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Legislation saves Free Wednesdays at the Bronx Zoo

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Free Wednesdays at the Bronx Zoo are saved.

But it took legislative wrangling before the new state budget was passed in Albany to keep the popular free family day funded for another three years.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the zoo, is thanking local state Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Jose Rivera for carrying the legislation through. Gov. Cuomo made it official by signing it into law recently.

“Saving the free day is essential to the mission of the zoo to educate families of all socioeconomic backgrounds on the incredible range of diversity of life on earth,” said WCS spokesman Calvelli.

Calvelli said he hopes the three-year extension on the Free Wednesdays will allow entire families to experience the zoo together.

On that note, Senator Klein recently accompanied the DeStefano and Pereira families on a trip to the zoo.

“I’m thrilled to have gotten get this great program extended,” said Klein. “Going to back to the zoo this summer was a ton of fun.”

Klein noted that with the zoo’s normal entrance price for a family of four being $71 dollars - plus parking costs, the Free Wednesdays help to promote affordable and fun activities for families in his district.

Many of his constituents told Klein that instead of a vacation, they were looking for a “staycation” with inexpensive nearby options, he said, adding they called the free Wednesdays a fantastic day trip.

“The Bronx Zoo is hands-down the most beautiful animal park in the country,” Klein said.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group