Diageo Donates $30K & 800 Volunteer Hours to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Tue, 06/05/2012

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - June 5, 2012 - A $30,000 donation from Diageo North America to Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo will kick off the Zoo's new Pampas Plains South American Adventure exhibit. To help prepare for the new exhibit, more than 100 Diageo employees spent the day at Connecticut's only zoo on May 24th working on 11 projects, including construction, painting, and gardening. Featuring animals from the Pampas region of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, the new exhibit will be constructed in four phases with a target completion date of 2017. The total investment for the expansion is projected at $5,000,000.
"The $30,000 donation from Diageo shows their commitment to the state of Connecticut and our community," explained Gregg Dancho, Zoo director. "The money will go far and has given us great momentum to build from for our capital campaign for the Pampas Plains exhibit. More importantly, the efforts and enthusiasm shown by the more than 100 Diageo volunteers are priceless. Their work has built not only new parts of our zoo, but also a critical part of our future that will delight families for years to come."

"Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is a unique place for families and friends to have fun, learn about our world, and celebrate our community, which fits perfectly with Diageo's mission to celebrate life, everyday, everywhere," said Chris Davies, Chief Financial Officer, Diageo North America. "Beardsley represents the best parts of our community and Diageo is proud to help bring a little bit of South America to our home state of Connecticut."

In addition to Diageo's generous contribution, more than 100 Diageo employees contributed people power, working on nearly a dozen improvement projects. Activities included painting within the carousel building and Hanson Exploration Station, building a pathway through the butterfly gardens, mulching the picnic grove, flowerbeds, the Wild Open Playspace, and front gate areas. As part of the project, Diageo also has committed to match any personal donations its employees make to the zoo.

The new Pampas Plains South American exhibit will feature Chacoan peccaries, Greater rhea, and Giant anteaters, as well as plants and grasses native to this South American region. A raised walkway is planned, which will offer panoramic views as well as a glimpse into the animals' distinctive habitats. Guests will discover Giant anteaters foraging in termite mounds and will learn how different feeding adaptations, like the anteater's long snout and tongue, help animals to thrive in varied environments. Throughout the exhibit artifact nooks and discovery boxes will create new opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in this wild experience. A tiered amphitheater will offer staff and visitor interactions, educational programs, and wildlife encounters.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is celebrating its 90th birthday in 2012 and is closer than you think. The zoo is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $12.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $10.00, and children under 3 years old are free. Zoo members are also admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge. For information, call: (203) 394-6565. Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo is located at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut.


# # #