The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced the recipients of 44 “Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium” grants. Supported through a special gift from the Disney Conservation Fund, these competitive grants, selected through a rigorous review by a panel of industry experts, are being presented to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to encourage family nature play and conservation education.
“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are centers of conservation, dedicated to connecting communities to nature. These grants help to continue building those initiatives,” said Jim Maddy, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “By providing opportunities for families to spend time with one another and to explore nature in new and fun ways, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums play a key role in educating visitors about protecting our Earth and inspiring the next generation of conservationists.”
The Nature Play grants provide financial, logistical and creative support for zoos and aquariums seeking to increase or enhance family-centered nature experiences in their communities. As part of this initiative, AZA offered the grant opportunity to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. This program is a partnership with the Children & Nature Network, building on their successful Family Nature Club initiative.
Research has shown that free play immersed in an outdoor setting is fundamental to connecting children with the natural world around them. The value of these experiences is further reinforced when shared as a family unit. The awards of $5,000 or $10,000 were made available to extend existing family-based nature play programming or to create new,…
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