The Good Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The concept for a zoo at Oglebay was conceived in 1971 by Larry and Barbara Good as a memorial to their 7-year old son, Philip. Their gift, plus funds from federal, regional, and state grants, provided the seed money for the project to begin. The Good Zoo opened in May, 1977, supported by 1,000 charter members of Good Zoo Friends. Today, the self-supporting 30-acre facility provides educational and recreational family activities at affordable prices and offers free admission to non-profit youth groups.
The Benedum Planetarium opened in 1978. This multi-media domed planetarium and theater provides a year-round facility within the zoo for educational programs. It offers a wide range of programs in the physical sciences seldom found in a zoological park.
In 1993 a private donor funded an evaluation of the existing master plan and the creation of a new plan; it called for expanding the scope of the collection from a specialization in North American species to a broader representation of rare and endangered species worldwide. Initial additions included an ocelot exhibit, a rare red panda exhibit, and a new Discovery Lab.
In the past two decades numerous improvements have been made as private funds and grants have come available. One of the most significant is a veterinary hospital, complete with treatment rooms, operating room, and several indoor and outdoor holding areas for quarantined animals. On the zoo patio, a donor funded a bronze otter sculpture and a Wall of the Wild for engraved terra cotta animal tiles. The wall is a unique opportunity to make a lasting gift to the zoo in the name of a family member or pet by the purchase of a tile. There are many opportunities for donors or organizations to support new exhibits or endow existing exhibits and programs at the Good Zoo.
The last five years have been some of the most successful in the zoo’s history. The facility has attracted several significant donors and has assembled a strong professional staff. With this motivated staff, and a new master plan in place, the future looks bright indeed.
Click here to visit the Good Zoo web page on the Oglebay web site.