Planned Giving

What is Planned Giving?

The term “Planned Giving” encompasses a number of ways in which you can leave your legacy. The Utica Zoo wants you to understand and be comfortable with the decisions you make concerning the future. Your gift can take multiple forms and can help you address a variety of personal financial goals. We are ready to work with you and your advisers to craft the gift plan that best satisfies you.

Your Options

Bequests: When you leave a bequest to the Utica Zoo though your will or living trust, you can make a generous gift without reducing your current income. Through your bequest you can specify the program or project you wish your gift to benefit. You can also create special funds in your name or in memory of loves ones. Charitable bequests  are normally deductible in full for state tax purposes.

Life Insurance: If you have a life insurance policy that you no longer need, a gift of the insurance policy can be a way to combine charitable objectives with tax advantages for you. Life insurance proceeds would be paid to the beneficiary designated by the policy owner. You can choose a set dollar amount, a percentage or all the proceeds as the amount paid to the beneficiary ( Utica Zoo). You can also make a gift of a life insurance policy with a cash value by transferring ownership of the policy to the Utica Zoo.

Securities, Stocks & Bonds: Gifts of appreciated securities or stock can be the most advantageous was of giving. If your gift of stock is one you have owned for more than one year, you may deduct full fair market value of the stock as a charitable contribution, while bypassing all capital gains taxes.

Income-Producing Gifts-

Charitable Remainder Trusts: A charitable remainder trust makes periodic payments to one to eight persons for life or for a term of up to 20 years. Upon termination of the trust, the remaining assets are used for the charitable purpose you have specified. Two types of trusts are:

  • Unitrust: Income Adjusted annually is a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust, allowing you to participate in market gains.
  • Annuity Trust: Income payments are fixed and determined when the gift is made.

The benefits of charitable remainder trusts include income tax savings, if established during your lifetime, partial or complete bypass of capital gains taxes and cash flow to yourself.

Charitable Gift Annuities: A charitable gift annuity allows you to establish a gift with as little as $10,000 using cash, securities or, in some cases, property. In exchange for your gift, the Utica Zoo will pay a specified amount to two or more beneficiaries for life. All annuitants must be at least 55 years old when payments begin.

For more information on how you can leave a legacy to the Utica Zoo, please contact Andria Heath at (315)738-0472 Ext. 41



Hours and Admisson

April 1 to October 31: Open 10AM until 4:45 PM
November 1 to March 31: Open 10AM, admission/gift shop closes at 3PM & Zoo gates close at 4PM

Admission 4/1- 10/31 11/1- 3/31 & Group
Child 3-12 $4.75 $2.50
Adult 13-61 $7.75 $4.25
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ ID $6.75 $3.50

Upcoming Events

10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Forever Antlers
Zoo Adventures – Forever Antlers
Dec 19 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Forever Antlers
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. Child admission included and Adults are free. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Dec 23 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Holiday Special
Join us for a special holiday Zoo Adventures. Story, craft and of course, animals! Free for Members, $5.00/ child for non-members, adults free.
10:30 AM Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dec 27 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dangerous Defenses - Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses-December programs will focus on the different ways animals keep themselves safe. Antlers and Horns and Prickly Thorns! Animals protect themselves in an amazing array of ways. Join zoo educators as we learn about animal defenses. We will meet a few of our education animals and tour the zoo. This program is free with your admission and recommended for ages 5 and up.
11:00 AM Happy Zoo Year
Happy Zoo Year
Dec 31 @ 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Happy Zoo Year
On New Years Eve (Wednesday, December 31st) the Utica Zoo will be celebrating “Happy Zoo Year” from 11 to 1 pm in the Auditorium. Madagascar the movie will be shown on a projector screen. Kids will be able to participate in arts & crafts, and animal meet & greets. There will be a Hot Chocolate toast at Noon with free cookies on the side. Regular Winter Admission. Free for Members. The Utica Zoo is open on New Years Day.

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Zoo Blog

  • Santa takes a photo with a child at the Utica Zoo Holiday Hoot.
    Holiday Hoot 2014

    December 14th, 2014 – The Utica Zoo welcomed Santa Claus and visitors to the annual Holiday Hoot today. Children were able to get their pictures taken with Santa by Whitesboro Fun Pix, and also let Santa know what they wanted for Christmas. Chuck E. Cheese stopped by to give tokens to kids, and take photos as well. Docents and educational staff brought out animals that the whole family could interact with. The mild temperatures made it a perfect day to walk around the Utica Zoo and see all the animals on exhibit. Children participated in arts and crafts in the Auditorium. Visitors enjoyed hot chocolate and coffee, along with free cookies and candy. People brought gifts for our animals from Read More