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The NEW Zoo is a zoo that is located on 4378 Reforestation Road in Suamico, Wisconsin. It is currently owned and operated by Brown County. It is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is one of seven out of two hundred and eighteen Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoos that do not receive local public tax support for its yearly budget. It subsists solely on private donations and the N.E.W. Zoological society. It now features over 92 animal exhibits and over 215 live animals from around the Earth. [1]

Founding of NEW Zoo

Brown County Reforestation Camp

The NEW Zoo was created in 1952 when of the Brown County Reforestation Camp melded into the County Park system. With the growth of wildlife flora and fauna resulting from the Brown County Reforestation Camp's efforts, Landscape changes were made to accommodate the refurbished ecosystem with artificial ponds being created. Recreational areas were eventually created for people to interact with the newfound forest. Hiking trails were created and animal stock like deer, bears, and Timber wolves were exhibited at the area.


The person who came up with the idea of the creation of the NEW Zoo was the superintendent of the Brown County Reforestation Camp, Harry Barth. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack and did not live to see his idea come to fruition. Motivated by Mr. Barth's community work and conservation efforts is wife Aurelia became the replacing superintendent and brought the zoo to life. It was a slow start, as it began as a place for animals to recuperate. For example, many of the attractions were injured recovering animals like Smokey the bear that was left orphaned as a cub, Sammy the Bald Eagle who suffered from a wing injury that made hunting impossible for the animal.[2]


The whole point of making the NEW Zoo was to educate children on nature and conservation. One of the first events set up for the zoo were picnics and field trips for children to learn about wildlife. Reportedly the children pet the deer fawn there, caught frogs, and rode a donkey like a children's petting zoo.


There are many exhibits within the NEW Zoo that contain a variety of animals domestic and foreign to the state of Wisconsin. It contains such animals like the African Penguin, the Bald Eagle, and the African Lion. [3]


There are two "Trail" sections within the Zoo, they are the Northern Trails and the Wisconsin Trails. The Northern Trail contains animals like the North American Moose and the Cotton-Top Tamarins. The Wisconsin Trail has White-tail Deer, Wild Turkey, and Sandhill Crane

Children's Petting Zoo

The Children's Petting Zoo is an area where children can safely interact and pet some of the animals at the zoo. There feeding stations where animal feed is provided to the children to feed the animals such as goats, sheep, and Alpacas. There is also a section of the petting zoo that has a small playground for children to play in.

The Continents

The Continents section of the NEW Zoo include the North American Plains, Australia, and Africa.

Adventure Park

Adventure Park is an added activity venue that adds more to the zoo than just the traditional observation of zoo animals for visitors. They are physical activities that include things like zip lining and climbing.[4]

The Dual "Racing" Zip lines

From the NEW Zoo website - The zip lines are side-by-side, 1,000 feet long, half inch cables that launch from the top of the existing 50 foot tall historic fire tower and land on a 12 foot landing deck near the entrance of the zoo.

Participants have the potential to reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour. This experience is geared for participants from 8 to 80 years old — and beyond. (The recommended weight limit is 70 lbs. to 275 lbs.)

The zip lines are a “participant passive” activity, meaning that the participant is not required to have any interaction or perform any critical functions throughout the experience, and therefore most people can participate! In addition, a hoist system is integrated into the design to provide those with limited mobility the opportunity “Zip into the Zoo.”

Aerial Adventure Course

From the NEW Zoo Website - The Aerial Adventure Course will provide participants an interactive and challenging experience in which they can explore at their own pace and challenge level. After attending a brief “Ground School,” the participants will be let loose on the course to enjoy a self guided exploration.

The course is designed with 16 different challenging elements. Participants will be clipped into a user-friendly “Smart Snap” safety system at all times while they are off the ground. The “Smart Snap” safety systems will be “participant active,” which means the participant will be responsible for transferring their own safety lanyard from one element to the next.

The Climbing Tower

From the NEW Zoo Website - The Climbing Tower allows participants to attempt to summit the three-sided, 40 foot climbing structure. On two sides of the structure are climbing walls with contours to allow for variable levels of difficulty. The third side of the structure has a hanging 32- by x 8-foot cargo net.

N.E.W. Zoological Society

The N.E.W. Zoological Society is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization that supports the NEW zoo with presenting the animals and its natural settings [5]

Funds, Programs, and Conservation Practices

There are a variety of funds and programs the NEW zoo supports for its animals and for the benefit of their donors. There is the Bench Program, Wall of Honor Program, Brick Program


One of the Associations the NEW Zoo is a part of is The Association of Zoos & Aquariums. From the Association of Zoos - "The Association of Zoos & Aquariums is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. AZA represents more than 230 institutions in the United States and overseas, which collectively draw more than 183 million visitors every year. These institutions meet the highest standards in animal care and provide a fun, safe, and educational family experience. In addition, they dedicate millions of dollars to support scientific research, conservation, and education programs." [6]


  1. Angela Kawski-Kroening, Education & Volunteer Programs Coordinator, May 1st
  2. Into the Woods: The Story of Aurelia Barth and the Reforestation Camp, Pam Sievert
  3. newzoo, "Adopt an Animal Share the Care Adoption Program", 2017,
  4. newzoo, "Adventure Park The Area's Newest Attraction", 2017,
  5. new zoo, "Zoological Society", 2017,
  6. aza, 2017,

Archival Resources for Further Research

Brown County Park, Camp History, UWGB Archives

Article History

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