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Brevard Zoo thanks it's founders

One of the many Meerkats at Brevard Zoo poses for a photo.
Photo: Barn Light Electric

Brevard Zoo celebrates it's 20th anniversary in 2014 and as part of the celebration they would like to thank the more than 16,000 individuals who participated in the massive community build for the Zoo. To thank those volunteers, the Zoo is hosting a Zoo Builder Appreciation Weekend on June 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo builders and their immediate family who visit during this weekend will enjoy opening day admission prices from 1994.

To qualify for the discounted rates, individuals are required to bring a piece of memorabilia from the build or fill out a brief contact form telling us how they participated in the “World’s Largest Community Build.” Admission prices from opening day are $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2.50 for children 2 to 12. Brevard Zoo Members who participated in the Zoo Build are admitted free.

Zoo builders will enter through the Nyami Nyami River Lodge where build memorabilia will be displayed. Guests are invited to record their Zoo building experiences in the “Share Your Memories” talkback booth, listen to a state of the Zoo address at 11 a.m. This will be an excellent opportunity for those volunteers to see how their project continues to grow. The Meerkat Hamlet recently opened and the Grand Opening of the Brevard Zoo Trail was in March.


A Founder's Society, consisting of 303 founding members, was where it all started. It's goal was to match a $500,000 grant from the State of Florida. Thousands of zoo memberships and t-shirts were sold before the zoo was even built. Local schools offered students the chance to make their own bricks, which would be used for walkways within the zoo, for a modest donation. Today, these bricks can be seen woven among the cement paths in the zoo. This group of 303 people raised $3.5 million dollars and recruited more than 16,000 volunteers.

Construction began in the spring of 1992 and on March 26, 1994 the Brevard Zoo held it's Grand Opening. With each new addition, volunteers have lent their time and money. The zoo can truly claim to be "The World's Largest Volunteer Community Build'", with over 16,000 people of all ages joined together to make their dream a reality.

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