• Pool Type Outdoor 25-Meter, Outdoor Leisure
  • Project Type Parks & Recreation
  • Project Service Design Services, Feasibility Study
  • StatusCompleted 2014
  • ArchitectFGM Architects


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Aquatic Zoo

Mt. Vernon, IL

Aquatic Zoo - Mt. Vernon Aquatic Zoo - Mt. Vernon Mt. Vernon, IL (3)The safari-themed Aquatic Zoo represents the city’s long-time desire to develop a unique aquatic experience in southern Illinois. The facility is themed around a zoo atmosphere reflecting the recently-closed city zoo, which was precious to many in the Mt. Vernon area; and therefore, the “aquatic zoo” was born.

The waterpark evolved from public ideas, studies, and numerous planning hours. Multiple bodies of water, such as a lap pool and zero-depth entry leisure pool with engaging activities, were built not only for Mt. Vernon residents, but for the entire region.

Supporting the theme is the park’s mascot, Leo the Lion, a drinking fountain and longtime “resident” of the city’s Veterans Park. Leo is back-dropped by interactive animal spray features, water geysers, fountains, an alligator walk suspended between two trees, two spiral waterslides that empty into a lazy river, and numerous landscaped areas that allow childlike fantasies to emerge in a jungle of grasses, flowers and trees.

The new 17,000 sq. ft. aquatic center features:

3,500 sq. ft. Competition Pool

  • Six 25-yard lap lanes with starting blocks
  • One and three-meter springboards
  • Stair entry

7,500 sq. ft. Leisure Pool

  • Lazy river
  • 30-foot tall “Jungle Chute” body slide
  • 266-ft. “Tropical Cyclone” dual-rider tube slide

3,600 sq. ft. “Rain Forest” Sprayground

  • Safari-themed play structure and spray features
  • Ground sprays
  • Audio-equipped animal spray features


‘Outstanding Facility and Park’ Award, Illinois Park and Recreation Association

CPO Training

Counsilman-Hunsaker provided a site-specific systems and operations training following the nationally recognized guidelines of the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) Certified Pool/Spa Operators course.  This course emphasized and concentrated on systems and procedures to be used at the Aquatic Zoo.