Broome County is helping the home of April the Giraffe to grow larger and offer more educational programs to children.
Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville has received a pledge of $30,000 from Broome County Executive Jason Garnar.
The money is from the county’s Small Communities Fund, a new budget line that is funded by Broome’s hotel/motel tax.
Animal Adventure will use the grant to establish educational programs related to its new Discovery Station gem mining activity, as well as build a new accessible playground next door.
It also plans to expand its pavilions and shelters for its Summer camps.
“The educational aspect is key because we have young children that are here and we’re right now developing that appreciation for living things and animals which turns into the educational factor which leads to conservation. So, educating today leads to conservation in the future,” said Patch.
The Town of Colesville officially applied for the funding on Animal Adventure’s behalf as only non-profits can apply for the Small Communities Fund.
Due in large part to the popularity of its April the Giraffe pregnancy webcam, the park’s employment swelled from 30 to almost 50 last year.
Patch says the county grant will lead to the addition of another 11 positions.