Welcome to our new mobile optimized newsletter for the NYS Zoo at Thompson Park.

Board of Directors Update
"In like a lion, out like a lamb".  Well, maybe here in the North Country that's not exactly the case.  Here at the Zoo though, we are roaring through each day getting ready for our spring opening.  The winds of change will blow through bringing spring whether early or late. Our commitment to education and conservation is a strategic priority this year.  The North Country has a solid number of important conservation and nature organizations and we wanted to give you the opportunity through the Zoo to get to know a bit more about these important organizations this year.  We are in the early stages of planning a rotating exhibit in our Visitor Center to highlight local organizations and their particular emphasis on conservation and education.  If we are serious about understanding our local and regional ecosystem- its challenges and opportunities - than we cannot (any of us) simply advocate for ourselves alone.

The Fire Tower will soon undergo the finishing touches for our grand re-opening this coming Zoo season.  This is such a unique, historic artifact and a great hit with children of all ages.  Of course, safety first is always called for. Stay in touch with the Zoo through Social Media or by calling to ensure that at least several of your visits are planned when the Fire Tower is open and staffed.

With great thanks to Carthage Savings & Loan and the contributions of many of you, we will be able to complete Phase I of the Otter Exhibit this year.  It is so important to be aware that as we move forward with this exhibit we want it to be the best example of what a 21st Century Otter Exhibit can and should be.  This requires more long-range planning and financial investment overall.  We need to raise an additional $8,000 to complete Phase I and we are confident that this short-term goal is within sight.  But Phase II and III to bring the project to full completion will take additional funding, construction and time. 

The possibilities for volunteering at the Zoo this spring are growing by the day and we are grateful for every bit of assistance - from a morning clean-up of the grounds to a season-long caring for a garden bed.  When you contribute to our Wish List, you are making our work that much easier.  As we ease or jump into spring, please know that you make us strong.   Here's to all of nature's creatures, Great and Small.
The 2016 Board of Directors

Conservation Corner

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust
Tug Hill is a well known name in Upstate New York.  Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust is an organziation whose mission is "to protect Tug Hill's working farm and forest lands, its wild lands, and its natural and cultural heritage, for the benefit of present and future generations."  In 2014, an expanded trail system with a new parking area was finished in the Joseph A. Blake, Jr. Wildlife Sanctuary.  Generations of families have gone to Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust to help them protect their land and its use from development that is slowly encroaching all around them.  Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust also wants to encourage the general public to get out and enjoy the land around them.  You can join them in activities such as snowshoeing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking.  

The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is partnering with Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust for the Zoo's  2016 conservation initiative - The Pollinator Project.  2016 will be a year of educational experiences around our most common pollinator species such as bees, butterflies and lady bugs.  As well, the ZooTeens program will assist with field research initiatives and citizen science programs relating to the pollinators of Northern New York.  For more information on The Pollinator Project, stay tuned for the April Newsletter. 

For more information about Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust click here.

March Membership Madness

March is the month to purchase or renew your membership to the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.  All memberships that are received in March will receive a $5 discount.  M emberships are available for individuals, grandparents, family's, and more.  Members get free admission to the zoo for one calendar year, free or reduced admission to over 150 zoos and nature centers across the United States, 10% discount in our gift shop and cafe, 20% discount for all education programs, discounts for events and birthday parties, and 4 one-time use guest passes.  Call 782-6180 or click here to purchase your membership.

Monthly Volunteer Project Day - March 5th

The cold, windy, wintery day forced us to cancel February's Volunteer Project Day.  We are anxious to get back to work.  Saturday, March 5th, will be our next monthly Volunteer Project Day.  Some of the projects may include painting, leaf clean-up, snow removal, or exhibit maintenance.  We will be meeting at 9:00 am in the Education Center (classroom) to talk about our plan of action for the day.  If you are interested in volunteering your time please email elizabeth@nyszoo.org or call 315-782-6180.

Education Programs 

Adult Education Programs

Canvas and Conservation
Want to spend a fun night out creating a masterpiece on canvas while also experiencing our animals and contributing directly to our conservation programs? This monthly program will be held on Thursday, March 10th  6pm-8pm AND Thursday, March 31st 6pm-8pm.  $5 from each program fee will be put into our conservation projects fund for 2016. Canvas, paint and other materials needed are included in the program fee.

$25 Non Members/$20 Members Class maximum of 18 people, pre-registration required by noon the day of the event by calling 315.782.6180 and paying over the phone or registering online.

This program is available for private parties, FRG meetings or any other type of gathering by appointment. Please call 315.755.0896 or email  elizabeth@nyszoo.org  for more information or to register for the monthly program. 

March Canvas Painting: 

Children Education Programs

Wild Tots

Ages 2-5
Keep the smallest human critters occupied for 45 minutes with animals, sensory activities and crafts. 
Because of a recent increase in participants and to better facilitate our programming, we are offering two classes a month with a cap of fifteen children a class.  Wild Tots is full for the month of March, and the 1st session of April. To register for the April 22nd class please call 315.804.6225.
$3.00 for Non-Members/ $2.40 For Members  

Employment Opportunities

Are you hardworking, dedicated, and service oriented individual looking for a job that will fulfill your desires?
The Zoo is for you! We have many positions available and are adding positions daily. For more information, please click here .
Animal Adoptions

Newest animal adoptions:  Lori and Brett Larson are the newest sponsors of the Wolverine.
Thanks so much for supporting the animals! If you are interested in our adoption program, check out the options  here

Upcoming Events

Breakfast with the Bunny and Egg Hunt
Join us for a brand new Spring Event, Breakfast with the Bunny and Egg Hunt.  Breakfast will be served complete with pancakes, sausage, and a fruit tray.  Afterwards will be picture opportunities with our very own bunny, Clover and an Egg Hunt.  

Tickets are $15/person for non-members, $12/person for members.  Call 315-782-6180 or click here to reserve your spot.
Season Opening

Other Upcoming Events

Earth Day

Butterfly Day
Military Appreciation Day

Symphony at the Park
Brew at the Zoo

Monarch Day

Boo at the Zoo

Twilight with the Wildlife

Breakfast with Santa

Facebook Like, Comment and Share

Throughout 2016 we will be holding monthly contests to win a chance to take part in one of our many special opportunities.  These opportunities can range from free memberships, free animal enrichments, or free birthday parties.  February's Facebook Contest was a gift certificate for a Build Your Own Birthday Party.  
Katherine Sweet was our winner.  Look for March's Facebook Contest of 2 tickets to
Canvas and ConservationVisit our  Facebook page often to ensure you are able to take advantage of this exciting deal.

Wish Lists .

Are you looking for a way to help the zoo?  The zoo benefits greatly from donated items.   Department wishlists are updated for the winter. Any of these items can be very helpful to us and may be something just lying around the house! Take a peak
NYS Zoo at Thompson Park | 315.785.6180 | info@nyszoo.org | www.nyszoo.org