From These Roots


Friday, July 9, 2021

Attend in-person at Woodland Park Zoo’s North Meadow or join us virtually



Founded more than a century ago, Woodland Park Zoo has long been a cornerstone for the Seattle community. Generation after generation can recall fond memories of time spent with their family and friends, wandering along the zoo’s many paths and iconic animal exhibits.

Building Community from the Beginning

Since the City of Seattle’s purchase of the small menagerie on Guy Phinney’s sprawling Woodland Park estate in 1899, community support has enabled Woodland Park Zoo to evolve and thrive for over a century.

Among the first notable fundraising efforts in support of Woodland Park Zoo were penny drives in the 1920's and 1930's. Children from throughout the community came together to donate thousands of dollars in support of the animals at the zoo, providing funding for the food and care.

From the penny drives to the formation of the Woodland Park Zoological Society, community support continued to propel Woodland Park Zoo forward. Since the Society’s founding in 1965, millions of dollars of private support have been raised to form the zoo as we know it today.

Exhibits like The Living Northwest Trail, Trail of Vines, Jaguar Cove, Humbolt Penguins and Banyan Wilds have all been funded by private support over the last several decades. Children and adults alike enjoy these captivating and inspiring exhibits, the historic carousel and Zoomazium due to the impact of private funding from generations past, present and future.

Woodland Park Zoo Today

2020 was devastating for too many — people and wildlife alike. But this zoo, and our community, did more than just hold on. Forced to close our doors during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we maintained world-class care for our animals, putting their health and happiness before anything else, thanks to the commitment of our donors. With the commitment and dedication of our staff, we found safe ways to offer a green haven for our community, and a source of beauty and healing, in a year of turmoil.

As Woodland Park Zoo rebuilds, we are thinking with equal care about what animals and people most need. Washington’s communities and families have shown immense resilience during the past year. The zoo should be a place of healing and hope, a respite and a source of inspiration. Washington relies on Woodland Park Zoo as a place where residents can find joy and expand their capacity for care.

You Are the Future

Woodland Park Zoo sparks delight, discovery and unforgettable memories for generations of Northwest families. People who experience the wonders of the natural world are inspired to protect it. That's why every year we lead more than one million people on a journey that inspires a lifelong love of animals, makes science come alive, and gives people the tools to take conservation action.

Your gifts ensure that the zoo will remain an accessible community cornerstone for generations to come while promoting and furthering conservation work around the world and inspiring everyone who visits the zoo to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Thank You

Your Fund Our Future investment will help ensure Woodland Park Zoo’s continuity as an icon of caring for our community and ability to provide lifelong memories for generations.