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Willowbrook Wildlife Center beginning $25 million upgrade

Groundbreaking for new net-zero-designed Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Groundbreaking for new net-zero-designed Willowbrook Wildlife Center 00:25

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A suburban nature center is taking a big leap into the future, kicking off a $25 million project to create a net-zero designed building.

Leaders at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn broke ground on the project on Tuesday.

The project includes a 27,000-square-foot wildlife rehabilitation clinic and visitor center, where visitors will be able to view animals through one-way windows and video monitors as they are examined, treated, in surgery, being fed, and rehabilitated.

The project also includes new animal rehabilitation areas, an outdoor classroom, an interpretive trail with wildlife observation areas, and outdoor activity spaces that demonstrate how to attract and live in harmony with native wildlife.

The net-zero design means the center will make or supply its own energy through renewable resources, for zero carbon emissions.

The center treats injured and orphaned wild animals and teaches a variety of programs.

The new clinic and visitor center are expected to open in mid-2024, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2025.

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