Until recently, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s 40-year-old Hilltop Fountain was deteriorating and leaking. The Santa Barbara Garden Club recognized the need for preservation and provided funding assistance for the zoo to make necessary repairs and to redesign and renew the entire look of the fountain.

Thanks to the Garden Club, and the creative design vision of local landscape designer Alida Aldrich, the fountain has undergone a restorative transformation and is once again a beautiful landmark at the zoo for all to admire.

On Monday, the zoo hosted a reception to dedicate and unveil the newly renamed Santa Barbara Garden Club Fountain.

“The Hilltop Fountain has been a fixture at the zoo since its creation in the 1960s,” zoo director Nancy McToldridge said. “At that time, the Garden Club was responsible for its installation. We are so thrilled to have their support once again to upgrade this attraction which has a key zoo location. Not only is it a beautiful fountain, but it is full of fish, which gives guests yet another cool zoo experience.”

Aldrich brought her creativity and vision to the fountain redesign.

“My goal was to preserve the shape and structure of the fountain, but breathe a fresh look into the rest,” Aldrich said.

The zoo provided a tiled steelhead trout sculpture, created as part of the Steel Head Trout Festival in 2007, which she positioned as the pond’s focal point. Large boulders create a waterfall and form pockets for the koi that live amid the water lilies. New flagstone and plantings surround the newly renamed Santa Barbara Garden Club Fountain.

“The zoo now has an inviting, child-friendly water feature to greet children and families on the hilltop,” Aldrich said.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist.