The unique pheasant exhibit at Kewaunee County’s Bruemmer Park Zoo is closer to reality with the County Board’s decision this week to match a $100,000 gift from a Bruemmer family member.

The board voted 18-1 to accept Steve Bruemmer’s donation and approve the expenditure, which is also to be matched by the Kewaunee County Zoological Society to fund the $300,000 exhibit, expected to have eight to 12 enclosures that feature a wide variety of pheasant species from across the Midwest. Supervisor Doak Baker cast the only dissenting vote.

Brad Coenen, treasurer of the Zoological Society, said the group has about $78,000 banked and is confident it will be able to raise the remaining dollars. Groundbreaking is expected later this year.

“This is the next big thing for the park to bring us back to where we should be,” Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers said.

Steve Bruemmer last fall donated $20,000 to purchase four life-size animal statues for the zoo to mimic the African savannah.

“With this new exhibit, the hope is that the Bruemmer Park Zoo might become to pheasant lovers what the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo is to crane lovers,” Bruemmer said in a letter read to the County Board.

Bruemmer is the grandson of Leo Bruemmer and great-nephew of Otto Bruemmer, who were the sons of Kewaunee County Judge Louis Bruemmer. The two brothers’ efforts and donations led to the establishment of Bruemmer Park in the judge’s name in 1930.

“This pheasant exhibit will be the first new exhibit at Bruemmer Park Zoo in decades,” Myers said. “We have plans to include a dozen different species of pheasant, which can be quite colorful birds, making this a great attraction.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring something unique to the Bruemmer Park Zoo,” said Pam Zander, president of the Zoological Society. “Bruemmer Park Zoo is a special place, and we have our supporters to thank for keeping it going.”

For more information or to donate to the project, visit www.bruemmerparkzoo.com.