John Ball Zoo

Western Valley Pathway Matching Gift Challenge

We have some exciting news to share. Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs has awarded John Ball Zoo a very special matching gift challenge grant in the amount of $70,000! This means, that any gift you send to John Ball Zoo before the end of the year will be matched dollar-for-dollar and be worth DOUBLE. This matching gift challenge addresses a real need, because with this grant and your gifts, we will remake an important part of the Zoo – the Western Valley Pathway.

Everyone loves the Zoo! But until recently, not everyone was able to fully experience it. Our Zoo is built on a hill, and while this makes it beautiful and unique, it also presents some challenges. The hills can make it difficult for those in wheelchairs, for anyone with trouble walking, just pushing a stroller or visiting with small children. But this started to change a few years ago when members and donors like you helped build the Waterfall Trail to the upper Forest Realm. Because the new pathway was made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, everyone can more easily access this part of the Zoo. 

Now, if we can meet this matching gift challenge, we will raise the remaining funds needed to finally make another similar pathway along our western edge. And in doing so we will be able to remove several old and unusable animal habitats. In their place, all along this new path, space will be available for many new animals to enjoy!


These days, we all want to make sure our hard-earned dollars go further. Let’s not let this special chance to dramatically improve our Zoo pass us by. Together, we can make our great Zoo even greater – for everyone – and at the same time create much needed space to add more wonderful animals. Thanks to the MATCHING GIFT CHALLENGE, your donation will go twice as far to dramatically improve our Zoo and make it more accessible to everyone. But you need to make your gift by December 31. 

John Ball Zoo, tax identification number 38-6076879, is an I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation committed to the advancement of public education on the need for wildlife conservation and preservation. John Ball Zoo inspires our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. More information about the Zoo including our Financial Audit, Annual Report, 990, etc. 


Call: Development Department 616-336-3309
Mail: John Ball Zoo PO Box 2506, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Fax: (616)336-3907
Walk in: Administration Office
              1300 W Fulton St Grand Rapids, MI 49504
              8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday