Since moving, I've been searching the state for petting farms, zoos, aquariums, or other animal attractions. We've been to a few in New Jersey and have a pretty long list still to visit. It took some digging to find Johnson Park Zoo but when I did, we headed out right away.
Johnson Park, named for the Johnson & Johnson family who donated the land, is in Piscataway, NJ, right across the river from New Brunswick and Rutgers College. This is a large park with many fields and playgrounds. The Zoo, sometimes referred to as haven, is a smallish square of fenced in area that visitors can walk around to observe the animals.
It's quite cold now, and some of the enclosures were empty and it seemed that not all the animals were on view. It was very hard to tell though, because there was zero information about this animal sanctuary on premises. There's very little information online, either, but from what I could find, it's possible that more goes on here in warmer weather. I was very disappointed that there was no history or explanation on why this zoo exists or how it works.
Chainlink fencing and double fencing seems to be the preferred method of zoos in NJ. Why? I'm not sure. It does have the effect of one feeling like they are quite close to the animals, but it also give a slipshod appearance. I enjoyed being able to walk around the whole animal area at Johnson Park Zoo. The enclosures were big and the animals seemed happy and well kept.
The animals were mostly farm animals, and there seemed to be private horse boarding on the grounds. There were a few wild creatures also, and possibly there are more in the Spring and Summer. I appreciated that this zoo was free and open to all. I will check back here at other times in the year to see if there are other creatures or any rangers to talk to. Over all, I'd say if you're passing this park, stop in for sure. If it's not on your way somewhere, I wouldn't make a special trip.