Come Meet the Newest Donkey in Palo Alto’s Barron Park
There's a new donkey in town! Barron Park welcomed a 17-year old donkey named Jenny to the pasture in November, after iconic donkey Niner died from health issues last fall.
Since the 1930s, the Barron Park neighborhood has been home to donkeys when Stanford professor Cornelis Bol, and his wife Joisa, included a donkey pasture on their property. The donkeys quickly became fixtures in the community and a favorite of neighborhood children whom the Bols allowed to play and ride the donkeys. There were seven donkeys in those early days. Today, Perry, and newcomer Jenny call the pasture home. Jenny is a full-sized donkey, while Perry is a miniature donkey who served as the model for the "Donkey" character in the movie Shrek.
At the Dec. 12 meeting, City Council unanimously agreed to commit $15,000 to support the Barron Park Donkey Project after it incurred large veterinarian expenses associated with Niner’s failing health. The City pledged $10,000 and will provide an additional $5,000 once the Barron Park Donkey Project receives a matching $10,000. The non-profit group also has set a fundraising goal of $125,000 to cover the next five years of expenses associated with keeping the donkey pasture thriving.
Since the donkeys are supported by individual donations and the organization is run entirely by volunteers, the Barron Park Donkey Project was established in 2013 between Acterra and the current owner of the Bol property, James Witt. The funds raised cover expenses such as food, clean-up, maintenance and the lease of the pasture, Acterra fees, and veterinarian fees, plus miscellaneous expenses.
Visitors can meet Perry and Jenny between 10-11 a.m. on Sundays under the supervision of donkey handlers. Outside this time period, passersby may pet the donkeys and take photos of them at the fence.