To: Dennis Kelly, Director, National Zoological Park and Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congresswoman, District of Columbia

Director Kelly: Don't Change National Zoo Open Hours

It is proposed to change the hours of public access to the National Zoo, to open 2 hours later in the morning and close 1 hour earlier in the evening. This change in hours will have a direct negative impact on the quality of life in our community, on the health of our neighbors, and on our safety and security. We urge that this change be delayed until the community and elected officials can meet to discuss and resolve this issue."

Why is this important?

The proposed change in hours will force pedestrians and joggers off the safe zoo paths onto the streets. The change in hours will have a direct negative impact on working professionals, women, senior citizens, and school-age children. It is now possible to enjoy the zoo before and after work. With new hours most professionals will be unable to enjoy the zoo at any time during the week. Women are primary users of the zoo as a safe and secure place to exercise. Changing zoo hours will force women to choose between unsafe paths in Rock Creek or not exercising at all. Senior Citizens are able to walk in a pedestrian-friendly environment. School-age children are able to enjoy the zoo after school hours. The change in open hours would make all these activities impossible.