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Friday, June 19, 2009

Minnesota Zoo Adopts Smoke-Free Policy for Entire Facility

Beginning this Saturday, June 20, 2009, the Minnesota Zoo will no longer allow smoking in any outdoor areas except the main parking lots.

Citing health concerns and the need for a cleaner environment, the Zoo will join nearly two-thirds of all zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that are either entirely smoke-free or have designated smoking areas. In addition, the adoption of this smoke-free policy makes all zoos and animal parks in Minnesota completely smoke free! The other smoke-free zoos in Minnesota include Prairie Winds Zoo in Adrian, Paul Bunyan's Animal Land in Bemidji, Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo in Byron, Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Pine Grove Park Zoo in Little Falls, and Como Park Zoo in St. Paul.

"Families visiting the Minnesota Zoo are engaging in a multi-generational, nature-focused, educational and fun experience," said Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke. "That experience will be enhanced by this new non-smoking policy."

The Minnesota Zoo has always prohibited smoking inside buildings, but has allowed smoking outdoors. The new policy allows smoking only in the main parking lots. Minnesota Zoo guests wishing to smoke may request a hand-stamp at the Guest Services Desk for easy access back into the Zoo.

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To thank the Zoo for adopting the policy, call 952.431.9217 or email .

Special thanks to all the youth and adults throughout Minnesota, and especially from Dakota County, who worked for over three years encouraging the Minnesota Zoo to adopt this policy!

To check out media coverage on this story, go to:

Star Tribune article

KARE 11 story

About Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation

Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation assists Twin Cities metro area communities in adopting tobacco-free policies for their park areas. If there are any questions about tobacco-free parks, please contact Brittany McFadden, Tobacco-Free Youth Recreation director at (651) 646-3005 or , or go to

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