|THE FUTURE OF ELMWOOD PARK ZOO|
In 2019 Elmwood Park Zoo secured $2.4M to build the Stony Creek Bridge — the first of two projects within "Expansion Elmwood". The second project is "The Great Migration": relocating the bison and elk into a new, much larger territory and constructing a Nature Play Outdoor Classroom on our now-accessible 22 acres of land.
With a generous $300,000 grant from the Quest for the Best Foundation secured this past December, "The Great Migration" fundraising campaign began, helping us to move forward to achieving the projects, $1M goal.
In an effort to continue the project's momentum, Elmwood Park Zoo is respectfully asking The Hess Foundation to consider re-allocating its 2016 $45,000 restricted grant originally given in support of the now not-planned underwater viewing window of the bear exhibit to supporting "The Great Migration".
With it we will increase the bison and elk's habitat two-fold and support our educational mission by building a second "theater" in which our ambassadors and visitors can interact.
Thank you for your consideration to support us so we can continue to grow. Your gift will set the stage for a prosperous and exciting future. Expansion Elmwood’s planning is already underway, with a majority of the project hoped to be complete in 2024 – the zoo’s 100th anniversary!
Expansion Elmwood: Elk and Bison Exhibits
Elmwood Park Zoo's new hoofstock exhibits will be the first exhibits constructed on the zoo's as-of-now undeveloped land across Stony Creek. Providing our bison and elk greatly expanded acreage on which to run, these exhibits will not only revitalize the species' current, older habitats, but also serve as the first steps in the completion of the zoo's new master plan.
Genuardi Family Stony Creek Bridge
The lynchpin of the zoo's master plan is the construction of a bridge across Stony Creek. Once built, this bridge will allow access to the remaining 22 acres of undeveloped land on the zoo's parcel.
The new education complex will serve not only as a locus for the zoo's education programs, but also as an alternate entrance for school groups. Occupying the space of the current elk and prairie dog exhibits, the zoo needs to relocate these species across the creek to begin the Education Complex capital campaign.
Nature Play & Outdoor Classroom
The new Nature Play & Outdoor Classroom will be an avant-garde learning facility within the zoo that will play host to casual groups and classrooms alike as they explore the sciences in a natural setting. If fully funded, EPZ will be happy to offer Hess Foundation the naming rights to the Nature Play Classroom!
Interested in learning more about the zoo's master plan? Take a look at our expanded non-finalized Master Plan Map by clicking the button below.
Treetop Adventures at Elmwood Park Zoo features over 70 challenge games and zip lines that span up to 40 feet above the ground in the trees of the Zoo — not to mention Pennsylvania's only location to zip line over animal exhibits!
Trail of the Jaguar
Home to the zoo's iconic big cats, Trail of the Jaguar is the multispecies, multi-million-dollar showpiece of what the zoo is soon to become. With beautiful, natural indoor and outdoor spaces, and thematic Pueblo-style architecture, this exhibit transports guests out of Norristown and into the American Southwest.
Taphouse 23 Giraffe Feeding Experience
Home to the world's tallest mammal as well as the world’s most iconically striped equine, Savanna Station transports guests out of Norristown and into the African Sub-Sahara. Featuring the zoo's most engaging animal experience: the Taphouse 23 Giraffe-Feeding Experience, Savanna Station became one of the zoo's most beloved exhibits.
First opening in the summer of 2015, Elmwood Park Zoo's ZooBrew bar has quickly become a fan favorite. Spurring rentals, bringing new demographics, and leading to corporate partnerships, ZooBrew is now a multi-faceted revenue stream for the zoo.
Coming face to face with the nation's largest land mammal, Elmwood Park Zoo's Bison Feeding Experience is as fun as it is unique — providing kids, parents and grandparents with an experience that will last a lifetime.
Birds of Paradise Exhibit
Providing emergency funding in 2016 after the collapse of the exhibit's roof during a blizzard, the Connelly Family Foundation helped the exhibit rise phoenix-like from its proverbial ashes. With its incredible opportunity to hand-feed free-flighted birds, the newly re-constructed Birds of Paradise has become one of the zoo's most engaging attractions.
Thomas Kimmel Playground & Percussion Garden
In 2001 longtime supporters and former board member, Don and Gloria Kimmel, built the Thomas Kimmel Conservation Kingdom, a state-of-the-art (much needed)
Carousel & Train Ride
In 2015, Elmwood Park Zoo installed a restroed Densel Carousel outisde of it's newly renovaed Thomas Kimmel Playground. In the successive years, the incorporation of the catepillar-themed children's train ride, and the construction of the Thomas Kimmel Percussion Garden, the zoo's wood-chipped play area has transformed into a robust entertainment complex where children can learn as they play.
Lower Parking Lot
Completed in 2015, just in time for the opening of the new Trail of the Jaguar exhibit, the newly constructed lower lot added an additional 200 spaces to the zoo's parking capacity. This increased capability saw vast increases in attendance year over year, to the extent that the benefit provided by the new lot has already plateaued.
I would like to once again sincerely thank you for your consideration in supporting the zoo — without the support of stalwart champions such as yourself, the zoo would have never made it to it's centennial. Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you!
- Jen Conti