John Ball Zoo

Community Impact

Our mission is to inspire people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.

4th most attended cultural facility in Michigan
Over 500,000 visitors in 2016
700,000 touched by conservation message
Over 271 species and more than 1,550 animals
Participates in 24 Species Survival Plans
$38,000,000 annual economic impact
10th oldest Zoo in the United States
A partner with the GRPS Zoo School
Accredited member of the 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 supports other non-profit organizations in West Michigan by providing charitable contributions in the form of complimentary tickets good for the John Ball Zoo. Eligible organization may receive a maximum of 4 complimentary tickets per organization per calendar year.

Due to the tremendous volume of inquiries received, limited resources make it impossible to satisfy all that ask for and merit assistance. 75% of the Zoo’s annual operating budget is dependent upon earned revenue, and it is necessary for the Zoo to limit the number of complimentary admission tickets distributed each year. Once that limit is reached, no further ticket donations will be made. 

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