The Columbian Park Zoo is a seasonal zoo located in Lafayette, Indiana at Columbian Park. The zoo is home to more than 190 animals from over 90 species. The zoo is in Columbian Park, which also includes playgrounds, picnic areas, a walking trail, and a baseball stadium.
|Columbian Park Zoo|
|Location||Lafayette, Indiana, United States|
|No. of animals||190|
|Public transit access||CityBus|
The Columbian Park Zoo was founded in 1908 and originally contained foxes, skunks, pelicans, deer, lynx, prairie dogs, and a wolf. Improvements to the zoo were made in 1928, when the main animal house was constructed and the zoo purchased an elephant with funds raised by local school students. During the 1930s, the zoo began to breed animals to share with other small zoos, and in 1943 added lions, monkeys, elk, zebras, bears, and alligators.
In 2004, Lafayette Parks & Recreation developed a master plan for the zoo. This plan called for more naturalized exhibits, a discovery center, and the return of the Columbian Park Carousel. The zoo reopened on June 30, 2007 with the improvements outlined in the master plan.
The zoo houses more than 190 animals from 90 different species.
The Columbian Park Zoo offers education programs for children from pre-school through college. For pre-school children, the zoo offers a program called Zoo Pajama Party designed for children’s ages one to five. The program is held once a month and children are encouraged to dress in their pajamas for 45 minutes of bedtime story readings, activities and an animal encounter. The zoo also offers the Zoo Sprouts for children ages three to four which is designed to allow children to get closer to animals and actually touch them while learning different facts about each one. Additional programs are available for school-aged children in the form of weekend classes, workshops and summer camps.
The zoo offers a Zoo Teen program for children ages fourteen to seventeen where they can participate and learn how a zoo operates. The program is structured as a volunteer program and students are expected to attend training sessions and then work scheduled shifts throughout the summer months. The zoo also offers field trips for schools through the zoo’s educational department.
The zoo also offers internships for current college students and recent graduates. Internships include service areas of animal care, marketing, animal enrichment, education, and horticulture. The zoo is also aided by the EPICS project from Purdue University, which designs, builds, and maintains engineering projects to aid the zoo.
The Lafayette Parks Foundation supports the zoo and helps to raise money for the zoo. The zoo also raises funds through the selling of brick pavers which are used throughout the zoo. The zoo also obtains revenue from animal sponsorships and memberships, which allow additional benefits for those who hold them.
- Columbian Park Zoo Homepage Archived 2012-05-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Columbian Park Zoo History Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
- "Lafayette Parks & Recreation". Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "WLTC". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Friends of CPZ History Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Indiana.gov. "Visit Indiana – Columbian Park Zoo". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Columbian Park Zoo Education Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
- "Tour The Zoo". Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Internship at Columbian Park Zoo" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Columbian Park Zoo – A Purdue Epics Team". Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Columbian Park Zoo. "Engraved Brick Pavers". Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Columbian Park Zoo. "Animal Sponsorship". Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Columbian Park Zoo. "Memberships". Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.