Where the zoo comes to you!

Your school, scout group, community recreation program, library, senior citizen group, or day care center will be enthralled by our education animals as we explore topics from adaptations to zoology. Educational, entertaining and engaging, our programs are developed for your audience.  

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Current Prices as of 1-1-16

Within 15 miles of Zoo:

$175.00 for the first program (accommodates up to 35 people (children and adults total)– lasts 30-45 minutes)

$90.00 for each additional program (accommodates up to 35 people (children and adults total) – lasts 30-45 minutes)

 

Outside of 15 miles of Zoo:

$250.00 for the first program (accommodates up to 35 people (children and adults total) – lasts 30-45 minutes)

$125.00 for each additional program (accommodates up to 35 people (children and adults total) – lasts 30-45 minutes)

 

Please note:  If your site is over 30 miles from Turtle Back Zoo an additional $50.00 is added for each 20 mile increment from the zoo.

Evening programs (after 4 p.m.) have varying costs and are limited.  Reach out for further details.

We do not travel to NY State due to permit requirements.

 


Scheduling

The next step after exploring this page is to submit a Outreach Inquiry Form. Click HERE to download and attach to your email to mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org. For additional program information, please contact Marguerite Hunt at mhunt@parks.essexcountynj.org or 973-731-5800 x103.

Outreaches need to be scheduled at least 2-3 weeks prior due to other programming obligations. The more advanced notice given, the better we should be able to accommodate your preferred date. Please understand that due to the nature of our work, we are often away from our desks and may need to call or email in the evening or after school hours.

Please include these details in your initial inquiry:

  • Your name and phone number or email address spelled out clearly
  • Your school or organization name and physical address
  • Dates that are possible for your outreach.  We will verify our availability or suggest different dates as needed.
  • Information about your audience – age level, grade level, number of students to be served and where we are scheduled in your curriculum (are we introducing or expanding upon a topic?).
  • Billing address/email or contact person if different from your information.
  • Expected start times for each program.
  • Any questions you have.
  • Best times to reach you.

 

 


PROGRAM OPTIONS

Programs are listed by suggested grade levels; however, please feel free to discuss with us your group’s needs and where we may fit into your curriculum.

 

 

Programs for Elementary through Middle School

Description:  These programs encourage critical thinking about and meaningful connections to the biology, ecology, and evolution of animals by using guided inquiry, animal ambassadors, and appropriate biofacts to illustrate key scientific concepts and themes.  Each of the courses can be adapted across age groups by our educators; please contact us for more information if you’re interested in one of these programs for your students.  Programs are 30-45 minutes long .  Please see individual program descriptions for details.

 

  • Animal Coverings

Description:  Animals are covered in skin, fur, shells, scales, and feathers.  Meet some of our animal ambassadors to discover how different coverings help the animals survive and thrive in their native habitats.

 

  • Animal Adaptations

Description:  Animal species have evolved some fascinating methods that aid survival in the wild.  Explore some of these amazing adaptations when you meet a few of our animal ambassadors.

 

  • Animal Habitats

Description:  Every wild habitat supplies its inhabitants with what they need to live, but also presents challenges that must be addressed.  Meet a few of our animal ambassadors and discover how their habitats provide basic needs, but also how environmental challenges are managed.

 

  • Animal Enrichment

Description:  There’s a lot more to keeping our animals happy and healthy besides feeding them!  Learn about the importance of enrichment to the health and wellbeing of our animal ambassadors and try your hand at crafting a unique and appropriate enrichment item for some of our animals.  This program also includes an up-close meeting with a few of our animal ambassadors.

 

 

Programs for Older Students through Adults

Description:  Just like our programs for younger folks, these programs encourage critical thinking about and meaningful connections to the biology, ecology, and evolution of animals by using guided inquiry, animal ambassadors, and appropriate biofacts to illustrate key scientific concepts and themes.  However, the content and language used in these programs is more advanced and is therefore better suited to a more mature audience; please contact us for more information if you’re interested in one of these programs for your students.  Programs are 30-45 minutes long .  Please see individual program descriptions for details.

 

  • Anatomy and Physiology

Description:  Meet several animals and discuss how both their internal and external anatomies have evolved to aid in survival.  Biofacts will be incorporated into the lesson to illustrate the internal design of our animal subjects.

 

  • Zoo Conservation and Stewardship

Description:  Learn about the education, conservation, and research mission of Turtle Back Zoo and what we do to protect and serve wildlife.  Caring for our animal ambassadors goes deeper than just feeding and cleaning; learn about Species Survival Plans, research projects at zoos, and the work AZA Zoos do to promote wildlife conservation and stewardship.

 


ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS

 

Adults and Senior Living Facilities:  We can tailor any of the above topics to an adult group or let us know your interest.

Special Needs Groups: Programming for special needs groups is available upon request

Scouts: The programming listed above can be modified to help your scout group work towards a specific badge and/or journey. Reach out to speak with an educator further.

Custom: Thinking you need the zoo at your next event? Reach out and talk to us about how we can work together to bring the zoo experience to your program!

 


 

About our Education Animals

Our education animals are living beings.  As such, they have requirements for their safety, comfort and well-being.  We cannot be stationed in rooms or venues with other animals present, with the exception of service dogs.

Outdoor venues are not ideal, and will restrict what, if any, animals can be brought based upon weather and conditions.  Amplified music, bands, construction noise and loud voices or many voices at once can be problematic for the animals, and such activities should not take place in the same room or nearby.

New Jersey is a “no touch state” which prohibits us from permitting the touching of any non-domesticated species.  Our education staff reserves the right to prohibit touching of even our domesticated species based on the zoo staff’s assessment of a situation and the comfort and safety of the animals, the zoo staff, and/ or the program participants.  To maintain a tactile component to the lessons and to allow for close observation, we utilize biofacts along with our animals.  Biofacts are things like fur, feathers, sheds, skull models and skins suitable to the topic and the animals presented.

When choosing the room for our program, please consider:

  • Access to water for hand washing and, if needed, water for the animals. 
  • Climate controlled rooms with closed or screened windows are best. 
  • A table upon which we can set animal crates and biofacts.
  • Participants seated in a semi-circle on chairs. Or at desks/tables with space for us to walk safely around the group.
  • If multiple groups are scheduled in the same day:
  • Please build in a break for lunch for our staff and animals of at least a half hour.
  • Please do not schedule programs with more than an hour gap between the end of one program and the start of the next program.
  • Please have participants move to us rather than us moving to them.