Construction underway on latest upgrade to Seneca Park Zoo


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello joined officials from the Seneca Park Zoo Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony on a new Trailside Café.

“Today we’re breaking ground on a new project, the Trailside Café,” Bello said. “The Trailside Café will improve food and refreshment options for zoo visitors, replacing the current Eagles Landing area. While the café will comfortably fit 40 people during regular hours, the space will double as a banquet hall capable of accommodating over 100 people at a time. This will be yet another way to attract people, businesses, and organizations to have their special events right here at the Seneca Park Zoo.”

The county executive said the design of the building will be a “modern Adirondack” style with real stone and wood, adding that it will be open year round, like the zoo itself.

“The Seneca Park Zoo is open year round, and we all know year round weather is not always great here in Monroe County,” Bello said. “But fortunately, the café’s ability to host zoogoers will not be weather dependent because the facility is completely indoors — something that we do not currently have here at the zoo. It will feature a major seating area in front of the café, creating a central meeting hub for our zoo attendees.”

The county executive said the zoo is an important piece of the local economy.

“The Seneca Park Zoo is one of the true treasures of the community, attracting hundreds of thousands of people every year, and bringing critical tourism dollars to our economy,” Bello said. “The Trailside Café is going to be an important part, and critical component in the future of our zoo.”

The county executive said he was happy to see guests back at the zoo after it was closed for most of the pandemic.

“In the last year we had to shut down for a brief period of time because of the pandemic, but since reopening we’ve experienced a steady stream of families looking for a safe and fun way to do things,” Bello said.

The county executive said Friday was the last day for the naming contest for the zoo’s new snow leopard cub.

“Today has been a long time in the making,” said Pamela Reed-Sanchez, Seneca Park Zoo Society President and CEO. “This is a true milestone and it’s a day that embodies the commitment and partnership needed for transformation to occur. Great communities deserve great zoos. We are a great community and today is the next step in transforming our zoo into a zoo that the community deserves.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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