This past year, even in a time of intense political disagreements, bipartisan action by the President and Congress proclaimed our National Mammal. The American bison, a species exhibited at the Salisbury Zoo for over 50 years is now officially recognized as a national symbol. This historic agreement affirms the importance of our relationships, both as individuals and as a nation, to the living world.
Entirely dependent upon philanthropic support our education department enhances and extends the Zoo’s community programs throughout our region. Consider our Story Time program. Happening every Tuesday, March through September, this Free program provides nearly a thousand unique experiences for area preschoolers. Held in locations throughout the Zoo and staffed and produced entirely by volunteers, youngsters are creatively introduced to nature. Stories are read, silly songs are sung, games are played, and crafts are made, all re-enforcing the value and importance of creatures like the American bison.
Our education staff maintain close connections to the county board of education, insuring that our programs compliment and support appropriate educational standards. This year alone our Zoo served nearly 8000 individuals from the Wicomico county school system. More than 12,000 students from other Delmarva school systems also were served. Additionally we support grades one through nine for our home school community with appropriate curriculum based materials. We host and participate in Wild about Reading, a program that encourages our youth to read.
The impact of our Zoo is not confined to our City Park site. Through our “Zoo to You” programs we are able to bring the Zoo’s inspiration to many different settings including assisted living and senior centers. Look for us at a wide range of community events such as 3rd Fridays, county fairs, and National Night out.