Potter Park Zoo innovates, profits through pandemic

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After the pandemic, the zoo will have a new look, and new fundraising techniques are part of the reason why. 

With many people looking at the pandemic as a loss, Potter Park Zoo saw an opportunity to become more creative. Instead of cancelling events, the zoo staff innovated. The staff  began to push online as much as possible. In fact, Potter Park Zoo hosted its annual “Paint Your Poison” event on Jan. 23 and raised $1,800 via Zoom. 

“We ended the year in a better position from a cash perspective than we did in 2019,” said Amy Morris Hall, the Zoological Society executive director.  “Which was pretty surprising. It’s a great place to start 2021.” The Potter Park Zoo ended 2020 with a profit of $82,000 compared to $14,000 in 2019. Potter Park Zoo was also able to rehire all of its employees except one person. 2021 will be the first full year that Potter Park Zoo offers an online and in-person zoo. 

The biggest difference about the zoo amidst the pandemic is the bird house being closed. But it’s not closed due to the coronavirus, it’s getting renovated.

Cynthia Wagner, Potter Park Zoo director said,  “You have to come see it. The exhibits look awesome!” You may see the same staff when you return to the Zoo, but some things will be brand new. Renovations are coming to Potter Park Zoo. The Zoo is  updating the kiosk to become more interactive with visitors. The upgraded kiosk can identify animals by name. It will also allow people to see the reptiles when they’re difficult to spot. 

Renovations will be done by April.

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