This year as part of Staff Appreciation Month (SAM), the University of New Mexico will celebrate its staff with an evening of fun and excitement for all ages at the Rio Grande Zoo on Saturday, July 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Tickets for the annual staff appreciation picnic are now on sale and can be purchased at the UNM Ticket Office at the main campus bookstore, the Pit and the UNM Business Center cashiers office. Ticket price is $10, while children under the age of 2 are free.

Admission to the event includes open access to the zoo and its attractions, a barbecue dinner and musical entertainment. The barbecue will be catered by the Zoo’s own cooks from A Taste of the Wild. Entertainment details are still being finalized.

“The annual UNM Staff Appreciation Month picnic sponsored by Staff Council provides a wonderful opportunity for staff at UNM 'collectively' to strengthen their relationships with their colleagues in an off campus environment,” Staff Council President Renee Delgado-Riley said. It's more than just a picnic she added. “It is an impetus for building staff morale and for us to take a moment to reflect on the past year, the present and the future of how we can best represent the voice of staff on our campus.”

The picnic is only just a part of UNM Staff Appreciation Month (SAM) held annually in July. Detailed information about additional SAM events is forthcoming.

Ticket office hours include: UNM Ticket Office (main campus bookstore), Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; UNM Ticket Office (at the PIT), Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and the UNM Business Center Cashier's Office (located at 1700 Lomas Blvd NE, Suite 1100) Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Individuals purchasing tickets will need to show their LOBO ID Card. Ticket purchase is unlimited, but there are a limited number of tickets available. Cash and checks only are accepted at the UNM Ticket Offices for this event. This event is for UNM staff only.