Friday, February 22, 2013
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Miller Park Zoo leaps toward goal, receives $100,000 toward master plan

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[February 22, 2013]  BLOOMINGTON -- Country Financial, Growmark and the Illinois Farm Bureau aren't monkeying around with their support for Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo. Together, the organizations recently pledged $100,000 toward the zoo's master plan.

"I am extremely excited about the Miller Park Zoo's future and am so grateful for the generous gift from Illinois Farm Bureau, Growmark and Country Financial that will help make the zoo's master plan become reality," said Jay Tetzloff, Miller Park Zoo superintendent.

"The city of Bloomington's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts department is very thankful for Illinois Farm Bureau, Growmark and Country Financial's gift to Miller Park Zoo," said John Kennedy, director of the department. "Their generous contribution will help the zoo kick-start the implementation of its master plan and ensure the zoo remains a valuable community amenity and regional attraction for many years to come."

The plan is a 20-year initiative to transform the Miller Park Zoo from a local attraction into a regional destination. The plan includes building new exhibits for the zoo's existing animals, as well as bringing new animals to the zoo, such as giant anteaters and tree kangaroos. These animals cannot be found anywhere else in the region.

The master plan will help the zoo develop its conservation programming, further its mission to preserve the natural resources of the world and enhance the overall guest experience.

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"The Farm Bureau family believes in giving back to the communities we serve," said Steve Denault, Country's executive vice president of corporate services. "Our gift will not only help the zoo diversify its animal population but also provide new experiences for a growing number of visitors from Illinois and beyond."

Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has been open to the public since 1891. The zoo is home to more than 150 species of animals and features several large exhibits, such as the ZooLab, Children's Zoo, Animals of Asia, Wallaby Walkabout and the Katthoefer Animal Building. Miller Park Zoo also provides educational programs for local students interested in learning more about zoology. Its Junior Zookeeper program has been in operation since 1972.

To learn more about Miller Park Zoo, become a Facebook fan at

[Text from Miller Park Zoo news release received from Bloomington Parks & Recreation]

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