BioPark Society says fundraising still important despite new tax money coming in

(Carey Olson/KRQE) ABQ Rio Grande BioPark Zoo Entrance

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This weekend the BioPark is set to hold another big fundraiser at the zoo. Officials say despite a recent increase of tax money going to the facility, they still need these types of fundraisers.

Saturday the zoo will hold its second annual Beastly Bash. It’s an event aiming to attract the adult crowd, since many people consider the zoo simply a family attraction.

“That sounds like a lot of fun. My husband and I would definitely come,” said Zoo Visitor Nicole Garcia.

The 21 and over event will feature games, pedal boats, other activities and food and alcohol from local vendors. No kids are allowed. Many zoo visitors say returning without their children sounds like a blast.

“We’re always looking for new things to do for date nights, so that’s one of the things that was kinda intriguing about it. It’s something different to do,” said Merigen Naranjo.

It’s a possible couple’s outing and a way for the BioPark to raise much-needed revenue.

“All of those funds stay here, 100 percent of what we raise stays and goes to the facility,” said BioPark Society Executive Director Julie Miller Rugg. The BioPark Society is the fundraising arm of the facility.

Starting soon the BioPark will be getting an estimated $16 million in funding each year from a tax passed by voters. The money can only be used for capital improvement projects, like repairing old buildings and animal exhibits, and constructing new ones, including the much-anticipated penguin habitat. It’s expected to open in the next couple years.

The BioPark society says despite that influx of money, they still have expenses to keep up with.

Miller Rugg said, “We still need new lawnmowers, we still need outreach vehicles for education, veterinary equipment, you name it, all those things are still important and still part of what we do and what we do to function on a daily basis.”

The BioPark Society says the new tax hike has not hurt their fundraising efforts, and starting Friday, they should get more help. Uber users can enter the code “ABQ BioPark” on any ride and the BioPark Society gets a $5.00 donation.

For more information on the Beastly Bash click here.

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