2024 Spring Appeal supporting Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

How Your Support Makes a Difference

Your generous donation ensures our ability to care for all of these important animals — to save and preserve their future, and educate our community in the process. 

Contributions, of any amount, help us maintain the important work happening here at the zoo. From excellent animal care and conservation to engaging guest experiences and public education, we rely on your help to implement our important mission. 

Please send what you can to ensure the continued care and protection of some of the most vulnerable species on the planet. 

Visiting the zoo brings us into close proximity with beautiful creatures of every size and form from all around the world. With so many rare animals from all over the world, it can be easy to forget that animals compose just half of the life at our institution.

In fact, much of the vibrant life in our zoo isn’t within the animal habitats, but between them. The plant life throughout our zoo has always been a source of pride, and we are excited to say that one long-awaited enhancement is about to flourish…with the creation of a Botanical Garden!

The Botanical Garden would help further beautify our zoo, but the benefits are not limited to aesthetics. By maintaining a diverse array of plant life, we can offer plant-related conservation information – such as how to construct and care for a pollinator garden to support your local bees
and bugs. Plants are more than just pretty flowers; plant life forms the basis of virtually every food chain on the planet. Healthy plant life makes for healthy habitats, which make for a healthy planet.

The curated plant collection would create the potential to grow food for animal enrichment, reducing our environmental footprint. Beyond that, we would be able to grow food to use in both the Honey Bee Café and our dinner pairing series. The garden would make our institution more eco-friendly, while also increasing awareness and appreciation for plantlife among our guests. With the presence of a diverse and well-maintained botanical garden, we can further connect our visitors to the natural world, promoting a love for plants equal to our community’s love for animals.

As the first phase of this reimagining of our zoo grounds, we would be draining the waterfowl pond and converting it to an immersive garden experience. This scenic walk through nature will feature a stunning variety of plant life, statues and art installations as well as educational signage. Removing the waterfowl pond is in the best interest of our conservation mission; maintaining the waterfowl pond generates otherwise avoidable water waste, and also attracts wild birdlife that can bring deadly diseases like Avian flu to our zoo grounds and potentially spread them to the animals in our care. While you know the pond as the picturesque common area of our zoo grounds, we are confident you will be more than pleased with the new, breathtaking plant life.

The Botanical Garden would be an essential part of the zoo’s mission of conservation, education, and guest experience. We seek to provide guests with an immersive, aesthetically impressive, and educational experience while promoting sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. Through maintaining a curated plant collection, we will expand our conservation contributions to include significant horticultural research and record-keeping. The information gathered from our Botanical Garden will help support pollinators and plant life native to our area, mitigating the effects of climate change in the process. However, we cannot accomplish this bold vision on our own. Your generous support will help us make this ambitious dream a reality, and in the process, will introduce an even greater diversity of life to our institution.

A Botanical Garden would take us to new heights and usher in a new era at the zoo—connecting people to care about animals,care about our planet, and care about each other. We are so grateful to have your unyielding support for our conservation mission.

Always grateful,

Carrie Large

Executive Director

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo