The Woodland Park Zoo is a community resource and serves as an ambassador for wildlife and wild spaces. Woodland Park Zoo increases visitors’ awareness of the natural world and inspires them to take conservative action through hands-on, interactive experiences, up-close encounters with animals, and conservation and science education programs.
Woodland Park Zoo’s school programs support academic requirements in the sciences, offer field-based learning opportunities, and foster inquiry to ensure that all students have sufficient knowledge and skills in science. School programs reach more than 74,000 students, teachers and chaperones each year, 33% of whom come from King County schools with 30% or more students on free or reduced-rate lunch. In addition, we reach 13,000 students in King County and statewide through community outreach such as our award-winning Wild Wise and Ready, Set, Discover programs.
Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Through their Community Access Program the Zoo has offered over 86,000 complimentary tickets to more than 300 King County social service organizations each year. These organizations include homeless shelters, food banks, senior centers, low-income youth centers and more. The Zoo also maintains long-standing partnerships with local schools and school districts, helping to bring students to the zoo. Low-income schools receive free admission and bus transportation.
Woodland Park Zoo seeks to systematically reduce our organization’s ecological footprint. The bio-filtration at the Humboldt penguin exhibit is saving approximately 3,000,000 gallons of water annually. This effort helped Woodland Park Zoo win an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Green Award in 2011. They plan to make upgrades to their Adaptations building and install a filtration system at the Hippo pool. This project will reduce our carbon emissions by 223,786 pounds of CO2 each year and save six million gallons of water annually – a 90% reduction in water use at the exhibit and a 15% reduction in the zoo's total water use.
WPZ has made contributions to the zoo/aquarium field through collaborative projects to develop evaluation instruments that can be used across institutions. Examples include a multi-institution study to assess the impact of zoo/aquarium teen programs, and a national survey of zoo/aquarium visitors’ understanding of climate change and its impacts on wildlife and habitats.
Through a partnership with Miami University’s Project Dragonfly, Woodland Park Zoo is providing professional development opportunities for educators. Co-delivered by faculty at Miami University and WPZ education staff, the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) combines graduate courses at the zoo with web-based learning communities that connect participants to a broad network of educators and community leaders. The AIP is a first-of-its-kind graduate degree co-delivered by major community institutions committed to local, national, and global change.
WPZ currently partners with 36 field conservation projects in more than 50 countries. These include some of the smallest life forms – the endangered Oregon silverspot butterfly – to the largest mammals on land – the African elephant. Partner organizations include the Northwest Zoo and Aquarium Alliance, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and many others. Their signature conservation partner, the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, Woodland Park Zoo has helped indigenous communities in Papua New Guinea to permanently protect 187,000 acres of cloud forest habitat from resource extraction.
Woodland Park Zoo has diverse revenue streams including earned revenue, philanthropic support, and government funding. Over the past 12 months they have continued to carefully manage their budget, delaying some new initiatives and reducing expenses. Revenues and expenses are expected to be relatively flat from 2011 to 2012, factoring out a large in-kind donation in 2011.
Earned income accounts for about 50% of the zoo’s annual revenue. These funds come from a variety of sources including admissions, zoo store sales, and ticketed events such as the ZooTunes concerts. Philanthropic support accounts for about 18% of the zoo’s revenue. Government funding represents about 32% of the zoo’s annual revenue. Sources include general fund support from the City of Seattle, and funds from a King County levy. They are working towards renewing King County Levy support in 2013.
Woodland Park Zoo is currently in the public phase of their More Wonder More Wild campaign - a $70 million campaign (capital and program support) and a $10 million endowment fund. They have raised $73.19 million towards their $80 million goal, which is 91% of the campaign goal and 94% of the time elapsed. They anticipate the campaign will extend at least one additional year in order to allow time to complete the fundraising for The Asian Tropical Forest initiative, the final, major initiative in our More Wonder More Wild campaign. The Asian Tropical Forest will continue to be our primary focus in the coming 12 months. This project will create a two acre exhibit and new home for the Asian bears, and tigers.
Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:
Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:
$5,000.00||support general operating expenses.|
$10,000.00||support general operating expenses.|
$10,000.00||support general operating expenses. |
$40,000.00||support general operating expenses.|
$65,000.00||support the Zoomazium Exhibit campaign.|