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John Ball Zoo Wildlife Conservation Fund

For more than twenty years the John Ball Zoos Wildlife Conservation Fund has helped fund over 100 projects. These projects have helped conserve wildlife and wild places in more than 30 countries.

Many projects funded by the Wildlife Conservation Fund have been education based with an eye to helping communities learn about the wildlife around them. In addition, the fund has lent support to help conserve some of the lesser known taxa such as endangered reptiles and amphibians.

Animals native to Michigan have garnered special attention from the Wildlife Conservation Fund and conservation fund monies have supported projects ranging from installing interpretive graphics at Palomita Reserve in Grand Haven, Michigan to characterizing what bacteria are normally found in salamander habitats in the Great Lakes region.

When John Boyles had the insight in 1985 to start the Conservation Fund here at John Ball Zoo he was truly visionary. Over the years his vision has been turned into a wonderful reality of support for conservation throughout the world.

Click here to learn about the current awardees and their projects.

Supporting Conservation Projects

If you would like to make a donation to help support conservation projects, such as those mentioned above, visit our Animal Sponsorship: Animals! Animals! page. By adopting an animal, you not only help in the care and feeding our animals at John Ball Zoo, but also support conservation programs near and far. For our animals and those in the wild, their future depends on you!

Apply for a Conservation Grant

Annually, grants are given for one or more of the following purposes:

1. To enhance or assist wild animal preservation, native and exotic, threatened and endangered, and their habitat management.
2. To enhance or improve captive animal management including environmental design. Note: Grants are not awarded for exhibit development or graphics for AZA accredited zoos or zoo in North America.
3. To assist in the development of education programming in concert with the above purposes.

Applications for 2015 grants are now being accepted. Deadline for completed applications is March 1, 2015. Application forms are available in pdf and Microsoft Word and are available through the links below.

Contact: Brenda Stringer, John Ball Zoological Society, 1300 W. Fulton, GR Mi 49504, 616-336-4303, bstringer@johnballzoosociety.org

2015 Application

pdf format

2015 Application

word format


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are hard copy applications accepted?
Hard copy applications are no longer accepted.

2. Will the fund support development and construction of animal exhibits and graphics?
No. The fund will not support exhibit development, construction of exhibits or graphics development for AZA accredited facilities or (in general) facilities located in North America. We may support exhibit development/graphics in range countries dependent upon the merits of the application.

3. Does the fund support “overhead” costs?

4. Will the fund support travel?
Travel for the principal investigator and other collaborators are considered on a case by case basis. Travel for training of teachers, wildlife biologists, technicians, etc. is funded based upon the merits of the application.

5. Should letters of support be submitted separately?
No. Please include these letters with your application materials. If this is not possible the letter should clearly state the name of the project as well as the principal investigator.

6. How much can I expect to receive if a grant is awarded?
Amounts are generally in the range of $500 to $2500 per award.

7. When will grants be announced?
Every effort is made to announce grants early May.

8. How will I be notified if I receive an award?
Award recipients are notified via email. Other applicants are notified via email (if an email address is submitted with an application).