Rosamond Gifford Zoo Plans Ahead While Marking 100 Years

May 6, 2014

Syracuse's Rosamond Gifford Zoo is mapping out its future while celebrating its 100th anniversary.  Officials Tuesday unveiled a 20-year strategic master plan that includes a combination of short and long term projects and a business plan.  

Director of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo Ted Fox and County Executive Joanie Mahoney announce a 20-year strategic master plan Tuesday.
Director of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo Ted Fox and County Executive Joanie Mahoney announce a 20-year strategic master plan Tuesday.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

 County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the zoo has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a four acre plot with a few animals to 43 acres with more than 700. 

National zoo planning firm Zoo Advisors LLC and and architecture firm  GLMVZoos worked for more than a year on the strategic plan with zoo leadership, community leaders, and other stakeholders. 

  The zoo has enjoyed nearly three decades of growth after years of struggles that began in the 1960’s and continued well into the 1980’s.  

A map showing the zoo's existing footprint and features, as well as possible planned improvements and additions.
A map showing the zoo's existing footprint and features, as well as possible planned improvements and additions.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

  The county took over operations from the city in 1979, and closed the zoo in 1982 for nearly four years to make major renovations.  Officials hope the new strategic plan will continue to keep the zoo on solid footing, improve the experience, and make it a regional destination.  

Centennial celebrations will kick into high gear this summer.