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.
Legacy funding has allowed the Zoo to expand our education programs, both at the Zoo and throughout the state. By expanding existing programs and developing new programs we are able to reach a broader audience. We are increasing offerings for all ages in many different ways. Public opportunities to interact with Zoo staff have increased, and continue to expand. We are able to offer new programing to our guests, taking advantage of the new Target Learning Center space. The arts are being used, including theater, sculpture, and other media.
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:
In partnership with the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, scientists and veterinarians from the Zoo are tracking moose in northeastern Minnesota to better understand their habitat and habits. This project will result in management recommendations to enable Minnesota’s moose population to be sustained into the future.
In partnership with other conservation agencies and organizations, the Zoo aims to prevent the extinction of Minnesota’s native prairie butterflies.