Trevor Zoo combines learning, fun and community service

A school in Dutchess County offers a unique curriculum that teaches students how to care for animals, but not just your regular cats and dogs. It is also open to visitors.

Trevor’s Zoo is a one-of-a-kind place for learning, fun and community service.

“It was the first of its kind and it still is. It is the only accredited zoo owned and operated by a private secondary school,” said Alan Tousignant, director of Trevor Zoo.


What do you want to know

  • Trevor Zoo was founded in 1936 and has grown to accommodate more species and the public in its space over time
  • Trevor’s Zoo is the only accredited zoo in the country located on a high school campus
  • There are community service opportunities for Millbrook School students, as well as public middle and high school students

In 1936, Millbrook School’s first biology teacher, Frank Trevor, founded the zoo on the school’s campus.

“This first science teacher recognized the great benefit of teaching science through the lens of live animals in addition to the textbook, rather than always trying to do things outside of the textbook,” Tousignant said.

Since then, the program has grown to provide Millbrook School students, as well as public middle and high school summer volunteers, with hands-on experiences from the start.

“If I study veterinary care or other aspects, like biology, it will really prepare me and give me a head start when it comes to real-life animal interactions,” said intern Hannah Coon. animal care at Trevor Zoo. and a pupil of Millbrook School.

Student volunteers perform a variety of tasks, including caring for animals.

“Sometimes you have to pick up a lot of poo,” Coon said. “But it’s worth it to enrich the lives of animals and be part of their well-being.”

Apart from the service aspect, the public can visit Trevor Zoo 365 days a year.

“We see around 40,000 visitors a year,” Tousignant said. “These are people who probably won’t be able to get to many other zoos either remotely or in time, so we serve that community very well, I think especially in terms of providing quality education. on the natural world and wildlife.”

Tousignant said children and adults can learn about the natural world and wildlife at Trevor Zoo.

“There’s really nothing else in this area like it,” said Kimberly Eraca, who previously lived in Beacon. “It’s nice and quiet, but enough stuff to make it interesting for my son and for me.”

“The animals are so cool to look at, to see them run and just to see them, and they’re so cute,” said Eliza Beedahlberg from Connecticut.

Jill E. Washington