmental role these small insects play in the natural and cultivated landscape.

The North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA) was instrumental in establishing this exhibit at the N.C. Zoo as an opportunity to reach large numbers of school
children and the general public. NCSBA not only raised $243,000 for exhibit construction, but also provided resources and volunteers and participated in the design process, providing valuable insights that assisted the designers in creating an inviting space to both educate and be educated about honey bees.

The exhibit, in a natural forested setting in the central part of the zoo, includes a pavilion building with an instructional and programming area for local beekeepers and zoo educators. The exhibit is surrounded by honey-bee food source plants, predominantly those native to North Carolina.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.