Bring Your Plush Pal to the Teddy Bear Clinic at the Zoo!

Syracuse Zoo Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by St. Joseph's Health Dr. Marsh
Janet Agostini Friends of the Zoo President & CEO

One of our favorite events is coming up on Monday, November 11 – the Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by St. Joseph’s Health!

This special clinic invites children to bring their stuffed animals to the zoo for a checkup and “First Aid” by volunteer “vets” including actual medical staff from our sponsor, St. Joseph’s Health.

The Teddy Bear Clinic will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Veterans Day off from school. It’s a great opportunity to introduce children to health care – and animal care — in a fun, familiar setting.

Check in at the zoo banquet room, where our “waiting room” will contain fun games and activities. When your name is called, come to the exam area where St. Joseph staff and zoo volunteers will be on hand to examine hundreds of plush pets and perform “surgery” on those suffering from excessive amounts of love. Then stop at the grooming area to spruce up your pet with a cute accessory.

St. Joseph’s Physicians Chief Operating Officer Julianne Himes said the health provider’s staff love volunteering at the Teddy Bear Clinic.

 “The Teddy Bear clinic is a fantastic opportunity for our doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurses to meet community members outside of a traditional health care setting,” she said.

“Most importantly, this event provides an excellent opportunity to introduce young children to health care and help them understand that interactions with health care providers are positive and alleviate any fears they may have.” The Teddy Bear Clinic is free with zoo admission – which is free for zoo members. If you’re not yet a member, please check out the options at syracusezooevents.org/members.

My best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo

Take a Child Outside!

Explorer's PlaySpace at Syracuse Zoo RGZ
Janet Agostini Friends of the Zoo President & CEO

The week of September 23-30 is national Take a Child Outside Week – and I can’t think of a better place to take a child outside than the zoo!

This special week aimed at connecting children to nature was founded in 2007 by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and has since spread to over 250 parks, nature centers, zoos and museums around the country.

Friends of the Zoo joined this effort as a partner by pledging to offer opportunities for young people to be outside in nature, engage in nature play and appreciate the natural world.

When we built our Explorer’s PlaySpace in 2016, we did so for all these reasons – and because imaginative nature play is good for everyone, especially young children. Nature play spaces encourage children to engage in unstructured play that involves using their senses, imagination and creativity interacting with the natural world.

Explorer's PlaySpace at Syracuse Zoo RGZ

Child development studies indicate that nature play improves cognition and thinking, increases focus, decreases anxiety, builds confidence and helps prevent childhood obesity. It also helps develop a sense of wonder about the natural world that translates into a connection to and respect for green spaces, natural resources and wildlife.

For our part, the zoo will offer guided tours of our outdoor Wildlife Trail on Tuesday, September 24 and Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 a.m. – followed by facilitated play at our Explorer’s PlaySpace. The tour is suitable for all ages; meet at the gazebo in the zoo courtyard at 10:30 a.m. both days, weather permitting.

And of course, the PlaySpace is open and available for children to engage in nature play all year during zoo hours — So I invite you to Take a Child Outside at the zoo this week – and every week — as often as time and the weather allow.

My best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo