Community Appreciation Weekend offers free admission to America’s Teaching Zoo


Photo credit: Ventura County Community College District

By Christine Hernandez

This year’s annual Community Appreciation Weekend will be held on Sept. 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at America’s Teaching Zoo on the Moorpark College campus.

Guests will experience animal encounters and training demonstrations led by students of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program. There will also be food vendors, booths and additional activities throughout the zoo.

“Admission into America’s Teaching Zoo is free and we will have several animal presentations, meet and greets, and trainer talks,” said public relations manager, Paige VanOordt. “This is also an event where we are celebrating Vulture Awareness Month and will have a booth set up for this as well as meet and greets with one of our turkey vultures.”

The EATM Program focuses on teaching students animal training and wildlife education by directly working with animals residing in the zoo. Students who graduate from the program have the opportunity to become animal trainers, zoo keepers, wild life educators and more.

Libby Lipowski, EATM student, leads a guided tour for visiting schools on Tuesday, Sept. 17 in America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

The zoo at Moorpark College offers many special events throughout the year, such as Boo at the Zoo, Spring Spectacular, Rendezvous at the Zoo. The zoo also accommodates school field trips and birthday parties. However, Community Appreciation Weekend is the only event that is offered free of charge to guests.

“Community Appreciation Weekend is a weekend where we give back to the community for all the support they have given us over the years,” stated Van Oordt. “We want our community to prepare for a fun with the family and inspiration from our incredible students and animals.”

For more information contact America’s Teaching Zoo at 805-378-1441.