Monroe County to Begin Final Stages of the Seneca Park Zoo Master Plan

April 9th, 2021

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is excited to announce that the Seneca Park Zoo Master Plan will continue after being delayed in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

The beginning stages of the final phases of the Master Plan will include a new restaurant called the “Trailside Café”. The state-of-the-art dining option will break ground in the next few weeks, and will be located between the Conference Center to the north and an existing food pavilion to the south. Preparations are also being made to begin planning a new exhibit of animals from rainforests across the globe titled “The Tropics”, which will be located at the front of the zoo and will include new ticketing and guest services, a gift shop, administration and the new exhibit. The final phase of the plan will be the continued renovation of “Cold Asia”, which encompasses the tiger exhibit and its surrounding area.

“The Seneca Park Zoo is an incredible resource for Monroe County and the surrounding region, attracting thousands of visitors every year,” said County Executive Bello. “We’re really excited for the completion of these upgrades and additions, which will enhance the zoo experience with new exhibits and more amenities for family and residents alike.”

The construction of the “Trailside Café” will include a bypass road on Zoo property but outside the fence in order to circumvent construction occurring inside the fence. The road will share some space with the walking trail, which is very popular among Monroe County residents, but will not affect the access to the trail. Once the projects in the master plan have been completed, the Zoo’s perimeter fence and overall footprint will have been adjusted and enhancements to the walking trail and public space will have been made. 

“The Seneca Park Zoo remains incredibly popular in our community, and has provided families and residents with a COVID-friendly outdoor activity over the last year. I want to thank the neighbors of the Seneca Park Zoo for their continued patience as we begin this final phase of upgrades and construction,” added Monroe County Parks Director Patrick Meredith.

During the process of these renovations, the Seneca Park Zoo expects to maintain attendance while also accommodating the neighbors who reside to the east of the property. Much of the planning done by the Zoo and the Monroe County Department of Parks was designed to ensure that both of these aspects of the Seneca Park Zoo community are uninterrupted.

Phase 1 of the Seneca Park Zoo Master Plan began in 2018 and included the new African savanna exhibit featuring giraffes, zebras, and rhinos. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the near future to celebrate the start of construction on the “Trailside Café”.