Lesley Avant Joins our Board of Directors

We welcome Lesley Avant to our Board. Lesley has been a staunch supporter and member of the Friends of the Forestry Farm House for many years.

In 1989 the Saskatoon Zoo Society was given the contract to staff the zoo gate and do their best to try to provide food services to the public. Paws Inn was born and Lesley Avant was hired to manage the operation for one year. The building was and is totally inadequate for this but Lesley persevered and through hard work and wonderful staff over the years she managed to make the entrance the welcoming face of the site.

At Paws Inn prices for food items were kept reasonable so that people did not feel gouged by being a ‘captive audience’. One of Lesley’s dreams was to have a zoo-themed gift shop and so a small section of the concession was turned over to t-shirts, plush toys, and souvenir items – as much as could be squeezed into the tiny space allotted to it. Funds raised at Paws Inn helped the Saskatoon Zoo Society to provide quality educational programs.

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo finally got a stand-alone, exit-through gift shop which opened in 2016. In preparation Lesley was in her element deciding on layout and merchandising and what new stock to carry now that there was space.

In May 2017 after 29 years Lesley retired from a contract position that she had promised to run for one year.

After a year of well deserved R and R. Lesley is ready to join our Board. We know she will bring with her new ideas and insights learned from her experience working at the Forestry Farm and we welcome her with open arms.