Access to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo just got a lot easier for students in Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township. The Zoo has added another bus to its signature ZooBus program that provides free round-trip transportation to qualifying schools and community groups.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is the only zoo in the country that provides its own free bus service. Since its inception in 1988, the ZooBus has served approximately 250,000 children and adults who participate in the Zoo's education programs. During the past five years, annual ZooBus participation averaged almost 16,000 students and the demand is greater than ever with field trip transportation often the first item cut from tight school budgets. With the second bus, the Zoo hopes to expand the program by 60% to more than 24,000 participants in 2010.
Generous donations to the Cleveland Zoological Society from Zoo friends and donors make possible the capital and operational support for the ZooBus program that allows area children access to quality science education and time in nature. Dominion has provided a charitable grant to provide lunches for ZooBus participants, making their Zoo experience an even more memorable one.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a leading informal science content provider for area schools. Programs are rich in experiential activities that promote important 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, critical-thinking and teamwork, while helping children
- develop respect for animals and the importance of stewardship;
- learn about endangered species, predator/prey imbalance, domestication and biodiversity;
- increase their understanding of the fragile relationship between wildlife, plants and people; and
- discover that they are a key part of the solution to challenges facing wildlife.
Northeast Ohio's most visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to nearly 3,000 exotic animals representing 600 species from six continents. It attracts 1.2 million visitors each year. The Cleveland Zoological Society promotes Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as a civic priority and maintains the largest membership program in Northeast Ohio (41,500 households).