Zoo Welcomes Autistic Learners

Note: We are pleased to announce we have had an overwhelming response to our announcement of this program. The afternoon sessions in both January and February are nearly full, so we will be adding morning sessions from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each of those days. 

Visit here to register for the session from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jan. 30. 

Visit here to register for the session from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Feb. 27. 

Potter Park Zoo is pleased to announce a new program for autistic learners and their families. FALCONERS, Families of Autistic Learners Connecting Empathy, Responsibility and Stewardship, is designed to allow not just autistic learners, but their whole family an enriching educational experience in a safe and welcoming environment.

There will be one event per month in 2016 and there will be no cost to those participating. The first event will take place Jan. 30 from 1-4 p.m. and will focus on Winter Gifts. Participants will learn about animal enrichment in zoos, make enrichment items, and will get to watch the animals enjoy the enrichments they made. There will also be time for exploring the zoo as a family with a scavenger hunt!

Potter Park Zoo’s staff and public safety officers would like to thank the Autism Alliance of Michigan for the training they received to assist in preparing for working with autistic learners.

This program is designed to be inclusive for the entire family or support group and offer an opportunity for up close experiences with the zoo’s ambassador animals. Each session will include hands-on stewardship activity. The program will also be shared with other institutions in the community.

Call 517-342-2713 or e-mail, or click here to register for the January program today!

The February program will take place Feb. 27 from 1-4 p.m. and the theme is “Animals in Winter.”  Participants will learn about how animals in the wild survive the winter, and how the zoo takes care of our animals when the cold weather hits. There will also be time for exploring the zoo as a family. February’s online registration is available at Other programs are planned for March 26 from 1-4 p.m. and April 30 from 1-4 p.m. More details will be published on these events soon.

The FALCONERS program is sponsored by a generous grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation.