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New program for older zoo-goers combines activity with education

John Ball Zoo, along with Priority Health, kicked off the new Silver Explorer program last month. The eight-week program aims to bring more seniors to the zoo by giving them different method to learn and stay active.

Silver Explorer Weekly Themes







10/7-Exhibit design


/Nicholas Garbaty

Adults ages 62 and up have a new opportunity to explore Grand Rapids while maintaining their body and mind. The Silver Explorer Series, created by John Ball Zoo and Priority Health, provides seniors with an inexpensive way to learn about and interact with the zoo and various animals.

"Participants will learn about a variety of topics, from animals to exhibit design to horticulture," says Wayne Wilson, vice president of senior markets at Priority Health. "At the same time, they'll be toured by experts and get some behind-the-scenes information around what really makes a zoo and the John Ball Zoo in particular."

The entire series sold out within 48 hours of its initial registration time, but the zoo and Priority Health plan on accommodating a larger audience in future iterations. High interest in the program has encouraged the organizations to continue their efforts in developing new programs to benefit the Grand Rapids community.

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