Press Releases

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO AND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NJ HOST 2015 MINI GOLF CLASSIC

64a435f0f342cc3a744a_Turtleback_Zoo.png
64a435f0f342cc3a744a_Turtleback_Zoo.png

West Orange, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Zoological Society of New Jersey today held the first annual Mini Golf Classic to support the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo’s Education Center. The fundraiser was hosted at the Essex County miniGOLF Safari at the Essex County South Mountain Recreational Complex in West Orange, and raised over $100,000.

The Mini Golf Classic was a family-friendly event, with several activities to entertain both children and adults. Adult and child teams competed in the mini golf tournament with awards for best scores and performances. The event also included a family carnival, live music, special contests and a raffle drawing where guests bid on the chance to name a pony, create zoo art with an animal, and various other prizes. Meanwhile, some of the Zoo’s animals also attended the event – and cheered on the humans. All proceeds will benefit the educational programs at Turtle Back Zoo.

 “The opening of our Zoo Education Center gave us the facilities and space to expand our educational programming and outreach to assist in our mission of raising awareness about the importance of conservation and environmental protection,” DiVincenzo said. “We were pleased to partner with the Zoological Society to present this unique, fun-filled fundraising event that the entire family could enjoy,” he added.

Sign Up for E-News

 The Education Center opened in July 2014. The 12,000-square-foot building provides four additional classrooms for educational programming and summer camps, exhibit areas in addition to an open-air space on the second floor than can be used as an outdoor classroom. The building was funded through a partnership between Essex County and the Zoological Society of New Jersey, a non-profit committed to science, education and wildlife conservation, and private donors.

 “The zoo’s ability to provide an accessible and unique outdoor recreation experience has made it one of New Jersey’s top attractions. We’re proud to support the facility’s efforts to both entertain and educate families and schoolchildren on the importance of wildlife education and conservation,” said Zoological Society of New Jersey Board of Trustees President John Doeffinger.

 In the past 10 years, Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has roared back to life from the verge of closure by a previous administration. Attendance at this beloved destination has increased from 168,739 in 2002 to 688m359 in 2014 and revenue topped $4 million for the first time in 2012. This has enabled the Zoo to operate as a self-sustaining facility, with revenue collected exceeding operating expenses for the last five years. In addition, Turtle Back earned its second five-year accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2011, a clear indication that an institution is committed to the highest standards in animal care, ethics, conservation and education. It also has been named the Best Zoo in New Jersey by NJ Monthly magazine in each of the last four years and received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.com the last three years.

 Revitalizing Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

 Since taking office in 2003, DiVincenzo has spearheaded over $70 million in upgrades to Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, which have included constructing a new Education Building; developing the Carousel with 33 figures of endangered animals; building the Sea Lion Sound Exhibit with sea lions, sharks and sting rays; the Big Cat Country Exhibit with Jaguars and Cougars; Tam-ring Gibbons Reserve with Gibbons apes, Reeves muntjac and white naped cranes; Australian Exhibit that features kangaroos, wallabies, emus and over 500 birds in the Aviary; Reptile and Education Center, open air dining pavilion and playground, Penguin Exhibit, Otter Exhibit, Wolf Exhibit, Alligator Exhibit, North American Animal Exhibit, Black Bear Exhibit, Animal Hospital, Essex Farm Petting Zoo and South American Animal Exhibit; renovating the Food Pavilion for year-round use and making upgrades to the entrance as well as fencing and infrastructure to meet AZA requirements. Funding has been provided through Green Acres grants, existing capital improvement bonds, or donations from the Zoological Society, Essex County Parks Foundation, corporations or private foundations. Corporations that have provided support include Investors Bank, Prudential Financial, Inc., Wells Fargo (Wachovia Bank), PNC Bank, PSE&G, Verizon, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Coca Cola, Capital One Bank, TD Bank, Aramark, Covanta Energy and OxyMagic carpet cleaning.

The Essex County Park System was created in 1895 and is the first county park system established in the United States. The Park System consists of more than 6,000 acres and has 22 parks, five reservations, an environmental center, a zoo, Treetop Adventure Course, ice skating rink, roller skating rink, three public golf courses, golf driving range, two miniature golf courses, three off-leash dog facilities, a castle and the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens. Turtle Back Zoo is located in Essex County’s South Mountain Reservation and was opened to the public in 1963.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_343f4e7d32430a1ca3f1_renoir4

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...

Carousel_image_8e4c12d5d04a698a9898_43275a548e514aa5d6e2_pierre-auguste-renoir-1

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_d69ac659475856ac5c62_22e3d4dba7bd6cc77875_casa_logo

Wed, April 25, 6:00 PM

Millburn Public Library, Millburn

Millburn Library Hosts CASA Volunteer Information ...

Giving Back Law & Justice

Carousel_image_a94209220b7af2f9b4b9_7ba9f48b6accba8b6e72_29354610_1585682268146667_4091748840029675392_o-2

Thu, April 26, 11:00 AM

Bow Tie Cinema , Millburn

Encore Presentation of the 2018 Millburn Film Fest

Cardinal Tobin to Speak at B’nai Jeshurun

April 23, 2018

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, will welcome Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Wednesday, May 2nd at 7:00 pm.  Cardinal Tobin currently serves at the head of the Archdiocese of Newark. Members of the community are invited to hear Cardinal Tobin speak about how Pope Francis is forging a culture of encounter by renewing the dialogue between Christians and Jews.  In the pope’s ...

Middle School Presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

Middle School presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

The Millburn Middle School Spring Musical, Shrek the Musical, will be held on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at 7 p.m.  A Sunday matinee will be presented at 1 p.m. on April 29th.

Shrek the Musical opened on Broadway in December 2008. It is based on the DreamWorks Animation’s film Shrek and William Steig’s ...

Millburn Road Closures for April 20

MILLBURN, NJ - Parsonage Hill Road closed between Long Hill Drive and White Oak Ridge Road until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Troy Drive closed to all traffic between Lawrence Drive and Troy Lane until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Old Short Hills Road has a changed traffic pattern between Silver Spring Road and Dorison Drive no closures expect possible delays until approx 4:00pm ...