FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Throughout the summer, young residents will get to visit the Fresno Chaffee Zoo on Tuesdays for free, thanks to a donation from the One Fresno Foundation–a non-profit designed to invest in our community’s youth.
“One of the things that I’ve learned is that during this last year, as a result of the pandemic, many of our youth had been cooped up and not been able to socialize and not been able to go out and experience a part of life that they need to experience,” said Fresno City Mayor Jerry Dyer.
$10,000 dollars was donated from the mayor’s One Fresno Foundation which will give more than 9,000 zoo tickets out to children who otherwise might not be able to visit.
“These children are our most vulnerable population. These kids likely do not see beyond the neighborhoods, and many have never even visited the zoo,” said Emilia Reyes, the CEO of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.
Ten community organizations including the Fresno EOC, Centro la Familia, and the West Fresno Family Resource Center are making the project a reality and the city also offers free FAX bus transportation to the zoo.
“They will interact with a larger part of our community, connect with nature and wildlife, foster a love for animals in conservation and even see maybe their favorite animal in person regardless of their economic status,” said Reyes.
This announcement comes at a perfect time as the zoo reopens completely to the public and welcomes back the Wilderness Falls and Dino Dig exhibits that have been closed since March of 2020.
“This is a fantastic day for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which the whole state of California is emerging from these COVID restrictions,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, the CEO & Zoo Director of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
This outreach program is going on through August 15th.