We are proud to announce that Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Council have allocated $10M this year to support major new developments at Nashville Zoo. The city’s investment is contingent upon the Zoo’s ability to match these funds dollar for dollar with private philanthropic support.
“Mayor Karl Dean has been a strong advocate of the Zoo, and our growth would not have been possible without his support,” said Zoo president Rick Schwartz. “The city’s contribution will be used towards infrastructure improvements that are imperative as we move forward with our Grow Wild campaign. We thank Mayor Dean and the Metro Council for recognizing the role the Zoo plays in making Nashville both a great place to live and a great place to visit.”
The $10M investment is the same amount and comes with the same stipulations as the contribution Nashville Zoo received from the city in 2014. The Zoo was able to match those funds within five months of the yearlong challenge.
“The Nashville Zoo is one of the most visited attractions in Davidson County,” said Mayor Dean. “Metro Government is proud to invest in the Zoo, which is well on its way to becoming a world-class destination. I’m confident that the Zoo will raise funds to match the city’s contribution again and become even more of an educational center for Nashville’s residents and visitors.”
In 2014, the Zoo embarked on the Grow Wild campaign, a multi-year effort to bring signature animal species to Nashville and increase the Zoo’s capacity to accommodate over one million annual visitors. Phase I of the campaign is currently underway and includes the development of Andean bear, spider monkey and giant otter exhibits, the renovation of the current tiger and elephant exhibits, a new veterinary hospital, an education annex, and the acquisition of rhinos. Phase II will focus on the development of an African savannah, and Phase III will highlight African forest animals and include a state-of-the-art gorilla habitat.