REALESTATEPLANNINGLAW.COM 718-698-2200 February 2022
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Staten Island’s Hidden Gem TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE WITH KENNETH MITCHELL IN A MANOR OF SPEAKING
As real estate professionals, we are extremely proud of the community which we serve. Our parks, recreational facilities, buildings, neighborhoods, and businesses all come together to deliver the beauty, excitement, and positivity that makes Staten Island and the surrounding areas such an enticing place to live. The Staten Island Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1988. I have enjoyed visiting the zoo for over 40 years now, first as a child and now with my own family. Watching it grow and develop through the years has been a very neat experience, and I’m excited to have my friend, Kenneth Mitchell, the director of the Staten Island Zoo, tell us a little bit about the zoo and it’s recent growth and development. Since 2010, I have been proud to devote my time and energy to the Staten Island Zoo. I grew up only 100 yards away from the zoo — and it has been a part of me for my entire life and has always felt like home. As a kid, I recall visiting the zoo with my parents, visiting the outdoor exhibits, and having fun at the children’s corral. It was always an inviting experience full of excitement and learning. Each visit, getting to connect with the animals was a very special time. Now, my favorite exhibit is the Amur leopard exhibit. I enjoy watching the leopards frolic around in their habitat. It’s majestic — I could watch for hours. In reflecting on my opportunity to become the director of the zoo and having the ability to advance its mission of conservation, education, and sustainability, it was something that I feel I was truly cut out for. Growing up, I always had an interest in politics, civics, and law. That, coupled with my background and knowledge of Staten Island and city government, proved to be extremely valuable in advocating for zoo support and funding.
A lot has changed at the zoo in recent years and more renovations are on the horizon! During my tenure at the zoo, I’m proud to have stewarded several renovations and exhibits including our Conservation Carousel, Amur leopard exhibit, and our new aquarium. We look forward to an upcoming renovation of the Clove Road front entrance which will create a wonderful and welcoming experience for our visitors. The zoo is very intimate and family- and community-driven. You come here, and it’s small enough that you can see it all in just one day. Plus, you can get up close and personal — and our docent program, even allows patrons to touch some of the animals. At a lot of other zoos, you don’t have that opportunity. For us here at the Staten Island Zoo, it’s all about the animals. We are not only exhibiting animals, but each day, we work hard to ensure that they continue to thrive and flourish for generations to come. I’ve grown to love it and appreciate the work of our professionals.
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