Creating the next generation of conservation stewards.


The identified purpose of education at WPZ is to advance the zoo’s mission by inspiring and cultivating an informed community of conservation stewards. As the Washington hub for excellence in conservation education, WPZ programs are grounded in a robust, science and outcomes-based framework for inspiring conservation.

Our guiding framework for program development is:

  • Connecting children to nature
  • Developing ecological literacy
  • Providing pathways to conservation

From early learners to senior learners, and on and off grounds, our developmental approach to lifelong learning is to foster empathy for nature, build conservation knowledge and skills, and increase people’s personal ownership for action that benefits wildlife and habitats.


Education Strategic Initiatives

  1. Connect children to nature
  2. Intensify the impact of zoo experiences
  3. Deepen science education, increase ecological literacy
  4. Empower conservation leaders
  5. Strengthen our leadership through education research




Playing a leadership role in deepening science education and increasing ecological literacy is core to Woodland Park Zoo’s vision of creating the next generation of conservation stewards. The zoo accomplishes this through educator professional development, learning experiences on zoo grounds, in classrooms, in schoolyards and local natural areas; strategic partnerships; and extensive educational resources.

Our programs for educators and students support academic requirements in the sciences, offer field-based opportunities and foster inquiry to ensure that all students have sufficient knowledge and skills in science for success and sustainability in the 21st century.




Education Year in Review

A Year of Impact

See how our education programs impact learners of all ages. This document showcases our yearly programs and accomplishments in Education and how our efforts are strategically aligned to create the next generation of conservation stewards.

Read the 2016 Education Year in Review