Blank Park Zoo Foundation
"Giraffes have purple tongues!"
Megan, age 4
"I love the snow leopards, just because."
Will, age 8
"My favorite part about the Blank Park Zoo is the monkeys!"
Reilly, age 9
Over 370,000 people visit the Blank Park Zoo every year, each experiencing and learning something new. Realizing the educational, economic and cultural benefits involved with the Zoo's expansion, the Community Foundation's support of the research and development phase will lay the groundwork for a world-class zoo.
"These funds are essential to obtain expert knowledge and national/international input in the early stages of the project, enabling the right decisions to be made and the right direction to be pursued," Zoo representative Mike Hubbell said. "We will now be able to access the best zoo practices, new entertainment ideas and designs for our project."
The new Zoo will be four times larger than the current facility, expanding from 23 acres to over 100 acres. The renovation and expansion, including new exhibits, will occur in phases over the next several years.
"The Blank Park Zoo Foundation is doing a remarkable job transforming an aging local facility into a learning and entertainment destination for all of Iowa," said J. Barry Griswell, CEO of the Community Foundation.
As Zoo representatives meet with colleagues to share best practices, discuss plans with skilled architects and confer with consultants to discuss sustainability, they are no doubt paving the way for more positive experiences for Zoo patrons.
Brian and Wendy Rickert from Des Moines said, "What a great jewel for the state of Iowa. Our kids can't get enough of it, and we always have a wonderful time at the Zoo."