Jan 11, 2022 6:55 PM

Sunset Zoo gets $10,000 grant from Disney Conservation Fund

Posted Jan 11, 2022 6:55 PM

 Sunset Zoo is excited to announce that they were recently awarded a $10,000 grant to promote conservation education efforts from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Disney Conservation Fund. 

“AZA-accredited facilities are working to help save species worldwide, and inspire the next generation of conservationists to action,” said Dan Ashe, President, and CEO of AZA. “We are so grateful to the continued support of the Disney Conservation Fund, which helps AZA members make an impact on their communities. I am especially proud of the projects this year for being driven by and focusing on under-represented and marginalized groups. Congratulations to the recipients!”

This year, AZA has awarded Party for the Planet®: Spring Into Action grants totaling $100,000 to 11 projects led by AZA-accredited facilities. The awarded facilities are Adventure Aquarium, Assiniboine Park Zoo, Bergen County Zoological Park, John Ball Zoological Gardens, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, OdySea Aquarium, Philadelphia Zoo, The Phoenix Zoo, Sunset Zoological Park, The Florida Aquarium, and Utah’s Hogle Zoo. AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction species monarch butterfly and North American songbird are two focus species of these conservation projects.

"As part AZA which has 238 accredited zoos and aquariums, we are extremely grateful to receive this grant to benefit the conservation efforts and mission of  Sunset Zoo. This grant will help us strengthen a great partnership with USD 383 schools and the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education, by providing education about the importance of pollinators in our environment," said Scott Shoemaker, Director of Sunset Zoo. 

The grant will help provide the opportunity to work with these organizations and work to build pollinator gardens and ongoing education at several schools and also provide ongoing education at Sunset Zoo's Party for the Planet celebration that takes place annually at the Zoo around Earth Day. This year's Party for the Planet will be on Saturday, April 23. 

"The Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) is excited to partner with this grant to help create, build, and maintain pollinator gardens and connected pollinator education within the Manhattan community. The Kansas Green School program has a mission of providing educational opportunities for pre-K-12 schools that increase awareness and understanding of environmental interrelationships that impact public health and our society, and that promote responsible environmental stewardship practices and this grant supports that work," said Laura Downey, Executive Director of KACEE. 

This grant opportunity will also help enhance the efforts of the Pollinator Pocket program of Manhattan Parks and Recreation. The goal of the program is to highlight different areas in and around the Manhattan community where pollinator gardens are thriving. To see current locations of pollinator gardens visit the Pollinator Pocket webpage.

Community members interested in learning more about the Zoo's efforts with pollinator education are encouraged to visit the Pollinator Gardens webpage or contact the Zoo for more details. 

About Sunset Zoo 
Home to over 200 amazing animals, Manhattan's Sunset Zoo offers a close-up view of some of nature's most fascinating wonders, including hyenas, cheetahs, flamingos, and jumping and hooting array of primates found throughout the 26-acre park. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 1989, Sunset Zoo is committed to upholding the highest standards of animal care and providing a fun, safe, and educational family experience. More about the AZA can be found here. 

Sunset Zoo is open 360 days a year for Winter hours from 12 pm - 5:00 pm that began November 1 – April 1. It is located at 2333 Oak Street. The Zoo is tucked inside the residential area near Manhattan High School's West Campus. 

Learn more by visiting www.sunsetzoo.com, by calling 785-587-2737, or by following the Zoo on social media.