Support Como

Como Friends envisions a future where Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is a global leader in conservation, animal care and horticulture with barrier-free access for all.

  • IN 2000…

    Como Friends launched its first capital campaign for the construction of the Visitor Center that united the historic Zoo and Conservatory with a shared entrance and a shared mission. The successful public-private partnership between Como Friends and the City of Saint Paul reached its $32.45 million goal in 2003, supporting such needed visitor amenities as a year-round restaurant and updated restrooms. In addition to the Visitor Center, opened in 2004, this community-wide initiative secured funding for the new Fern Room in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, the immersive Tropical Encounters exhibit opened in 2005, a new behind-the-scenes Animal Support Building, and renovation of the 1930s-era Zoological Building for administrative use.

  • IN 2007…

    Como Friends’ next campaign was committed to building a naturalistic new habitat for Como Zoo’s polar bears and a new wing to showcase the Conservatory’s nationally-regarded Japanese horticultural collections. The $18.8 million raised made it possible to welcome polar bears Buzz and Neil to the award-winning Polar Bear Odyssey in 2010, and to unveil Como’s exceptional Bonsai collection to the public in The Ordway Gardens in 2013.

  • In 2016…

    Como Friends and the City of Saint Paul began work to secure funding for a new seals and sea lions habitat, achieving $20.38 million to support Como Harbor by 2018. Opened to the public in 2021, this state-of-the-art habitat features a large, year-round, salt water pool for the seals and sea lions; a new underwater viewing experience; a new restaurant with extensive outdoor seating; and the new shaded KSTP Amphitheater for the new SPIRE Sparky Show.

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