Peoria Zoo Partners with KultureCity to
Provide a Sensory Inclusive Environment for Visitors
PEORIA (April 26, 2022) – Peoria Zoo has partnered with KultureCity to make programs and events at Peoria Zoo a more sensory inclusive environment. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all visitors with a sensory issue that visit the facility.

“We know there are times when parts of the Zoo can get loud and have lots of activity. Our partnership with KultureCity will assure that all guests will be able to have an enjoyable visit all the time,” stated Yvonne Strode, Zoo Director.

Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget toots, verbal cue cards, and weighted tap pads are available for guests to use at the Zoo. Additionally, clearly labeled areas within the Zoo are now designated as quiet areas and Peoria Zoo staff now have the knowledge and tools to help guests in a sensory overload situation.

Peoria Zoo, which is owned and operated by Peoria Park District, already works closely with HISRA (Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association) to provide high quality recreation programs and services to individuals with disabilities and special needs. "Throughout all of Central Illinois, we are committed to providing opportunities for each individual to enjoy recreation activities in the least restrictive environment possible, and this is just another way in which the our services can be used by all those who live, work and play in our District," stayed Katie Van Cleve, HISRA Executive Director.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions (1 in 6 individuals). One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue tike the Peoria Zoo. With its new certification, the Zoo is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when visiting.

Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity App that provides more details about where sensory features are available and where they can access them. The app also provides a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event at Peoria Zoo.

"Our communities shape our lives and to know that Peoria Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing. We're honored to partner with them to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans and guests!" shared Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity.

Peoria Zoo’s mission is to create connections that inspire an appreciation for and encourage actions to conserve the natural world. Peoria Zoo, a Peoria Park District facility, is located in Glen Oak Park, a 40+ acre park located in the heart of the East Bluff in Peoria, IL. Peoria Zoo is over 14 acres in size and home to over 100 different species from around the world. To learn more, please visit

Public stewards of nearly 9,000 acres of park and greenspace and another 185 buildings, the Park District’s mission is “To enrich life in our community through stewardship of the environment and the provision of quality recreational and leisure opportunities.” To learn more, please visit

Media Contact:
Yvonne Strode
Director, Peoria Zoo
(309) 681-3590