A lot of memories can be made over the course of 70 years, and the staff at Riverside Discovery Center hope to put some on display in honor of the zoo’s anniversary.
“We’re looking for anything that people might have from the last 70 years,” Riverside Discovery Center director Anthony Mason said.
The hope is to collect enough items from 1950 until now to fill seven displays that will be placed around the zoo. The plan is to install the displays in the spring.
“It could be photos, artwork or even poetry,” said Mason.
He explained that people often go to the zoo to sketch or get inspiration for their next written piece, and he’d love to see the results, even if they’re not necessarily gallery-worthy.
“Maybe they had a class project about the zoo – those things would be great to have as well,” Mason said.
He’s also looking for things such as souvenirs, old brochures or other zoo publications, news clippings and personal photographs.
Mason said that while the staff has a lot of photos of the zoo, most of it is from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
“We don’t really have photos of families enjoying the zoo,” he said.
While he hopes to have items from the earlier years, he knows they may be hard to find.
“I know we’re going to have a lot more stuff for the recent years, but I’d like to see what’s out there from the zoo’s early days,” Mason said.
The call for zoo-related items isn’t limited to the first few decades.
“If they’ve got something more recent, even from this year, that’s great too,” Mason said. “We want to cover all of it – from 1950 to now.”
Those with smaller items are welcome to bring them to the zoo during regular business hours. If an individual has a larger collection of items or items of high value, Mason asks that they call ahead at 308-630-6236.