John Ball Zoo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation committed to the advancement of public education on the need for wildlife conservation and preservation. On January 1, 2014 Kent County, owner of the Zoo, and the John Ball Zoo Society unified their respective operations at the Zoo to create John Ball Zoo. A long term management agreement is in effect that allows non-profit management with continued ownership by Kent County. The County pays a management fee to provide continued financial support the operational and capital maintenance costs of the Zoo.
The Mission of the John Ball Zoo is to help individuals gain information about, respect for and an understanding of the Animal Kingdom by:
- Providing a quality zoological facility that is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and promotes good animal husbandry.
- Providing diverse educational opportunities.
- Enhancing the entertainment and recreational opportunities available to the Citizens of and Visitors to Kent County and West Michigan.
- Actively participating in local, state, national and international conservation and research programs.
- And achieving significant breeding and reproductive records.
4th most attended cultural facility in Michigan
470,000 visitors in 2013
700,000 people reached annually with wildlife and conservation messages
Over 250 species and 2000 individual animals are care for daily
Participates in 24 Species Survival Plans
$30,000,000 annual economic impact
Over 36,000 economically disadvantaged children and adults in Kent and Ottawa counties provided free zoo admission through the privately funded JUMP program
Kevin O’Neill, CEO
Andy McIntyre, Director of Animal Programs, Education, and Conservation
Brenda Stringer, Director of Institutional Advancement
Allmon Forrester, Director of Operations
Kyle Smith Irwin, President of the John Ball Zoo Board
For more information on John Ball Zoo or the Grand Rapids area, please click on the links below.