Tag: NJ Zoos

Cape May County Park & Zoo                     707 Route 9                                                  North Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Cape May County Park & Zoo 707 Route 9 North Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Cape May County Park & Zoo

707 Route 9

North Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

(609) 465-5271

http://www.cmczoo.com

https://www.facebook.com/capemaycountyparkzoo/

https://www.capemaycountynj.gov/1008/Park-Zoo

http://www.capemaycountynj.gov/1008/ParkZoo

http://www.capemaycountynj.gov/1400/Virtual-Zoo-School

Open:

Park Hours: 9:00am-Dusk

Zoo Hours:

Summer Hours: 10:00am-4:30pm

Winter hours: 10:00am-3:30pm

*The park and zoo are open every day but Christmas (weather permitting) and may have extended hours for special events.

Fee: The zoo is free but they appreciate donations

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46342-d268949-Reviews-Cape_May_County_Park_Zoo-Cape_May_Court_House_Middle_Township_Cape_May_County_New_J.html?m=19905

 

Cape May Zoo III

I visited the zoo in late September on a very gloomy rainy day, which I do not recommend for visitors. The animals like the humans took cover in their sheds and would not come out until the sun peaked out at the end of my visit. It still is an interesting zoo.

I have to admit that it is a little dated in that the philosophy of zoos continues to change and I think the zoo could use another updating to give the animals some more room and better stimulation in their respected areas. They just need more room to move around.

Cape May Zoo V

The entrance to the zoo and park

The gift shops and restaurants are typical to a zoo with overpriced children’s fare and gifts but it still is fun to walk around and watch the families have a good time. The gift shop does have some interesting items.

This pristine zoo and park features more than 550 inhabitants representing 250 species. Over 200 acres of beautiful, natural wooded areas and open space. Winding trails for hikers, bikers, joggers and wildlife watchers. Picnic areas and a huge playground make the park and zoo your perfect place for a family adventure (Cape May County Zoo and Park).

Cape May Zoo

Park & Zoo History:

The Cape May County Park Central is located two miles north of the heart of Cape May Court House and occupies both the right and left side of Route 9. This site was originally a southern plantation of the Matthews family.

Back in 1763, on Daniel Hand’s plantation in Middletown (now called Cape May Court House), the State Assembly petitioned erecting a courthouse and jail. The petition was granted and the cost was limited to 300 pounds. In 1764, Daniel Hand gave one acre to the county for the purpose of building a courthouse.

During the dame time, just north of the courthouse’s land, was the Matthew’s plantation. The main plantation was located below the lake and tributary waters. Just north of the tributary and small lake, the Matthews had an orchard that was set aside as a family cemetery and for the slaves of the plantation. This site still remains and is part of the park today. For a short period of time during the 1700s-1800s, this site was also used to bury the poor.

In “The 1942 Park Land Acquisition,” approximately forty acres of the Matthews plantation donated to the count to be used as a park and meeting place. Most of the land was wooded but some was lakes and tributary waters and also the cemetery. At this time, very little was done to the land. Later, a building used as a laundry at Crest Haven was moved from that location and converted into a maintenance and supply building with a comfort station and a six grill brick barbecue pit was constructed. It was during this time that the 4-H department, after holding its fair in Cold Springs or the riding club grounds, decided to ask permission to hold the fair at the county park.

The county road department and employees of Crest Haven cleared a section of the grounds of trees and brush, then seeded the ground for grass. This made a clearing for tents and booths, plus a horse ring to be used by the 4-H fair. The telephone company donated light fixtures and wire. Several years later, Pepsi-Cola donated a booth to be sued for refreshments. This was the extent of the county park for many years.

The County of Cape May was approved by referendum in November 1962. The State of New Jersey enabled an act for a park commission of nine residents of the county, which was established on February 5, 1963. The commissioners would serve terms of 1 to 5 years without compensation. A director was appointed in January 1966 and a solicitor was appointed in 1967.

The primary function of the park commission is to plan, acquire, develop, maintain and administer park land and the recreational facilities, thereon, which provide values for the benefit of the entire county. The Park Commission assumed complete responsibility of the County Park Systems on January 1, 1967. The County Park Facilities in 1967 were the same as they had been since the stat of the park! Facilities included maintenance and supply building with a comfort station, a band stand, 3 shelters, 1 six grill barbecue pit and a drinking fountain.

Cape May Zoo IV

The Cape May Zoo layout

Parks facility developments under the commission in the year 1967 were: 2 ten car parking lots, 6 group and organization barbecue pits, 40 picnic tables, 13 picnic grills and 1 playground. In 1968, they added 1 manual pump with shelter, 2 shelter, 2 ten care parking lots, another playground, 10 picnic tables, 6 picnic grills, 2 shuffleboard courts, 3 horse pitching courts, 3 swinging par benches and 8 regular park benches. Also, they added 1 volleyball court, 1 badminton court, 1 croquet court plus a camping area for Boy Scouts and Girl Scout and a foot bridge.

In 1969, a large amount of recreation facilities were added along with some park equipment to better serve the park users. On the recreation additions: 1 horseshoe pitching court, 3 quoit pitching courts, 1 deck tennis court, 1 aerial tennis court, 1 archery range, 1 boccie court, 1 tether ball court, 1 tether tennis court, 1 hopscotch court, a natural trail, 3 swinging park benches, 2 entrance gates, 4 foot bridges, 5 parking lots and 24 shelter picnic tables. All available to the public to use. Also, during this period, the residence of Charles W. Allen was purchases and made into an office fro the Cape May County Park Commission.

It has been close to seventy years since the parks beginning but the facility is still expanding and remains open to the public year round.

(History of Cape May Parks & Zoo; Parks System)

History of the Cape May County Zoo:

The Cape May County Zoo was created in 1978 within the Cape May County Park. The dedication was on May 6, 1978.

At the opening of the zoo, it consisted of an African lion, primates (spider monkeys), various barnyards animals and New Jersey wildlife animals. In the early 1980’s, the zoo gradually incorporated into its displays more exotic animals such as black bears, bison, antelope, primates and birds. All exhibits were constructed by park personnel.

Cape May Zoo VI

The Giraffe Exhibition at the Zoo

Beginning in 1986, a zoo renaissance began. Donations were solicited and major reconstruction was underway. Some of the projects that were completed consisted of a complete perimeter fence, a new lion exhibit, a Bengal tiger exhibit, a cougar exhibit, a giraffe and camel exhibit, a reptile house and a construction of a medical building and diet preparation building.

In 1989, the zoo became AZA accredited and has remained an accredited zoo to this date.

Throughout the 1990’s, renovations and new exhibits continued with the construction of an African Savannah, which consisted of 57 acres that display giraffes, zebras, antelopes and ostriches. Reconstruction of a reptile house replaced the original reptile house that was destroyed by fire in 1998, also a “World of Birds” walk through Aviary was constructed.

From the zoo’s beginnings in 1978, the animal population was around 70 animals and today the zoo consists of 550 animals representing 250 species.

The Cape May County Zoo is home to 13 flamingos from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

The zoo has recently improved traffic flow, parking and beautified the entrance to the zoo. The zoo is undergoing restroom renovations along with other amenities and necessities.

The Cape May Zoological Society added a train and added an animal themed carousel late in the summer of 2008.

The Cape May County Zoo celebrated its 40th birthday in 2018.

(History of the Cape May County Zoo)

Disclaimer: The information of the history of the Cape May County Park & Zoo was taken directly from the Park’s website and I give them full credit for the information. Please call ahead for weather and seasonal conditions to the park.

Cape May Zoo

The day I visited it was raining and the animals just like the humans ran for cover.

 

 

 

The Bergen County Zoo in Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Avenue                             Paramus, New Jersey 07652

The Bergen County Zoo in Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Avenue Paramus, New Jersey 07652

The Bergen County Zoo in Van Saun Park

216 Forest Avenue

Paramus, NJ  07652

(201) 634-3100

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/bc.parks/

Open: Sunday-Saturday-10:00am-4:30pm

Fee: Bergen County Resident: $4.00 Adults/$2.00 Child/$1.00 Seniors/Child under 3 Free/Non-Bergen County Resident $8.00 Adult/$5.00 Child/$2.00 Seniors-Disabled/Children under 3 and Active Military free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46712-d652710-Reviews-Bergen_County_Zoological_Park-Paramus_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Bergen County Zoo has been enjoyed by thousands of people over the years and has many fans. Every season, hundreds of families walk through the doors of the zoo to enjoy the afternoon out, visit the animals and ride the train around the park. What started as a duck pond and reserve in Van Saun Park in the 1960’s has morphed over time to the current zoo.

Bergen County Zoo III

The 1980’s saw a tremendous change in the animal collection. The first birth of an endangered species in our zoo’s history occurred in 1982 with the birth of a Brown Lemur. Numerous species, many endangered were added including Ocelots, Red Brocket Deer, Mountain Lions and Snowy Owls among others. Births of Ocelots, Brocket Deer and Spider Monkeys occurred throughout the second half of the 80’s .

Bergen County Zoo II

The Zoo Map

As the zoo moved through the 1990’s,  many changes continued to occur. The zoo’s commitment to wildlife conservation strengthened  and more endangered species were added to the collection including Andean Condors, Golden Lion Tamarins, Goeldi’s Monkeys and Galapagos Tortoises.

Bergen County Zoo IV

The Train that goes around the zoo

Additional areas were renovated, providing exciting opportunities for our visitors to view and learn about many new species. Major projects completed in the 1990’s area as follows:

Projects:

Mountain Lion Exhibit (completed 4/90)

North American Plains Exhibit (completed 10/92)

Master Plan (completed 06/93)

Bergen Dutch Farmyard (completed 10/94)

South American Exhibit Areas (completed 10/96)

Zoo Entry Complex (completed 08/99)

Efforts to secure alternative funding sources became fruitful in the 1990’s with over $200,000 in federal grants received. In addition, local businesses and corporations increased their support of various zoo activities through cash and in-kind contributions.

Additionally a new entry complex was developed including new ticketing facilities, a new train station, gift shop and entry plaza. New and exciting special events were also developed including Holiday Lights and Zoo Boo, the most heavily attended event in zoo history. Educational programming was significantly re-developed, providing opportunities for our area residents to explore the zoo and learn about wildlife in new and innovative ways.

Another significant milestone for the zoo was the development of a comprehensive master plan. This planning tool was created to identify the future needs of the zoo and its visitors as well as provide an organized and orderly schedule of development.

As the 21st Century began, zoo development continued to advance. Several major projects were undertaken including a new state-of-art Animal Care Center, an Outdoor Demonstration Area for public programming and an Education/Discovery Center. All of these projects enhance the experience of our visitors, while furthering the zoo’s mission of wildlife conservation and public education.

Bergen County Zoo V

Additionally, the zoo took a major step in support of conservation by establishing an annual field conservation grant program. The program provides financial support to researchers conducting field work in North and South America. Also, the zoo’s original master plan was formally revisited and determined to be no longer effective. As a result, a new plan was developed to assist the zoo in its development strategies over the next 20 years.

In 2007, we moved forward with a Coati exhibition replicating an abandoned adobe. To address the needs of our keepers, we built a holding facility in 2008 for our alligators at their exhibit, therefore eliminating annual roundup of alligators. With the decline in the economy, the zoo has directly been affected. Funds for construction of new exhibits have been put on hold and fixing existing structures is taking priority. A new Neotropical songbird exhibit opened in 2009, adding new birds to our collection. A larger guanaco exhibit was built at the far end of the zoo utilizing empty pasture space in 2010. In 2011, we had some dramatic effects caused by severe weather and significant personal changes, including the resignation of our zoo director of over 30 years, a change in the board of the Friends of the Bergen County Zoo Inc. and a new director of parks. So we start another chapter in our history.

In the last five years, the zoo has had many changes. New Tamarin exhibit was constructed in 2013, two buildings constructed to replace the single outdated structure. Replacement of one of our bridges in the zoo, a wood bridge was replaced with a wider concrete bridge with decorative railings and new light posts. The removal of our seasonal outdoor exhibit support structure in 2015 so we can prepare for an interactive barn which will be open all year round by the end of 2017. In 2015,  one of the best features we added was the new overflow parking lot. This lot will vastly improve our visitors parking experience as it replaces our old overflow parking,  which was a muddy field with many walking hazards.

Also, 2015 was milestone year marking 25 years as an Accredited Institution of the AZA, for a small zoo this is truly an accomplishment. In light of this, in 2016 a new Master Plan was developed with Jones & Jones and new county administration so we have a new direction for future projects. This plan includes the construction of a new prairie dog exhibit and bison & elk viewing area (to open in the spring of 2017). This will provide more opportunities for schools and our education department to conduct classes related to our exhibits of eagles, prairie dogs and the bison & elk.

(This annotated history of the Bergen County Zoo was provided by the staff of the zoo).

The Bergen County Zoo is an accredited member of The Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Admission: (this can change)

The Zoo is opened seven days a week. Hours of operation are from 10:00am until 4:30pm. The last admission to the zoo is at 4:00pm-those within the zoo can remain until 4:30pm.

Beginning with November 1st, the Bergen County Zoo will be free of admission. The weather during the late fall and winter months does not allow for the majority of the animal collection to be view able to the public (see the above Animal Collection link for further details). Admission to the zoo will resume in May of 2017-forms of payment are cash and credit only. The admission fee schedule is listed below. Please note that in order to receive BC Resident rates, proof of residency is required at the admission ticket window.

Rates:

Adult (15-61) $4 (county resident) and $8 (non-resident)

Child (3-14) $2 (county resident) and $5 (non-resident)

Child (under 3) free (county resident) and free (non-resident)

Senior (62 and up)/Disabled $1 (county resident) and $2 (non-resident)

Active Military Free (county resident) and Free (non-county resident)

Amphitheater:

In July and August, live animal shows are held daily in our outdoor amphitheater, which is located behind the Tamarin Exhibit. Shows are free with zoo admission and seating is first-come, first-served. Daily shows with time frames can be seen as you enter the zoo.

Train/Carousel:

Cost: $1.50 (cash only)

The train and carousel operate from mid-April to mid-November (approximately). Hours are typically from 10:00am-5:00pm unless otherwise specified (weather permitted) with the last ticket being sold at 4:30pm and the last ride at 4:45pm.

Schedule for the train and the carousel, for the week of June 11th-June 17th are as follows:

Train: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Carousel: Sunday, Tuesday (opens at 1:00pm), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Pony Rides:

The Pony Ride concession operates from April through October. Currently, the vendor is Ironside Farms, they can be reached at (201) 835-0932.

Disclaimer: this information was directly from the Bergen County Parks Site and can change at any time. Please call the zoo for more information.

 

 

The Fort Lee Museum at the                 Judge Moore House                                                              1588 Palisade Avenue                                 Fort Lee, NJ 07024

The Fort Lee Museum at the Judge Moore House 1588 Palisade Avenue Fort Lee, NJ 07024

The Fort Lee Museum at the Judge Moore House

1588 Palisade Avenue

Fort Lee, NJ  07024

(201) 592-3580

contact@thefortleehistoricalsociety.org

https://www.njpalisades.org/fortlee.html

https://www.fortleenj.org/facilities/facility/details/Fort-Lee-Museum-30

 

Open: Saturday & Sunday-12:00pm-4:00pm

Fee: Free with donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46446-d12268273-Reviews-The_Fort_Lee_Museum_at_the_Judge_Moore_House-Fort_Lee_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Fort Lee Museum  at the Judge Moor House today to see the exhibition on Palisades Park Amusement Park and to see the history of the early film industry. Silent films started in Fort Lee long before they moved Los Angeles.

It was interesting to see how many silent screen stars started in Fort Lee including Mae Marsh, Lillian and Dorothy Gish and Mabel Normad and where  the movies were shot. The museum shows how the industry grew and the studios that were created in town.

Fort Lee Museum II

Exhibitions at the museum

The Palisade Park exhibition was on the progression of the growth of the amusement industry in North Jersey and exhibited many artifacts from the old park. There were many pictures of the park in many different eras.

Fort Lee Museum III

The Palisade Park exhibition

From the museum:

The Fort Lee Museum is a historic museum in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Palisade Avenue within Monument Park. The museum opened in April 1999 and is operated by the Fort Lee Historical Society.

The museum building is also known as the Judge Moore House. It was built in 1922 with an exterior of bluestone quarried from the Hudson Palisades atop which Fort Lee is situated. The building was slated for demolition in 1989 but community intervention prevented its destruction and the borough purchased it.

Fort Lee Museum

The Judge Moore house

The museum has a collections which speak the long history of Fort Lee and surrounding communities such as the Battle of Fort Lee. America’s first motion picture, the George Washington Bridge and Palisades Amusement Park.

Monument Park was built by the Daughters of the American Revolution and dedicated in 1908 at a ceremony attended by General “Black Jack” Pershing. The park was part of the original Fort Constitution of the Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. Over 2,600 troops were stationed in and around the Monument Park area. In 2004, the park was reconstructed for the Fort Lee Centennial. A time capsule was placed at the foot of the monument to be opened at the Bicentennial Celebration in the year 2104. Monument Park and Continental Army Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn are the only parks in the US to be dedicated to soldiers of the American Revolution.

*Note from the editor: The Fort Lee Museum is in a very unusual location right off the Main Street of Fort Lee and tucked off to the side. It only takes about an hour to see the whole museum.

Hiram's Hot dogs

When you are finished your tour, stop at Hiram’s down the road on Palisades Avenue for a deep fried hot dog. It is worth the trip.

Hiram's Hot dogs II

The best deep fried hot dogs and fries