John Ball Zoo

Community Engagement

Because we are a nonprofit organization, we rely on contributions from our community to ensure we go above and beyond in our daily operations. However, it’s important to us to give back to the community that’s given so much to us and to inspire others to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. 

Here are a few ways in which you help us accomplish that: 

Over 520,000 visitors in 2019

2nd most attended cultural institution west of Detroit

Actively participating in over 40 Species Survival Plans (SSP)

A partner with the Grand Rapids Public School (GRPS) Zoo School

$40 million in economic impact to the businesses and the communities surrounding the Zoo

Accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)


JUMP Story

Ruth Jones, a former John Ball Zoo board member and principal for Grand Rapids Public Schools, imagined a program that would make the Zoo accessible to families regardless of income. All while encouraging an enriching, educational, and cultural experience. In 1998, the JUMP program was piloted and has since sponsored admission for hundreds of thousands of families.

JUMP Goals

Remove accessibility barriers to economically disadvantaged families by providing sponsored admission to John Ball Zoo. Provide opportunities for meaningful family experiences, unstructured play, and education; seeding a life-long love of learning, wildlife, and conservation.

Supporting JUMP

Making a gift to the JUMP program provides unique educational opportunities and helps cultivate important family connections that will foster healthy learning and living. John Ball Zoo seeks funding for JUMP from sponsors by grant application and philanthropic giving. Donors receive recognition on the Zoo’s website and annual report.

Learn more about JUMP!

Charitable Donation Requests

John Ball Zoo is happy to support community organizations. As a nonprofit organization our mission is to inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. 

Eligible organizations may receive a maximum of 4 complimentary tickets per organization per calendar year.

To submit a request, please fill out our donation request form.




Contact us:

Walk in: Administration office (Located just outside the entrance of the zoo) from 8am until 4:30pm Monday through Friday
Fax: (616)336-3907
Mail: John Ball Zoo, 1300 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI 49504