Friends of the Zoo Partnerships Enhance Our Community
This past weekend marked the beginning of what we hope will become an annual tradition at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo – Holiday Nights! This new evening event invites you to bundle up and come to the zoo to gather around our new fire pits and enjoy live holiday carols, ice carvers and stilt walkers, hot chocolate and s’mores, and of course some of our animals on evening exhibit.
One of the highlights of Holiday Nights is an amazing lighting display called Under the Sea that was designed, engineered, built, welded and wired by students in the P-Tech program at the Syracuse City School District’s Institute of Technology and the Corcoran High School welding program.
A total of 60 students – 40 from P-Tech and 20 from Corcoran -- played a part in bringing a 64-foot-long display of undersea creatures --including a shark, killer whale, starfish, clownfish and more -- to light for their community to enjoy! This display will grace the windows of our Diversity of Birds wing on the zoo courtyard through December, bringing recognition to our talented city school students and holiday cheer to thousands of zoo guests.
We also invited local choral groups to share their music at Holiday Nights. Among the featured carolers are singers from Christian Brothers Academy and the Syracuse Academy of Science, The Syracuse Pops Chorus, the SUNY-ESF Ecotones and the Solvay High School Vocal Jazz Group.
These wonderful collaborations reflect our renewed commitment to engaging with our Syracuse and CNY neighbors in ways that benefit both our community and the zoo.
During my first year as Executive Director of Friends of the Zoo, we have had the honor of forging several other awesome partnerships, including:
- Collaborations with Syracuse Stage, the Redhouse Arts Center, Open Hand Puppet Theatre and Dance Arts Advocates to bring their educational and cultural offerings to the zoo.
- Our Shop Local efforts to spotlight made in CNY and WISE Women’s Business Center products at The Curious Cub Gift Shop.
- Our Catering at the Zoo efforts to feature locally sourced products at zoo events and concessions.
- Our recent hosting of one of Syracuse Guerilla Gay Bar’s monthly pop-up queer networking events.
- Our collab with young new Americans at Grant Middle School to create enrichment for our education outreach animals.
We look forward to many more such partnerships in 2022. If your school, club, company, group or organization has an idea for one, please contact me.
Meanwhile, if you haven’t purchased your ticket to Holiday Nights, you can do so at rosamondgiffordzoo.org/holiday-nights.
Hope to see you this month around the holiday fire pit!
Friends of the Zoo