“June 12th could possibly be the most important day in zoo history!!” Brit Spaugh Zoo Director Scott Gregory said. He was speaking of the Great Bend zoo’s history. Tuesday is the day the zoo will be inspected by staff from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for possible accreditation.
Volunteers are needed for a final clean-up on Monday. Anyone interested in helping may send an e-mail to Gregory at Scott@GreatBendZoo.com.
The zoo has been working toward AZA accreditation for about six years, Gregory said. The inspection will take three days.
“This is D-Day for us, so we very much appreciate any help (volunteers) are able lend us,” Gregory said in an e-mail. “We open at 8 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m., so I am not sending any specific times to volunteer, just any time in that frame would be great.”
Last Friday the zoo held an evening fundraising event, the June Jam in the Zoo, which Gregory said will return next year. It included live music, food and a beer garden. The proceeds benefit the zoological society and maintenance of the zoo, as well as the Barton County Arts Council.
The next day, on Saturday, June 2, the zoo held hold its annual Nex-Tech Zoo Fest in the afternoon. It was a free event that included “lots of food, fun, games and giveaways for the kids,” Gregory said.
This was the eighth year for Zoo Fest, which offers free food and prizes from local businesses, live entertainment and games. Admission was free, but guests were invited to make a donation to the zoo. Nex-Tech also made a donation.
Note: This story has been modified to correct dates and to note the June Jam in the Zoo was a fundraiser for the Barton County Arts Council as well as for the zoo.