“Introducing kids to nature broadens their world and lets them know it is bigger than they are.”
Parking will Remain Free at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory!
Como Friends is happy to share that the City of Saint Paul has determined that parking will remain free in Como Regional Park, including at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory and will not be pursued for the 2021 budget.
The decision was made based on findings from the Paid Parking Feasibility Study. Key discoveries included a likely decline in people visiting Como Park Zoo & Conservatory because of paid parking and a decline in food and retail purchases during a visit.
Como Friends will advance our mission-driven work to inspire support for the zoo and conservatory so it remains a vibrant and welcoming place where future generations can explore and make memories.
Be sure to join our Como Promo email newsletter list at https://comofriends.org/get-involved/the-como-promo/ to stay informed on the latest developments, and to learn more about Como Friends’ advocacy work on behalf of the nearly two million visitors who come to Como Park Zoo & Conservatory every year. Thank you for all you do to support free access and needed improvements at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, to ensure this beloved treasure is thriving for generations to come.
“It is our first visit here, and it is an amazing opportunity. We asked how much it was and they said it’s free. And I said, ‘Are you sure?” –Lionnel Djon, Thunder Bay, Ontario
THANKS TO YOUR SUPPORT COMO, IS FREE AND FABULOUS, 365 DAYS A YEAR
Admission is free. Parking is free. Children are free. Adults are free. Como Zoo is free. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is free. At Como, free means free.
Como was founded by visionaries and volunteers who foresaw the need for creating a public green space at the heart center of the Twin Cities. More than a century later, that vision has made Como Park Zoo & Conservatory the most visited cultural destination in the state of Minnesota, often welcoming nearly two million children and adults each year. With its historic architecture, significant horticultural collections and state-of-the-art habitats, visiting Como has been a shared memory for more than five generations of Minnesotans.
But what’s truly unique when compared to other zoos and botanical gardens across the country is Como’s open door policy–free admission that’s made possible, in part, by your contributions to Como Friends. “Over the past 20 years, our successful public/private partnership has helped protect the free admission this community cares about, and to introduce a whole new generation to the wonders of nature without any barriers to access,” says Jackie Sticha, President of Como Friends, the nonprofit fundraising partner of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
We recently asked a few of Como’s two million annual visitors to talk about why kids need time in nature and what free admission means to them.
“My family and grandkids had the opportunity to spend the day at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. It was the best day ever!
How wonderful that we could see and do so many things for FREE! We did make a donation. It made me realize how many wouldn’t be there if there was a big entrance and parking fee like so many other places. Everyone has a chance to go. That is so great!!
Thank you so much for giving families this memorable experience.” – Como Visitor
“We come to Como probably six times a year. The Sunken Garden is a must—when I was in college I would come and study in the Conservatory because it was nice and warm and relaxing. We obviously like the giraffes, but it’s important to introduce kids to nature so they can see the big picture, the circle of life, and see how we are all connected and we have to take care of our animals, and they take care of us.”
“Como’s free admission allows everyone to come and it doesn’t exclude anyone. And I hope it stays that way. It’s easy to visit for a whole day or just a couple hours. It is such a world of electronics that I think that bringing kids back to nature is a good thing.”
“With a free zoo, you get more public awareness. We are all involved together in saving the wild species all over the world and the people who are connected to the animals. Helping one is helping all of us.
We come every day—you never know who you’re going to meet. We meet people from all over the world here. We talk to parents with little kids each day, we meet grandparents whose grandparents took them here. Como is one thing that they can share with kids and grandkids for decades.”