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Tulsa Zoo Celebrates Opening of St. John Family Den

Tulsa Zoo Celebrates Opening of St. John Family Den
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TULSA, Okla. (March 29, 2017) – Thanks to a generous donation from St. John Health System, a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, the Tulsa Zoo has opened the St. John Family Den to provide a quiet space for families affected by autism, nursing mothers, and zoo guests.

The 900-square-foot facility, which is the newly renovated former Amazon Outpost gift shop, will feature a dedicated space for nursing mothers, a quiet room for families affected by autism or sensory processing disorders, a family restroom, as well as a restroom with an adult changing table. The space was developed with input from St. John, Autism Center of Tulsa, members of La Leche League of Tulsa, and parents. Architect for the project was Fritz Baily, and general contractor was Buckeye Construction.

“Offering amenities like the St. John Family Den helps our zoo provide a welcoming, relaxing environment for families to unplug, relax and learn about the natural world. The new St. John Family Den will improve the experience for guests who might otherwise have to cut short their visit,” says Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., President and CEO Terrie Correll. “TZMI is grateful to St. John for making this important family asset possible.”

“St. John Health System is honored to provide the St. John Family Den to further enrich the quality zoo experience for families and those with special needs,” says St. John Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Nowlin.   “We are proud to partner with the Tulsa Zoo to further fulfill the St. John mission, which calls us to serve all persons, with special attention to the vulnerable, and to improve the health of individuals and our communities.”

The zoo and St. John celebrated the Family Den’s grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 8.

The St. John Family Den is open daily during regular zoo hours.