Buying a Button: A Small Way to Make a Big Contribution to Wildlife
Conservation (AZAD Education Grant Recipient)
Docent, John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, MI
The John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, presents animal collector cards and buttons they created, thanks to an AZAD grant. The cards and buttons:
- Help educate visitors about wildlife conservation
- Get visitors excited about animals and wildlife conservation
- Help people make a personal connection with actual animals in John Ball Zoo’s collection
- Generate revenue to fund wildlife conservation programs
Visitors became engaged in seeing and learning about specific animals, their species and wildlife conservation, and had the opportunity to purchase something that reminded them of their experience. They felt good knowing that they were making a small donation to a bigger – and very important – cause.
In 2011, the zoo volunteers raised more than $2,700 and donated the majority to the current expansion of their own zoo. More importantly, the AZAD grant-funded project touched more than 3,000 visitors, who chose to buy a button and make a small contribution to wildlife conservation. The volunteers believe they helped visitors make a personal connection with animals and take action in a conservation effort, while fulfilling the zoo’s mission of helping individuals gain information about, respect for and an understanding of the animal kingdom.