ç Exhibit Award

Exhibit Award

About the Exhibit Award

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 2018 and 2019 can be considered for the 2020 awards. Exhibits that opened to the public in 2020 must wait until 2021 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.

How to Submit an Application 

2020 application and guidelines have been posted below and will be due on Monday, June 1, 2020. 

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. Your file will go to the AZA Digital 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.

Exhibit Award Recipients

See the past winners' applications (member login required)


Operating Budgets greater than $8 million

Top Honors
Nashville Zoo — Expedition PERU - Trek of the Andean Bear
New York Aquarium — Ocean Wonders: SHARKS!

Significant Achievement
Zoo Knoxville — Boyd Family Asian Trek
Oakland Zoo — California Trail

Oregon Zoo — Oregon Zoo Education Center
Omaha Zoo and Aquarium — Children's Adventure Trails

Operating Budgets less than $8 million

National Aviary — National Aviary's Tropical Rainforest


Operating Budgets greater than $5 million

Top Honors
Sedgwick County Zoo — Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley

Significant Achievement
San Diego Zoo Global — Africa Rocks 
South Carolina Aquarium — Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery


Operating Budgets less than $5 million

Top Honors
Henry Vilas Zoo — Arctic Passage

Operating Budgets greater than $5 million

Top Honors
Detroit Zoo — Polk Penguin Conservation Center
Oregon Zoo — Elephant Lands

Significant Achievement
Cincinnati Zoo — Africa

California Academy of Sciences — Twilight Zone: Deep Reefs Revealed
Philadelphia Zoo — ZOO360®


Operating Budgets less than $5 million

Top Honors
Sequoia Park Zoo — Watershed Heroes Exhibit

Operating Budgets greater than $5 million

Top Honors
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore — Penguin Coast
National Aquarium — Living Seashore

Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo — Hamill Family Wild Encounters / Bramsen Animal Ambassador Pavilion

Wildlife Emergency Response 
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens — Florida Panthers


Operating Budgets less than $5 million

Top Honors
Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History — Snow Monkeys
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island — Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center

Operating Budgets greater than $5 million

Top Honors
Assiniboine Park Zoo — Journey to Churchill
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — Heart of Africa
San Diego Zoo Global — Tull Family Tiger Trail

Significant Achievement
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens — Land of the Tiger

Indianapolis Zoo — Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center


Top Honors
Fresno Chaffee Zoo — Sea Lion Cove
Philadelphia Zoo — KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children's Zoo & Faris Family Education Center

Significant Achievement
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo — Encounter Africa
National Aquarium — Blacktip Reef



Significant Achievement
Saint Louis Zoo — Sea Lion Sound


Top Honors
The Louisville Zoo — Glacier Run

Significant Achievement
The California Science Center — Ecosystems
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — African Elephant Crossing
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens — Elephants of Asia  


Top Honors
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — Polar Frontier
Fort Worth Zoo — Museum of Living Art (MOLA)
The Toledo Zoo — Nature's Neighborhood

Significant Achievement
Brevard Zoo — PAWS ON
Dallas Zoo — Giants of the Savanna


Top Honors
Oregon Zoo — Predators of the Serengeti
Woodland Park Zoo — Humboldt Penguin Exhibit

Significant Achievement
Fundación Temaikèn — The Bird's Place
San Diego Zoo — Elephant Odyssey
The Philadelphia Zoo — McNeil Avian Center


Top Honors
Minnesota Zoo — Russia's Grizzly Coast and Central Plaza

Significant Achievement
Bronx Zoo — Madagascar
North Carolina Zoo — Watani Grasslands Reserve


Top Honors
National Aquarium in Baltimore — Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

Significant Achievement
Minnesota Zoo — Minnesota Trail 


Top Honors
Philadelphia Zoo — Big Cat Falls

Significant Achievement
Houston Zoo — Natural Encounters
Smithsonian National Zoological Park — Asia Trail


Top Honors
Denver Zoo — Entrance and Predator Ridge

Significant Achievement
Lincoln Park Zoo — Regenstein Center for African Apes
San Antonio Zoo — Kronkosky's Tiny Tot Nature Spot


Top Honors
Jacksonville Zoo — Range of the Jaguar
Monterey Bay Aquarium — Sharks: Myth and Mystery

Significant Achievement
Lincoln Park Zoo — Regenstein African Journey
Oregon Zoo — Eagle Canyon
Woodland Park Zoo — Jaguar Cove


Top Honors
Bronx Zoo / Wildlife Conservation Society — Tiger Mountain

Significant Achievement
John G. Shedd Aquarium — Wild Reef
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo — African Rift Valley


Top Honors
Louisville Zoo — Gorilla Forest

Significant Achievement
Detroit Zoo — Arctic Ring of Life
Monterey Bay Aquarium — Jellies: Living Art


Brookfield Zoo — Hamill Family Play Zoo
Detroit Zoological Institute — Amphibiville


Minnesota Zoo — Wells Fargo Family Farm
John G. Shedd Aquarium — Amazon Rising: Seasons of the River


Monterey Bay Aquarium — Mysteries of the Deep
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society — Congo Gorilla Forest


Toledo Zoo — Historic Aviary Renovation
John G. Shedd Aquarium — Seahorse Symphony


New England Aquarium — Aquarium Medical Center
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum — Javelina Exhibit
Louisville Zoological Gardens — Islands Exhibit


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society — Butterfly Zone
Monterey Bay Aquarium — The Outer Bay


National Zoological Park — Think Tank
Sea World of Florida — Wild Arctic


Woodland Park Zoological Gardens — Northern Trail


Cincinnati Zoo — Jungle Trails, The Asian and African Rainforest Exhibit
SeaWorld of Florida — Manatees: The Last Generation


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 — Himalayan Highlands
San Diego Zoo — East African Rock Kopje


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


Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society — Children's Zoo
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium — Polar Bear Complex


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

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