In 2019, we began working with Signature School, a local charter school who’s mission is to meet the needs of self-motivated learners in a progressive environment driven by global concerns. They emphasize rigor and excellence in academics, the arts, integrated technologies and community services. Signature has become an integral part of the Zoo, as our botanic team engages students with horticulture projects and education that develop hands on skills and conservation knowledge. The aim is to involve students in zoological horticulture, as it relates to conserving and preserving habitats, and lessoning the impact of climate change. Each class does a day of service work each year and we have been able to work with the Freshman class for three different years on conservation and other projects here at the zoo.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden received the AZH Wendy Andrews Cultivation Grant in 2020-21. After delays due to COVID, we were able to move forward with this project. We impacted 100 kids and teachers with the conservation projects planned around the zoo using the grant money. These projects included building mason bee houses, planting 30 native trees and shrubs and adding to our browse gardens for the animals. Several other smaller conservation projects were included to keep everyone busy. We had a great day with the group and appreciate the opportunity given to do this project using AZH WACG funds!
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. The Zoo connects people with the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life. From educational programming such as field trips, volunteer projects, and summer camps, to hosting family reunions, corporate events, and weddings, the Zoo connects with people in countless ways. The Evansville Zoological Society supports the Zoo through leadership, education, fund development, and volunteer services for the benefit of the people, plants and animals it serves.
Misty Minar, Horticulture Manager