Exclusive breakfast for our special members

Penguin CircleMore than 370 higher level members and their guests took advantage of a beautiful Saturday morning at the Penguin Circle Event on Saturday, July 13. One of the many extra benefits for being a member at this level, this gathering is also a way for us to say thank you to those who provide additional support for the Zoo!

With an 8 a.m. check-in time, we opened at the gate at 7:45 a.m. to give the “early birds” a head start. All attendees enjoyed a hot, tasty buffet breakfast at the Eagle’s Landing Café and Pavilion. Families were encouraged to sign up to win the free raffle basket and have their children stop at the temporary tattoo station and take-home goodie bag table. After breakfast, our education department and zoo keeper staffs provided a special white rhinoceros demonstration and talk. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this species and to ask questions of those who care for Roscoe and Bill every day. Tina Fess, one of our dedicated and knowledgeable keepers, loves to share information about the animals in her charge. She noted that the name “white” comes from the Dutch words “wijd” or “weit,” meaning wide and refers to their wide, square shaped upper lip. Tina noted that the rhino’s horn is made of material similar to our fingernails. Young and old appreciated her fun facts!

Photos by Kelli O’Brien

After the demonstration, these higher level members experienced the rest of Zoo at their leisure. What a great way to start the day! We were happy to see so many smiling faces this year and would welcome more in 2014. Anyone interested in attending next year’s Penguin Circle Morning Event should join or upgrade to this level of Zoo membership. We send invitations each June, since the event takes place yearly in July. Please call the Member Office at (585) 336-7212 and I or my coworkers will be happy to answer your questions.

As always, we ask attendees to complete a survey about their event experience. It may have been an exclusive breakfast, but the feedback so far is that the atmosphere was fun and entertaining for families. Please consider being a member at this higher level today!

– Lisa Buda, Membership Coordinator

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There’s so much to do at your Zoo!

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Have you ever attended a docent event? This Saturday, July 20 is the Wonders of Water event and all aspects are coordinated by docents, our dedicated volunteer educators. Stop by the various stations throughout the Zoo and learn more about how water and Zoo animals are connected. This event is free with Zoo admission. If you are a Zoo member, admission is free for you that day and all year long! So take advantage of this and other free docent events throughout the year. We’re also celebrating a 47th birthday for our female king vulture from 1 to 3 p.m. that day, too!

Photo by Vasiliy Baziuk

Photo by Vasiliy Baziuk

Did you know Jungle Jog is fast approaching? Join us on Sunday, July 21 for this long-standing fundraiser that takes runners of all ages and abilities through beautiful lower Seneca Park and past the Zoo’s animals! The last day to register online is today (July 17). You may also register by phone and in person by 5 p.m. Friday, July 19. Final pre-registration, along with race number and T-shirt pickup will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Medved Running and Walking Outfitters (3400 Monroe Avenue). Click here for complete details on Jungle Jog.

Visit the Zoo on Saturday and learn about animals and water or run along with others who support the Zoo at our early morning fundraiser on Sunday. There’s just so much to do!

– Ruth Northrop, Data Manager

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Filed under animal birthdays, docent events, Jungle Jog, membership

Outside reps go out of their way to help!

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photo by Kelli O’Brien

When walking up to the Front Gate, you may have noticed people in blue shirts, clipboards in hand, mingling with visitors waiting to enter the Zoo. These are our Outside Visitor Service Representatives. They are there to welcome you and ensure that your visit is pleasant from the moment you arrive. These knowledgeable staff members can answer questions from “Where is the nearest bathroom?” to “How much are dues for a membership that allows guests?”

They are trained to help our members complete a renewal form or obtain information about promotions, corporate member discounts or reciprocal zoos. These energetic reps can also act as our Member Express Check-In Staff, so our members should be sure to have a valid member card and photo ID ready and take advantage of this benefit of entering quickly!

As part of the Front Gate Team, these employees are trained to monitor heavy visitor traffic flow on busy attendance days. They can help visitors get into the correct line for general admission or membership and then move through that line as quickly and safely as possible. While some families choose to pay general admission, these reps can provide information about the value and benefits of Zoo membership. Again, they can assist with choosing the level that meets their needs and completing their form before they reach a cashier’s window.

In May and June, many teachers make reservations for their class to visit the Zoo. Some of our Outside Visitor Service reps are assigned to safely unload and load school buses, while others are assigned to handle the crowds of these students’ family members that gather in the Front Gate’s entryway. In the summer season, staff may even be stationed at the Zoo’s Exit Gate to ask members and visitors to take part in a survey about their Zoo experience or plans to become or remain a Zoo member.

As you can see, the duties and responsibilities of these dedicated seasonal employees are varied and vital to operations at the Zoo. So be sure to stop and say “Hello” to our Outside Visitor Service reps when visiting the Zoo. They will go out of their way to make you feel welcome, keep you informed and ensure your admission interactions are as fast and efficient as possible … all so you can begin your enjoyable Zoo visit!

– Natalie Lipton, Visitor Services Manager

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July 4th fun at the Zoo awaits you!

Photo by Marie Kraus

Photo by Marie Kraus

Looking for something fun do with friends and family on July 4th? The Zoo will be open on the holiday day during regular summer hours. The Gate opens exclusively for our members at 9:30 a.m. and then open for all visitors at 10 a.m. Kids will enjoy our “baby boom” — throughout your visit, see three goat kids, a tiny golden lion tamarin, a baby orangutan and a sea lion pup. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily, our frisky lion cubs are given access to the Lion Exhibit. We want to remind our local active military families that on Independence Day and every day we offer a $2 off discount on each admission for an active soldier and their immediate family, with military ID. It is our way of honoring the commitment of these dedicated Americans. This is also a great option for our current members to bring service members as their guests at a discount.

If you or your guests decide after a Zoo visit to become part of our member family, the cost of admissions can be deducted from the cost of dues for a new membership. Just stop at the Front Gate or call the Member Office at (585) 336-7212 within three days of your visit to take advantage of this offer. We will be happy to help make that transaction and find the level that best suits your family’s needs. There are additional discounts based on where people are employed/retired from and we have extended the “13 months for the price of 12 months” offer for new members through July 31st.

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iStock.com

As part of the Data Team, I will make sure a new record is created quickly in our database and the Member Office team will ensure that new member cards are mailed within 7 to 10 days. As our more than 17,000 member families can testify, Zoo membership provides great benefits and helps create lasting memories all year long.

Please come celebrate anytime during the July 4th holiday weekend at the Seneca Park Zoo. There is truly a “baby boom” of animals and fun at The Natural Place for Families!

– Cassey Dickey, Data Coordinator

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Take a ride to and from the Zoo!

DSC_0012Warm weather has arrived and that means more visitors. Families seem drawn to the Zoo to spend time outdoors with their loved ones and our fascinating animals. We recognize that increased attendance and the distance between the Front Gate and the remote overflow lot create a need for a visitor-friendly way to transport families to the Zoo. Here’s something new that you may not know about…

Monroe County purchased an old-fashioned, San Francisco-style trolley. This bright-blue motor vehicle with a traditional wood interior was acquired used from Bradelton, Florida. It was part of that community’s tourist-friendly downtown transportation system. The trolley is available for various Monroe County Parks department needs, but on summer weekends, holidays and for special events, it is made available to transport Zoo visitors. We’re so pleased that this distinctive vehicle has found a new home in our community!

The trolley runs back and forth between the remote overflow lot on St. Paul Street and the RTS Bus loop outside the Zoo’s Exit Gate. There is seating for 25 people and, although we discourage standing, there are rails for another 10 people to stand. In addition, it can accommodate strollers and wheelchairs. Trolley hours vary based on the attendance that day and runs until there are no vehicles left at the overflow lot. We make sure that no car or family is left behind!

The next time one of our dedicated parking lot volunteers directs you to park in the overflow lot, please consider it an opportunity to enjoy a ride on our new trolley. This free service — designed for convenience, efficiency and safety — provides an added fun experience for the whole family!

– LaDonna Court, Membership Coordinator

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Happy Father’s Day!

Dad and kidsAre you looking for something for Dad or Grandpa who has everything? Please consider Zoo membership. Are you looking for a fun-filled day with Dad? Please consider a visit to the Zoo. Are you looking for a unique gift item for Pops or Papa? Please consider a gift from our ZooShop.

Visit the Zoo this weekend and create memories with that special man in your life. The Seneca Park Zoo is The Natural Place for Families, so make it part of your family outing and enjoy all that this special local attraction has to offer!

Photo by Kelli O'Brien

Photos by Kelli O’Brien

If you are looking for a gift that will make memories all year long, consider buying a membership gift certificate. We are offering certificates for 13 months for the price of 12 months. You may also qualify for $5 or $10 discount off based on where you are employed (or retired from). If wondering what to do with the whole family, a visit here will allow everyone to see our Zoo babies and celebrate with the animals’ fathers on this holiday weekend. Our newborn orangutan, sea lion pup, tiny golden lion tamarin and young goats are on exhibit. Our lion cubs will be on exhibit at 3:30 p.m. each day through the month of June. Your children or grandchildren will remember these experiences all year long.

Don’t forget that we offer unique gifts in our ZooShop. Ideal for last-minute shoppers, we have key chains, boxer shorts, coffee mugs, T-shirts and much, much more!

If you can’t visit this weekend, don’t worry. You can take advantage of the special on membership gift certificates through June 30 online or by calling (585) 336-7212. But don’t miss out on spending time at the Zoo with your family or shopping for a father or grandfather. You won’t regret it and they won’t forget it!

– Cassey Dickey, Data Coordinator

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Get 13 for the price of 12!

Photo by Kate Leipold

Photo by Kate Leipold

We are excited about our current “baker’s dozen” special for Zoo membership! Your family can get 13 months of Zoo membership for the price of 12 months. In addition, you may be eligible for $5 or $10 off as an employee or retiree of one of our Corporate Members.

If you join or rejoin, your family can take advantage of these specials in June.  We consider “join” as a brand new member and “rejoin” as being lapsed for 6 months or more. Instead of just a year of membership, we will give you an extra month. For our $85 Household Basic level, that extra month can be as much as a $7.08 value. For those who are employees or retirees of our Corporate Members, there are opportunities for an additional $5 or $10 off. These workers can be from companies that are generous sponsors of the Zoo, important Zoo Society partners like Monroe County, honored service providers like active military or fellow educators like area teachers. Check out the list of available discounts online or ask staff by phone or at the Zoo’s Front Gate to check the list for you. Membership is always a great value with wonderful benefits. We want to ensure that if you are eligible, you get all the savings you are eligible for at the time of purchase.

New this year, if you renew your current membership in the month before it is due to expire, the same 13 month offer is available for your family, too. We are pleased to offer this “renew early” option for our loyal returning member families. It can be combined with our traditional corporate employee and retiree. In addition, if you plan to purchase a gift for a friend or loved one, these specials will also apply. Don’t delay. All of these offers are currently valid only through June 30, 2013.

That thirteenth bagel or donut is a thrill for a thrifty shopper, like me. But your entire family will enjoy the terrific benefits with more than a year of Zoo membership. The ability to visit for free and watch all our baby animals frolic and grow will once again make membership the best choice for area families this year. So join, rejoin or renew online, charge by phone at (585) 336-7212 or stop by the Zoo’s Front Gate during Zoo hours in June to take advantage of these “sweet” discounts!

– Karen Panosian, Visitor Services Director

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