Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in partnership with the Evansville Zoological Society are proud to announce the launch of the Zoo’s Community Membership Program, which offers a membership discount for families participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The launch of the initiative is funded by the Covid-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville and the Indiana United Ways, with funding provided by Lily Endowment, Inc.
“Providing Zoo accessibility to everyone is an important role to achieving our mission of connecting people to our natural world. We’ve wanted to provide a program like this for some time, and we’re excited its finally happening,” said Erik Beck, Mesker Park Zoo Director.
The program will offer a deeply discounted family membership ($65 current rate) for $5 annually to households who are enrolled in the federal SNAP program. The Community Membership Program provides a family membership for $5 annually to two named adults, plus children under 18 (members must be at same household), and can be purchased in person at the Zoo’s Membership Gate beginning Thursday, May 13th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, daily.
“We are also reaching out to community organizations to host enrollment dates at their location,” said Jennifer Evans, the Zoo’s Development Director.
Eligibility requires a valid SNAP card and photo ID at the time of purchase. The purchaser must be one of the named adults on the membership. The initial rollout for the program will be available to residents of Gibson, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Mesker Park Zoo membership benefits include:
· Free general admission for one full year
· Free admission to special events during regular zoo hours
· Free tram rides for one full year
· Discounted admission to Boo at the Zoo and Breakfast with Santa events
· Zoo Member Only “Member Appreciation Event”
· Free subscription to e-newsletter and Zoo Lovers Online magazine
· Discounts for Birthday Parties
· Priority registration and discounts for Zoo Camp
· Discounts or Free Admission to over 172 zoos and aquariums
“Utilizing the funds granted through the Covid-19 Crisis Response Fund of the Greater Evansville and the Indiana United Ways, we will be able to provide 1,250 households with a Community Membership, but we expect this initiative will grow [over time] and we are looking for future funding opportunities to help sustain it,” said Evans.
For more information or to support the Community Membership Program visit https://www.meskerparkzoo.com/community-membership-program/.
Established in 1928, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is situated on 45-scenic acres of rolling hills in Evansville, Indiana. The Zoo is home to hundreds of animals from around the globe and thousands of exotic and regional botanic species. Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden averages over 186,000 visitors annually, and according to Evansville’s Convention & Visitors Bureau is ranked as the number 1 family attraction in Evansville, Indiana. The Zoo is open 365 days a year from 9 am – 5 p.m. CDT. Standard admission for adults is $9.50 and children ages 3-12 are $8.50. Children age 2 and under are free. Zoo members are free.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. We will forge connections between people and the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life.
The mission of the Evansville Zoological Society is to support Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden through leadership, education, fund development, and volunteer services for the benefit of the people, plants and animals it serves.
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