AZA News Releases

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Announces Recipients of Quarter Century Award

Silver Spring, MD - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the primary accrediting body for top zoos and aquariums in the United States since 1974, announced today the recipients of the Association's Quarter Century Award. Established in 2015, this new award acknowledges facilities that have maintained AZA accreditation continuously for 25 years or more, highlighting their commitment to animal care, welfare, conservation, education, and more. The inaugural group of 119 awardees includes many facilities that have successfully achieved AZA accreditation well beyond the 25 year mark.

"AZA is dedicated to ensuring that the highest standards in the zoological profession are met, and this means that the accreditation process is therefore quite rigorous," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "The fact that these aquariums and zoos have maintained continuous AZA accreditation for 25 years or more is an extraordinary achievement that deserves to be celebrated," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy.

To be accredited, AZA-accredited facilities have completed a thorough review to ensure that they meet and will continue to meet rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association. 

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution's operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas.  Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA's independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission's decision is made.

Recipients of AZA's Quarter Century Award will receive a plaque honoring their achievement. The list of facilities continuously accredited by AZA for 25 years or more is as follows: 

Institution                                                                 Year of Initial Accreditation

Abilene Zoological Gardens                                  1985

Akron Zoological Park                                            1989

Albuquerque Biological Park                                1981

Alexandria Zoological Park                                    1986

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum                           1983

Audubon Zoo                                                           1981

Bergen County Zoological Park                            1986

Binder Park Zoo                                                       1983

Blank Park Zoo                                                        1987

Brandywine Zoo                                                      1986

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo                                     1977

Bronx Zoo                                                                1979

Brookfield Zoo/Chicago Zoological Society        1986

Brookgreen Gardens                                               1983

Buffalo Zoo                                                              1981

Busch Gardens (Tampa)                                        1985

Caldwell Zoo                                                           1985

Calgary Zoo                                                            1978

.Cape May County Park Zoo                                  1989

Central Florida Zoo                                                 1986

Central Park Zoo                                                     1989

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Park                   1983

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden                 1978 

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo                                     1982

Clyde Peeling's Reptiland                                     1987

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium                               1980

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory                       1986

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo                                1987

Dallas Zoo                                                              1985

David Traylor Zoo of Emporia                                1985

Denver Zoological Gardens                                   1976

Detroit Zoological Society                                      1985

Dickerson Park Zoo                                                1986

El Paso Zoo                                                             1980

Ellen Trout Zoo                                                        1983

Erie Zoo                                                                   1985

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo                                     1976

Fort Worth Zoological Park                                      1977

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center                                     1986

Fresno Chaffee Zoo                                                 1979

Gladys Porter Zoo                                                    1978

Greenville Zoo                                                          1988

Henry Vilas Zoo                                                       1976

Henson Robinson Zoo                                           1986

Honolulu Zoo                                                           1986

Houston Zoo, Inc.                                                    1985

Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.                   1981

International Crane Foundation                           1987

Jackson Zoological Park                                        1989

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens                             1987

John Ball Zoological Gardens                               1983

John G. Shedd Aquarium                                      1978

Kansas City Zoo                                                      1984

Knoxville Zoological Gardens                               1984

Lee Richardson Zoo                                               1986

Lincoln Park Zoo                                                     1976

Living Desert, The                                                   1983

Los Angeles Zoo                                                     1979

Louisville Zoological Garden                                 1980

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore                                     1980

Memphis Zoo                                                           1981

Miller Park Zoo                                                        1978

Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens              1976

Minnesota Zoological Garden                               1980

Monterey Bay Aquarium                                         1986

Mystic Aquarium                                                      1984

National Aquarium                                                  1984

National Aviary                                                        1984

New York Aquarium                                                 1984

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher              1990

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores 1990

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island     1990

North Carolina Zoological Park                             1984

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park                                 1985

Oakland Zoo                                                            1988

Oglebay's Good Zoo                                                1986

Oklahoma City Zoological Park                             1981

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium         1983

Oregon Zoo                                                              1974

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park                           1989

Peoria Zoo                                                               1981

Philadelphia Zoo                                                     1974

Phoenix Zoo                                                             1981

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium                           1983

Potawatomi Zoo                                                       1987

Potter Park Zoological Gardens                            1986

Racine Zoological Gardens                                   1986

Reid Park Zoo                                                         1983

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden                                 1979

Roger Williams Park Zoo                                        1986

Roosevelt Park Zoo                                                1988

Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park                1987

Sacramento Zoo                                                      1979

Saint Louis Zoo                                                        1977

Salisbury Zoological Park                                      1976

San Antonio Zoological Society                           1975

San Diego Zoo                                                        1977

San Diego Zoo Safari Park                                     1977

San Francisco Zoological Gardens                      1977

Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens                      1982

Seattle Aquarium                                                     1979

SeaWorld Orlando                                                  1983

SeaWorld San Antonio                                           1990

SeaWorld San Diego                                              1981

Sedgwick County Zoo                                            1982

Seneca Park Zoo                                                     1979

Smithsonian National Zoological Park                1977

St. Augustine Alligator Farm                                  1988

Staten Island Zoo                                                    1988

Sunset Zoological Park                                          1989

Toledo Zoological Gardens                                    1976

Tulsa Zoo                                                                 1976

Utah's Hogle Zoo                                                    1979

Vancouver Aquarium                                              1975

Virginia Zoological Park                                         1987

Wildlife Safari                                                          1986

Woodland Park Zoological Gardens                    1982

Zoo Atlanta                                                               1987

Zoo Miami                                                                 1984 

About AZA

 Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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