The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, through its Exhibit Award, recognizes excellence in the area of live animal display and exhibit design by an AZA-Accredited Institution (US or International) or Certified Related Facility member. Only exhibits that were opened in calendar years 2020 and 2021 can be considered for the 2022 awards. Exhibits that opened to the public in 2022 must wait until 2023 to submit an application.
Awards are presented in two categories based on annual operating budget (budgets $8 million or less and budgets of more than $8 million).
If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Rob Vernon or call (301) 244-3352.
2022 application materials are available below. Applications are due June 1, 2022.
Past recipients' application materials are available below.
All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF file. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution.
Please upload your file to the AZA Dropbox link in the Application document below. Your file will go to the AZA Dropbox account, but you do not need to sign in, or even have a Dropbox account to use this link—when it opens, just click on the “choose files” box and upload your application.
Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.
Download the Exhibit Award application (DOC)
Guidelines for Submission (PDF)
See the past winners' applications (member login required)
Top Honors - operating budget greater than $8 million
Houston Zoo - Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands and Cypress Circle Café
Top Honors - operating budget less than $8 million
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park - Eagle Passage: Wings of Hope
Significant Achievement - operating budget greater than $8 million
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens - Australian Adventures
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens — African Forest
National Aviary — National Aviary's Tropical Rainforest
Sedgwick County Zoo — Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley
Henry Vilas Zoo — Arctic Passage
Cincinnati Zoo — Africa
Sequoia Park Zoo — Watershed Heroes Exhibit
Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo — Hamill Family Wild Encounters / Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion
Wildlife Emergency Response
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens — Florida Panthers
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens — Land of the Tiger
Indianapolis Zoo — Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center
Saint Louis Zoo — Sea Lion Sound
The Louisville Zoo — Glacier Run
Minnesota Zoo — Russia's Grizzly Coast and Central Plaza
National Aquarium in Baltimore — Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes
Minnesota Zoo — Minnesota Trail
Philadelphia Zoo — Big Cat Falls
Denver Zoo — Entrance and Predator Ridge
Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservation Society — Tiger Mountain
Louisville Zoo — Gorilla Forest
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens — Northern Trail
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens — Tropical Rain Forest
John G. Shedd Aquarium — Oceanarium
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society — Baboon Reserve & African Market
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens — Elephant Forest
San Diego Zoo — Tiger River
National Zoological Park — Invertebrate Exhibit
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society — JungleWorld
Audubon Park & Zoological Garden — Louisiana Swamp Exhibit
Sea World of California — The Penguin Encounter
Oregon Zoo — Cascades; Stream & Pond Building
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens — The African Savanna
Hanna Barbera Marineland — Baja Reef
Cincinnati Zoo — World of the Insect
The Seattle Aquarium — Puget Sound Exhibit
Saint Louis Zoological Park — Aquatic House Renovation
Saint Louis Zoological Park — Big Cat Country
Chicago Zoological Park — Saharan Predator Exhibit
Topeka Zoological Park — Tropical Rain Forest