Cape May County To Expand Zoo Education Through Atlantic Cape Partnership

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

Cape May County Park and Zoo. Photo credit: Cape May County Park and Zoo Facebook page.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ — The Cape May County Zoo will expand their educational programs onto the Atlantic Cape Community College’s (Atlantic Cape) Cape May County thanks to an agreement between Cape May County Government and Atlantic Cape Community College.

This will allow for all Zoo programming and classes, including the Zoo Camp, to be held at the college campus. This partnership gives the County’s Zoo Education Department modern, state of the art resources to bring the message of Conservation, Biology, and Zoology to residents and visitors alike. This will help the Education Department to expand their services to the community and give the opportunity to reach a larger audience with classes and programming.   

“We are excited to have this facility available to expand our education programs,” Cape May County Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the Cape May County Park and Zoo, said in a press release from Cape May County. “I am a proud graduate of Atlantic Cape and am thrilled our Zoo Education Department can provide new opportunities to the residents, visitors and students of our County.”

The agreement is another example of collaboration between Cape May County and Atlantic Cape in taking steps to match the needs of the community, and specifically at the Cape May County campus. The College recently added two additional programs to the Cape May County Campus. The first is an expanded nursing program that will put classes in the evening and allow students the ability to become a Registered Nurse close to home. The second is a culinary certificate program.

“By way of this partnership and lease agreement, Atlantic Cape is excited to potentially expand curriculum offerings for the betterment of our students and the residents of Cape May County,” Dr. Barbara Gaba, President of Atlantic Cape, stated. “With the Zoo being just across the street, Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County Campus is the ideal location for a biological/zoological higher education program and we welcome the opportunity.”

While the short-term goal is to relocate the County’s Zoo Education Department from the County Zoo to Atlantic Cape, long-term, the County and Atlantic Cape will be working to develop new higher education offerings and curriculum at the Cape May County campus with a Biological/Zoological concentration.  

“This is a terrific partnership with our County’s Community College,” Cape May County Commissioner Director Gerald M. Thornton said. “They have done a great job building out new programs to fit the needs of today. This new partnership will continue to provide additional resources for our visitors and opportunities for our residents.”

The partnership was formally agreed to at the Cape May County Board of County Commissioners December, 2022 meeting. To support the relocation, minor construction is to begin early next year, with the goal of holding the County’s Zoo Camp at Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County Campus for Summer 2023. 

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