Denver Zoological Foundation

Denver Zoo Mission:
Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.

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Organizational Overview

Denver Zoological Foundation
2300 Steele Street
Denver, CO 80205
Denver Zoo
Secure a better world for animals through human understanding.


Background Statement

Founded in 1896, Denver Zoo was part of the City of Denver Parks & Recreation Department until July 1956 when the city and Denver Zoological Foundation established a public/private partnership giving operation, management, and fundraising responsibilities to the non-profit Foundation that is governed by an elected board of trustees.

Denver Zoo reaches approximately 2 million people through on-grounds attendance and outreach programs. In addition, we have over 65,000 member households.

Denver Zoo was awarded The Association of Zoos and Aquariums' inaugural Green Award, ranking the zoo as the greenest zoo in the country for its outstanding sustainability practices. The zoo was recognized for leading efforts in sustainability through its Sustainable Management System, which provides an institutional-wide framework to identify, implement, measure, report, and improve operations to reduce the zoo's environmental impact.

Impact Statement

Situated on 80 acres adjacent to Denver's City Park, Denver Zoo is one of the most visited cultural attractions in Colorado. Denver Zoo's mission is to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. Denver Zoo has participated in approximately 600 conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents since 1996, protecting more than 23 highly endangered species. Conservation focal areas are Mongolia, Botswana, Rocky Mountains/Great Plains with some additional projects in Peru, Bolivia and Vietnam. Denver Zoo is also committed to education programs, both on campus and offsite, reaching more than 1,000 schools and delivering more than 2,300 education programs that reach nearly 215,000 children in seven surrounding metro-Denver counties. The Zoo provides premium, state-of-the-art animal care for all resident animals to ensure their health and well-being during their entire lifespan.

Needs Statement

Denver Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country because of your support. Gifts made to the Zoo support our operating budget and provide support for:

1) Animal Care provides food and medical care for our 3,500 animals;
2) Animal Enrichment provides experiences and objects for our animals that allow them to explore a range of natural behaviors;
3) Education and Outreach insures that communities across the state have the opportunity to visit or be visited by the zoo;
4) Conservation Projects work in the field to protect wildlife around the world;
5) Small Capital Projects allow us to improve facilities for our animals and visitors.

Executive Director Statement

Denver Zoo is an incredible place with the unique ability to make a difference not only in conservation of wildlife, but as a place where education comes alive.
Denver Zoo has proven to be an educational destination where each guest can have a wonderful experience and walk away with a sense of awe. Zoo staff continually thinks of creative ways to provide meaningful educational programs and exhibits that spark imaginations. Often, guests don't realize that they are learning about science, biology and even math as they walk around the campus. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists through meaningful interaction with our resident animals. Denver Zoo also continues to be committed to the health of our planet. The Zoo has been recognized as the greenest zoo in America, and we continue on that path through a number of innovative sustainability programs and initiatives.

Shannon Block
President and CEO

Board Chair/President Statement

Denver Zoo has a rich and meaningful heritage, and, with more than two million visitors each year, has earned the distinction as the most visited cultural destination in Colorado. The Zoo is also a fluid organization. As the world changes in respect to animal care, conservation efforts, education and community outreach, Denver Zoo adjusts to address those issues in a thoughtful and relevant way. The Zoo's Master Plan is an example of this philosophy in action. Staying within its current footprint in Denver's beautiful City Park, the Zoo will enhance its current space in phases to provide innovative habitats with the best interest of the animals at the forefront, while enhancing the guest experience, and further provide educational opportunities for visitors of any age. Denver Zoo is one of the gems of Denver and will continue to be a premier destination for Coloradans.
Louis L. Clinton III
Chairman Denver Zoological Foundation

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.

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