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Elmwood Park Zoo experienced an explosion of growth over the past five years, consistently sustaining increases in attendance, memberships and concessions – while at the same time unveiling new exhibits and upgrading current.

Seeing this operational and financial success, the zoo’s contributed revenue also saw a spike as eager new supporters joined the zoo family, as our current stewards were reassured.

Because of this, the zoo planned the first phase of its 100th Anniversary Campaign – “Expansion Elmwood”. However, before we explore the future, lets revel in the past!





 





 

 
A LOOK AT THE PAST 5 YEARS
 


 

FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE
New exhibits, attractions, facility upgrades, and creative marketing campaigns led to increases in revene across the board!

(Click the Line Items on the left to see a snapshot.)
 
FACILITY ENHANCEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Treetop Adventures

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!

Treetop Adventures offers outdoor fun for all ages! With both children and adult courses to choose from, every thrill-seeker has an adventure suited just for them! Originally a turnkey operation, then purchased outright by the zoo in 2016, Treetop Adventures has added an entirely new earned revenue stream for the zoo and opened the doorway to a whole new set of demographics.


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.

Home to three jaguars, an ocelot and two cougars, this exciting exhibit is packed with incredible animals on better display than ever. Sitting behind giant panes of glass, animal and guest are within inches of each other! Interactions are further deepened through a mix of static signage and digital displays that immerse learners in the rich and exciting details of the animals and their natural habitats.


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.

And even more recently, the Giraffe-Feeding Experience has become the site of its very first live exhibit webcam. This new giraffe webcam lets giraffe fans across the world engage in the zoo’s feeding experience, broadcasting a live stream through a user-controlled camera.


Zoo Brew

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.

Unique partnerships — like Chaddsford Winery’s production of the zoo’s signature Red Fox Red and Arctic Fox White fundraising wines — combined with corporate rentals and local brewery partnerships have buttressed the zoo’s contributed revenues. And happy hours and Treetop Adventure’s adult course packages have granted the zoo access to older demographics, as well as provided adult offerings to those bringing their children.


Bison-Feeding Experience

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 memories that will last a lifetime.

This amazing new experience has not only allowed the zoo to get one step closer to its mission, but also breathed new life into one of the zoos oldest and most prominent animal enclosures.

What's more, the zoo is planning its new bison and elk enclosures with this incredible popular experience in mind — this feeding experience that acts as a revenue generator will be available at their new location as well!


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.

Serving as the main attraction of the zoo's "Touch Tours" programs for visually- and auditorily-impaired learners, the exhibit has taken on new significance in the zoo's poush to become an even more inclusive facility.


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) interactive playground.


Recognizing the importance the well-maintained, secure playground meant to the community, The Kimmel Family endeavored to ensure the playground would forever receive the attention and funding it needed.

In 2016, the Zoo and The Kimmels embarked on a campaign to update the playground, adding kid- and eco-friendly rubberized flooring, new jungle gym equipment, and much more!


Carousel & Train Ride

In 2015, Elmwood Park Zoo installed a restored Densel Carousel adjacent to the newly renovated Thomas Kimmel Playground. In the successive years, the incorporation of the caterpillar-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, 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.

Elmwood Park Zoo has made some amazing changes in the past few years, adding incredible new exhibits and attractions that will keep guests excited for years to come!

(click the grayed-out images on the map to learn more)



 

Interested in learning more about the zoo's recent progress? Take a look at our expanded organization update by clicking the button below.

    VIEW THE ORGANIZATION UPDATE    


 
2020: Bright Points in a Difficult Year
 
2020 was a challenging year for EPZ, both financially and emotionally. Even with losing a substantial portion of its peak-season income the zoo had to continue to operate fully despite the complete lack of earned revenue. Our animals depend on us, and no storm nor pandemic could stop us from providing their routine care.

In response we reevaluated expenses to ensure that while our gates were closed, our facility was maintained. However despite the hardships that were thrust upon us, the zoo rose above many challenges plaguing both it and the nation by continue to foster its mission of education, conservation and community.

 



 



 

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