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A Community Zoo

Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, communications
Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo

We believe that every kid (and kid at heart) should have access to their local zoo.

We are proud to report that in 2016, Woodland Park Zoo’s Community Access Program (CAP) partnered with over 600 local human service organizations who offered their clients more than 80,000 complimentary passes to Woodland Park Zoo.  

The CAP mission is to reach out to those in our community who would not otherwise be able to experience a zoo visit. Our partnerships with 600+ human service organizations across Puget Sound make this mission possible. We want to thank our partners for their participation in this program and we'd like to thank you for making programs like CAP possible. With each zoo visit and membership, you support a zoo that supports its community.

Our love for the community will never tapir. 

Last year, we were pleased to have welcomed 54,286 CAP visitors to roar with Xerxes, walk with Pluma and dive with Valkyrie. With an estimated 50% redemption rate, we are thrilled that these community members value and appreciate their zoo just as we appreciate them. CAP serves a diverse population of King County and beyond, and for many of our participants, this was their first zoo experience.

Especially exciting was a leap into conservation education with programming built for CAP participants. Our education community engagement team piloted several new programs aimed at introducing community members to conservation education. These special activities took place both at the zoo and at events that brought the zoo to neighborhood centers and community-building celebrations. 

In 2016, the team delivered more than 100 unique animal themed outreach programs to low income community members at schools, community centers, and neighborhood events throughout Seattle and King County, reaching more than 6,500 children and adults. 

In addition, WPZ’s Up CLOSE program offered a range of dynamic programs featuring our Ambassador Animals to community members of all ages. From preschools to community centers to senior centers our education staff bring age and audience appropriate programs to sites around the greater Seattle area. These programs are designed to provide dynamic natural science experiences, develop empathy, and build new connections to the zoo. More than half of the programs we offer annually are provided at a highly subsidized rate to partner organizations and schools serving low income community members.

This year, we hope to do even more. 

We'll always find our way if we work together.

We believe time spent with wildlife is educational, motivational and restorative. It is our goal to make such experiences possible to as many people as possible regardless of their economic circumstances.
As a reflection of the wide support that makes our world-class zoo so strong, the Community Access Program (CAP) is dedicated to making the zoo more accessible to low-income, at-risk or underserved children and families in our shared community.
In partnership with nonprofits, foundations, state and local government entities, and indigenous community organizations, we thank you for your support in creating Access for All.
We can't wait to welcome even more CAP participants in 2017!

“We work with women who have abused drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. Many of them are learning how to parent well and provide healthy options and environments for their families. The CAP program provides an opportunity for the families we serve to have a healthy, sober, and free option to bond and have fun as a family. Thank you so much for your generosity.” - Parent-Child Assistance Program 

“Thanks so much for including YES and the youth and families we serve in your community access program. Our clients are so appreciative of the opportunity to enjoy the zoo and learn exciting new things without having to worry about affording admission.” -Youth Eastside Services 

“This is a wonderful gift you offer to our patients. Thank you.” -Swedish Cancer Institute 

“I would just like to say thank you and the Woodland Park Zoo community Group Voucher program. The Families had a great time. We appreciate all you have done for families in Muslim Housing service and our community. Thank you for all you do.” -Muslim Family Housing

“Just want to say THANK YOU for offering this, it brings family together and provides our homeless and low income families a spectacular day at the Zoo!” -Views at Madison