A generous $1.4 million gift from State Farm® to the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park guarantees that the Kids’ Farm exhibit will remain open for the next five years. The State Farm® donation is the largest made to the Zoo since 2007.
Earlier this year the Zoo announced plans to close the Kids’ Farm for budget reasons. The decision was one of several identified to implement cost-saving measures at the Zoo and across the Smithsonian.
The Kids’ Farm opened in 2004 and costs approximately $250,000 to operate each year. When news of the closing became public, there was an overwhelming response from the community and Friends of the National Zoo members who voiced their support for the exhibit to remain open. FONZ members organized fundraising events and launched additional efforts to find the longer term funding.
Families are invited to celebrate at the Kids’ Farm Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. FONZ members are invited to a special members-only event at 10 a.m., preceding the public event.
Several activities and special programming are planned, including: Fun with Fleece, which allows visitors to create a large felt wall hanging with alpaca fleece and Plant Pots, where children can plant seeds and take home the plant as a souvenir.
Young visitors may also decorate various animal ears. Animal demonstrations will include cow washing, fish feeding and hog enrichment, and animal keepers will be on hand to talk to visitors of all ages.
Many of the Zoo's community partners, including Cabot Creamery, Whole Foods Market, Upper Crust Pizzeria, Ben & Jerry’s, Firehook Bakery, and Chipotle will provide free treats.
In addition to the generous gift from State Farm®, FONZ is looking to raise an additional $100,000 to reach our goal of $1.5 million to support activities and upkeep of the Kids’ Farm and renovate the Pizza Garden and Playground area. You can help us reach this goal!
During Sunday’s event, there will be several opportunities to further support the Kids’ Farm. You can buy a My Pillow Pets® plush foldable stuffed animal at the event on Sunday and after at our gift shops for a $20 donation, all of which goes to support the Kids' Farm. Everyone who donates $5 or more will receive a limited-edition “I Helped Save the Kids’ Farm” button.
We hope you will join us as we celebrate on Sunday. Your support makes a real difference in the life of the Zoo and the lives of its young visitors. Thank you very much!