Support The Zoo

Owl Society – Planned Giving

Owl SocietyThe Owl Society 

Planned Giving at Turtle Back Zoo

History and Purpose of the Owl Society

The purpose of the Owl Society is to recognize those individuals and families who have remembered Turtle Back Zoo and the Zoological Society of New Jersey in their estate plans through a documented planned gift. More so,
the Owl Society serves to enable members and friends to promote the conservation and education values of the Zoo for generations to come.  The Owl Society was created in 2014 with a recommendation from a committee of advocates representing the Zoological Society of New Jersey.  The Zoological Society of New Jersey, Inc. was started in 1973. Its purpose is to promote the general welfare of Essex County Turtle Back Zoo.

Vision for the Owl Society
Gifts to the Owl Society ensure the future of our Zoo. Through your generosity, the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will continue to be a leading destination for New Jersey families.

The Benefits or Rewards of Membership
Members of the Owl Society are rewarded with the knowledge that their gift helps to conserve one of New Jersey’s recreational and educational landmarks.  Every year, names of new members of the Owl Society will be added to a display within the Zoo’s Education Center. All Owl Society members will be honored at an annual social. Members will also be invited to seminars and special events on planned giving, financial and estate planning.

Becoming a Member
You may become a member of the Owl Society simply by providing documentation that you have named the Zoological Society of New Jersey a beneficiary in your will or estate plan.

Forms of Planned Giving

  • Bequest in a Will
  • Life Income Gifts
  • Life Insurance
  • Life Estate

Depending on the type of planned gift, different assets may be used to fund it. Cash, appreciated securities, appreciated property, or personal property (such as jewelry or art) may be options. Check with your financial and legal advisers before making a gift.

For additional information:

Zoological Society of New Jersey
(973) 731-5800×280

Jay J. Freireich, Esq.
Brach Eichler L.L.C.
(973) 364-5206

Jennifer Lynch
Investors Bank
(973) 994-4900

Corporate Matching

Many of our sponsors participate in their employer’s matching gift program, in which the employer matches their employees’ charitable contributions by donating an equal amount.

You can increase the impact of your donations to The Zoological Society of New Jersey by participating in your company’s matching gift program. Here’s how to get started:

  • Contact your Human Resources or Payroll Department to find out if they will match your contributions to The Zoological Society
  • Review your company’s policies for their Matching Gift program. Complete any necessary forms and send them to:
Zoological Society of New Jersey, Inc.
Attn:  Corporate Matching Program
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
  • Zoological Society of New Jersey will process your form and return it to your employer. It’s that easy!

Living and Memorial Tributes

donationsignageTurtle Back Zoo Tribute Cards

“Celebration Critters” & “In Loving Memory” tribute cards are a lovely way to tell someone that you are thinking about them and about TBZ’s animals.

Adopt a Bench

donationsignageEssex County Turtle Back Zoo is a wonderful place for people of all ages to stroll through. Walking the hills of the zoo’s 20 acres of landscaped habitats can sometimes be a bit tiring, however, which is why the Zoological Society has purchased new benches that have been placed throughout the zoo. What better way to honor a loved one or promote your business than with an engraved plaque mounted on one of these beautiful benches? Sponsorship of a 6-foot bench is only $500, and a limited number of 10-foot benches are available for $1,000. All sponsorships are tax-deductible and help further the improvement and development of Turtle Back Zoo. Please contact the Zoological Society office at 973 731-5800, ext. 241, for sponsorship opportunities.

Adopt An Animal




Visit our virtual storefront to purchase your Adopt-An-Animal today.



If paying by mail, please make checks payable to the Zoological Society of New Jersey, Inc., at the following address:

Adopt-An-Animal Program
Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052


For $30.00 you can join in supporting one of the larger (and therefore more expensive to provide for) animals. The same yearly program benefits apply. A shared adoption makes a thoughtful gift. As the zoo grows and expands, animals not listed in the brochure may be adopted for an initial fee of $30.00. Animals sometimes die or are moved to another zoo; should it be necessary, you will be notified and your adoption will be transferred to another animal of your choice. Due to popularity, one animal may have more than one sponsor.


It is hard to imagine the thousands of hours of preparation that go into the making of all those meals.
Our Shopping List:

  • 8,000 pounds of meat for the wolves and cats
  • 20,000 pounds of grain and seed for waterfowl and other birds
  • 6,400 pounds of meat for owls, eagles and falcons, etc.
  • 113,617 pounds of hay
  • 65,000 pounds of grain for hooved animals
  • 46,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • 50 dozen eggs
  • 6,000 pounds of fish

From the 1,000 pound Bull Bison to the tiniest baby Turtle, all of the more than 200 animals at Turtle Back Zoo get hungry every day. Their basic dietary needs are provided by a yearly budget administered by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs of the County of Essex. Your sponsorship money goes toward helping with special dietary items and animal care when the budget projection fails to stretch as far as anticipated. Not only food but maintenance and medical needs, when necessary, will be assured through your interest.

You will receive the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to support your favorite animal . . . PLUS the following perks:
  • You will receive an adoption certificate suitable for framing, as well as a fact sheet about your animal;
  • You will receive a photograph of the sponsored animal to display in your home or office, as well as a decorative “I Adopted An Animal” magnetic frame.



You can make a difference…

The Zoological Society of New Jersey supports and sponsors fund raising events to help the financing of new facilities, purchase of equipment and acquisition of animals, as well as funding for special projects. Your donations really do make a difference! We encourage you to give to projects that excite your passion for the Turtle Back Zoo.

Consider your donation as a way to help grow and develop the Zoo by providing much-needed funding for new habitat design & construction, general zoo improvements and conservations education programs.

You can also make a gift to the Society in honor or memory of a special individual.

Click below or call us at 973-731-5800  to make your tax-deductible gift today!

The Zoological Society of New Jersey, Inc. is a 501 c (3) and all contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

Upcoming Events

  • February 20, 2017See the Seas Mini-Camp, Parts I and II
  • February 25, 2017 11:00 amSeasonal Job Fair
  • February 25, 2017 2:00 pmSOLD OUT - Zoo Behind the Scenes: Giraffe House
  • February 26, 2017 2:00 pmMembers Only- Zoo Behind the Scenes: Giraffe House
  • March 4, 2017 12:00 pmSummer Camp Open House
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