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Petting Zoo Under Consideration To Come To State College

With H&M coming to State College this fall and SkyZone coming soon as well, our wallets won’t be safe for much longer. No doubt both the thrill of buying fashionable, reasonably-priced clothes and the excitement of bouncing around a trampoline room are irresistible. But once it seems like there’s nothing more a college student could possibly want, a downtown petting zoo is under consideration to open up in State College.

The Centre Daily Times wrote a piece that discusses this possibility. Penn State geography teacher Clio Andris had the idea of a petting zoo about a year and a half ago, inspired by her own rabbit. Andris said, “I was interested in how animals help people…I found out some students have comfort animals that they have prescriptions for. I thought something more permanent could be a great benefit to the community.” The CDT also reports that Andris doesn’t have a set location planned for, but the zoo would ideally be by the Arboretum or downtown.

These days college students seemed more stressed than ever, and studies show spending time around animals can help decrease stress levels.

This petting zoo is not confirmed yet though, since Andris’ idea is still being considered by the $5 million Knight Cities Challenge. The organization seeks to contribute towards civic innovation by providing grants towards community projects such as this one. In a WJAC article, Center Foundation Director Molly Kunkel explained, “They’re looking for ways to boost their communities by boosting opportunity attracting young talent and civic engagement.”

We aren’t sure about you, but having a petting zoo right next to campus would be bliss. If it gets picked as the winner the grant would lift it off the ground, but they may need volunteers and support to keep it afloat. Of course, volunteers for a petting zoo would not be hard to find because if there’s one thing most college students love, especially during finals week, it’s animals.

We will keep you updated as more petting zoo information comes our way.

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About the Author

Erin Servey

Erin Servey writes and copy-edits for Onward State. She's a Junior Schreyer Honors Scholar and Paterno Fellow at Penn State, studying English and psychology, with a French minor. Editing, poetry, and photography are her passions. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ErinEServey).

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