As Minnesota’s state Zoo, we are committed to ensuring that our programs are accessible to all our citizens – regardless of age, geographic location, disability or background. “Zoo Unlimited” is our community outreach and access initiative that unites a wide range of programs and policies designed to ensure every Minnesotan has unlimited opportunities to form stronger connections with the natural world. Legacy funds help us implement this program bridge barriers that keep people from connecting with all the Zoo has to offer.
These funds are used for financial monitoring and oversight of the Minnesota Zoo’s legacy funds, including regular review of legacy fund expenditures, financial reporting, budget management, and assisting program staff in work planning for legacy projects. This amount also includes human resource and IT support for legacy funds, as appropriate.
Educating Minnesotans about conservation issues and how they can engage in conservation activities is critical to the stewardship of our State’s natural resources. Legacy funds have been used to create new programs and expand existing activities to bring zoo guests and citizens statewide in close contact with animals and the ways in which people can participate in conservation in their own backyard. Program highlights include:
Farming is at the heart of Minnesota’s history and development, yet today more than half of all Minnesotans live in urban or suburban settings with little or no exposure to Minnesota’s agricultural history or culture. The Wells Fargo Family Farm provides an opportunity for the Zoo’s 1.3 million guests to experience a working farm, directly interact with farm staff and animals, and learn to appreciate agricultural food production.
Minnesota has long been committed to preserving its natural heritage. In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Minnesota, and other conservation organizations, the Minnesota Zoo plays a significant role in these preservation efforts by addressing pressing wildlife conservation issues important to our State. Legacy funds allow the Minnesota Zoo to expand its field conservation and educational programs with a focus on animals and habitats closely aligned with Minnesota’s cultural identity.
The Minnesota Zoo’s site – 485 acres of land in Dakota county – is a state treasure that includes a diverse array of habitants including vernal pools, sedge meadows, oak woodlands, and northern rich fens. More than half of this is undeveloped wildlife habitat which, thanks to Legacy funding, is now being explored by zoo staff and guests in order to educate citizens about the wild animals and wild places native to our state and the importance of caring for and conserving these resources.