Lying on the outskirts of East Norriton, you will find a wildlife refuge where over 80 species of animals live together in peace, balance and perfect harmony. It’s a place where guests are not only invited to see the animals, but encouraged to interact and learn from them! Obviously, we can only be referring to East Norriton’s famous Elmwood Park Zoo. A facility that has been an integral part of our community and its local residents, both animal and human for almost 100 years now! The natural settings at Elmwood range from wetlands to hillsides and prairies, all of which accommodate over 200 different animals. Each day, twice daily, live animal shows exhibit a variety of these exotic animals attracting visitors of all ages. The Zoo is a hands on, eye opening experience, one that you’ll have to visit more than once!
Founded in 1924, Elmwood Park Zoo has been intertwined with animals ever since it’s early beginnings. The piece of property which the Zoo occupies was donated by a private landowner to the Borough of Norristown almost a century ago. This generous donation also included a handful of white tailed deer, thus laying the foundation for what has become one of our county’s most cherished attractions. Through the 1920’s Elmwood was run by Norristown Borough as a division of Elmwood Park, and the Zoo exhibited a collection of animals including monkeys, bears, peacocks, deer, raccoons, and rabbits. In addition to the exhibits and growing variety of animals, the Zoo was a destination because of the natural spring that provided clean water to local borough residents.
Over the decades, the Elmwood Park Zoo has progressed and transformed into a haven for rescued animals from across the world. Staff and caretakers are able to use all the latest advances in animal care, while continuously creating more detailed, naturalistic exhibits to satisfy the needs for every animal. Helping support and put all of these changes into motion was the Norristown Zoological Society, a group of community-minded citizens who oversaw programs, and donated their time and money to preserve the the Zoo. Thanks to their continuous support for the animals, the Zoological Society, a non-profit organization, helped transform the Zoo into what it is today! The major renovations included doubling its size from 8 to 16 acres, adding kid friendly attractions, creating an all new entrance, upgrading and adding more exciting exhibits, and adopting hundreds of unique species that needed a new and loving home.
Today, Elmwood Park Zoo welcomes over 400,000 visitors each year for an educational adventure that is geared towards all ages. The facility provides a fun, clean, and family-oriented atmosphere where our residents can interact and learn about extraordinary animals found from all over the world. On top of all the wild animal excitement, special events are hosted all year long at Elmwood to help get our community involved in Montgomery County’s most historic animal attraction!
When it comes to community outreach, education, and the utmost care for their zoo inhabitants, no one does it better or with more detail than Elmwood Park Zoo. The small size of the facility allows care takers to focus on all the animals with much more detail. Every animal here has a name, and much like Noah the Bald Eagle, some have even gained celebrity status. Noah can be seen at all of the Philadelphia Eagles home games this year as a symbol of inspiration and courage. Read more about Noah’s story here.
By engaging our local community in educational programs, classes, camps and special events, this small town Zoo has been able to do massively big things for the animals and for East Norriton. Their yearly calendar is chocked full of amazing events that are interesting and fun for all ages. The Zoo offers animal enrichment programs, adoption opportunities, overnight camps, a yearly Beerfest, conservation projects and a new and exciting treetop adventure, and it’s always a great spot to host or have a birthday party!
To learn more about Montco’s most beloved animal destination, click here. You can also stay up t date with all their latest events and announcements by following the Zoo on Facebook at; Elmwood Park Zoo.
Elmwood Park Zoo
1661 Harding Blvd.
Norristown, PA 19401