More about the Association of Zoological
AZH is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the advancement
of horticulture in zoos, zoological parks, botanic gardens, and aquariums.
A history of AZH:
During the 1960's and 70's zoos began to change as new exhibits began to present animal species in naturalistic habitats that included plants. With the advent of natural habitat animal exhibits came the need for well trained and well informed zoo horticulturists—professionals capable of dealing with the special challenges of growing plants in a zoo environment.
One of the key elements of developing natural habitat exhibits is a holistic approach
to the design of exhibits. The zoo horticulturist should be involved in every phase of exhibit design. From the beginning stages of guiding plant selection and assuring that plant needs are met, through to the project's conclusion and maintenance, the zoo horticulturist is an important part of the design team.
In the late 1970's the need for zoological horticulture knowledge extended far beyond that which could be achieved by friendships with other zoo horticulturists. To this end, in August of 1980, a conference was sponsored and hosted by the Zoological Society of Philadelphia to address the interests, concerns, and realities of zoo horticulture in the 1980's. Forty persons attended this conference, with one registrant from Nigeria, one from Kuwait, and the remainder from zoos across the United States. From this successful conference grew the thought that an organization was needed that could act as a common meeting ground for the exchange of ideas, information, and the establishment of professional friendships.
From its beginning to the present, the Association of Zoological Horticulture has been a great success because of the continued support of its officers and individual members who have taken the time and effort to promote the professionalism of zoo horticulturists.Purpose of AZH
- To advance public and professional education regarding the importance of zoo
horticulture and its role in the educational, recreational, conservation
and scientific goals of the living natural history museum.
- To foster and cultivate the social, educational and business relations
of the members through meetings, reports, publications, discussions and
seminars, and the various communications media; to engender cooperation
among the horticultural staffs of zoological parks, aquariums, botanical
gardens and arboreta, and similar organizations.
- To broaden the interests of the membership in the pursuit of their occupations
and to improve their standards of efficiency and effectiveness through fostering programs
for professional and vocational education.
- To aid, foster and engage in the exchange of horticultural specimens
and propagules for exhibition, conservation and research.
To aid and protect its members and do all things as are proper within
the scope of such an organization for the welfare of its members.