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Are you open for tours?

Per the current state rules, we are still closed to the public. Our Directors are available via email, phone, virtual programs, and social media. Click the HERE for contact information.

Where is the new location?

We are excited to announce we have found a new home for EcoVivarium! The new building is at 641 E Pennsylvania Avenue, Escondido 92025. We now have over 10,000 square feet of space to expand the dream of EcoVivarium!


How can people help?

There is no way to sugarcoat it. The bottom line is we need support from the community, both socially online and financially.

     1.) You can support us by booking and sharing our virtual programs with your social and educational circles.

     2.) Donations to continue to be able to meet the needs of the animals and the building repair costs.

An Update from the Executive Director

Thank you for your interest in EcoVivarium. As you may know, we are a 501(c)3 Living Museum, Rescue and Rehabilitation facility, and Educational and Community Outreach Center whose mission is to: provide unique interactive learning experiences for people of all ages and abilities to develop awareness, understanding, and respect for the cultural, historical, and ecological significance of the remarkable creatures with which we share our world in order to inspire a future of cooperation, compassion, and mutually beneficial cohabitation of our planet.

We have served the communities of Escondido and the Greater San Diego Area for the past ten years. In that time, our facility has grown to be the permanent home to over 267 reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods, many of which are rare or endangered species. These animals have served as Education Ambassadors in our many STEM and STEAM certified educational outreach programs and to the thousands of guests that visit them every year.

Our growth has been so significant that we completely outgrew our old location. We are happy to announce that we have found a new home for the EcoVivarium Living Museum and Education Center!  The new space is approximately 10,200 square feet, with large upper and lower parking lots for our exclusive use! The building is located directly behind the old Palomar hospital downtown.

The building was vacant for some time, and there is much work to be done.  In our desperate search for a building, we agreed to take the space at an initially reduced rent with the caveat that we were taking the building in “as is” condition, outside of the vandalism damage. That decision has come back to bite us in that we discovered after moving in that there were significant problems with the plumbing, HVAC, and elevator.  To date, the plumbing repairs have topped $15,000 just to have running water and working toilets.  Because there was vandalism damage to both the HVAC and Elevator, we are waiting to see what the insurance will provide towards their repair.

We are now offering virtual programming to the community directly through social media, our website, plus we have partnered with both Outschool ( and Kidpass ( to extend our reach globally.  However, this marketplace is new, and it will take time to establish a following that will be able to generate a meaningful revenue stream.

While we were unable to pay our staff for a prolonged period, we are happy to let everyone know that we received the Paycheck Protection loan from the SBA, and we have been able to meet our payroll obligations. Our staff is absolutely amazing, in that they continued to care for the animals, even when we could not meet payroll. They have also taken money out of their own pockets to help with food costs. We continue to apply for loans, grants, and financial assistance programs and are optimistic about the potential. The current economic crisis has negatively impacted

many of our regular supporters as their businesses, like the museum, have been shut down. The same crisis that has left us without needed income has also caused a dramatic increase in animals being abandoned and surrendered by their owners. Since March 1st, we have taken in over 60 new rescues, some with medical issues. People ask, why did we take on this added burden in already difficult times? The simple answer is, for many of them, it was us or euthanasia. We could not live with ourselves if we let innocent animals be destroyed just because an irresponsible individual abandoned them. So, they are now a part of our forever Ambassador and Sanctuary family.

We are asking the community for continued support and assistance as we continue to build the dream of EcoVivarium – to reopen as the NEW EcoVivarium Living Museum, with Education and Party rooms, and the only K-12 Bio-STEM lab in San Diego County.

How can you help? 

We need financial assistance, specific items, services, and in-kind donations from donors and sponsors to help us keep the essential needs met for the care and feeding of the animals while unable to generate our ordinary revenue. Our critical financial needs for basic survival (excluding staffing, lease, and business operations) for the next six months are approximately $83,500, broken down as follows:

    1. Animal Feed and Maintenance: $9,000

    2. Utilities and Environment: $14,000

    3. Veterinary Care: $2,500

    4. Equipment, Habitat Materials, and Supplies: $17,500

    5. Building repairs: $56,000

We here at EcoVivarium are deeply grateful for all the kindness and support the community has shown us over the years. We want nothing more than to continue serving the people of Escondido and San Diego and to provide for the care and well-­‐being of our animals. We recognize that this is a financially challenging time for many businesses and that many nonprofit organizations need help. Our desperate and time-­sensitive situation has left us with no alternative but to turn to our community for financial assistance or solutions that you might be able to offer.

We would be happy to talk to you about any ways that you might be able to help or ideas that you may have for potential solutions to our current situation. Thank you for your time, attention, and support. We look forward to talking with you and hopefully seeing you soon.


Susan Nowicke

Executive Director
(760) 975-­‐9690

Or contact us by calling (760)975-9690

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