Connecticut's Cultural Treasures Highlights Bridgeport's Beardsley Zoo

Release Date: 07/10/2013

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures Highlights Bridgeport’s

Beardsley Zoo

Premieres Thursday, July 18 at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV); encore broadcast on Sunday, July 21 at 10:30 p.m.

HARTFORD, Conn. (July 10, 2013) – Connecticut has an abundance of unique landmarks, nationally significant cultural resources and wonderful stories to tell. From historic landmarks and museums to parks and performing arts venues, the Constitution State is bursting with fascinating destinations and attractions.

Premiering on Thursday, July 18 at 8 p.m. on Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) with an encore broadcast on Sunday, July 21 at 10:30 p.m., this week’s edition of Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures features the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.

In 1878, James W. Beardsley donated 100 acres of land to the city of Bridgeport based on the promise that the city would always use the land as a park. Bridgeport’s own P.T. Barnum (of Barnum and Bailey circus fame) would often exercise his circus animals through the streets of the city and residents used the park as a viewing area while zebras, elephants and other exotic animals passed by. In 1920, the city embarked on a campaign to create a zoo and officially opened its doors two years later. 

The Beardsley Zoo celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2012 and remains the only zoo in Connecticut. The zoo boasts a greenhouse, one of the only remaining carousels in Connecticut and a number of habitat exhibits including South American Rainforest, Predators, Alligator Alley, Hoofstock and New England Farmyard. The animals in these habitats include tigers, alligators, monkeys, snakes, bears, bison, owls, goats, turkeys and more. 

Made possible by the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN), the parent company of Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and WNPR, and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures is a series of 50 five-minute vignettes that profiles a variety of the state’s most notable cultural resources. These vignettes are designed to deepen an awareness and appreciation for Connecticut cultural resources for state residents, while also promoting the state’s tourism economy. 

The project strives to encourage Connecticut residents and visitors to look at the state more closely, in ways that go beyond the obvious star attractions – as important as those are. In addition to art museums, performing arts venues and historical museums, the series includes remarkable historic districts, nationally significant landmarks, historic parks, cemeteries and the Connecticut River.

Funding for the Beardsley Zoo edition of Connecticut's Cultural Treasures is provided by CPTV, Connecticut Tourism, the State Historic Preservation Office, Melinda and Paul Sullivan and People’s United Bank.

 

About the Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is the lead state agency responsible for strengthening Connecticut’s competitive position in the new economy.  It does so by developing and implementing strategies to attract and retain businesses and jobs, preserving and promoting cultural and tourism assets, ensuring quality housing and revitalizing neighborhoods and communities.

About Connecticut Public Television

CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs shows, and educational programming. CPTV has

built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in

bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™, and Thomas & Friends™ to public television.

The station offers 11.5 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 450,000 households each week. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes

WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves 276,000 listeners weekly in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show, The Colin McEnroe Show, and Where We Live. CPBN also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV4U, a 24/7 television channel featuring award-winning drama, news and talk programming, concert performances, independent films, nature shows, British comedy and more; and CPTV Sports, Connecticut’s only 24-hour local sports network, covering statewide high school, college, semi-professional and professional sports. For more information, visit cptv.org.

 

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