Celebrating the Wonders of our Natural World...

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About Us

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.


John Ball Zoo inspires people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.


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

Key Staff

Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer
Andy McIntyre, Director of Animal Programs, Education, and Conservation
Brenda Stringer, Director of Institutional Advancement
Allmon Forrester, Director of Operations
Amber Holst, Director of Visitor Services

John Ball Zoo Master Plan

Master Plan

The Zoo's new master plan is a collection of real data and dreams. It is conceptual in nature with the goal of creating a roadmap for a sustainable Zoological Park for our community. The plan contains concepts that are meant to be studied, meant to be flexible, and then ultimately realized over the next 25 years.

John Ball Zoo Master Plan




For more information about the Grand Rapids area, please click on the links below.