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 Institution (US or International) or Related Facility member. Only exhibits that were opened in calendar years 2015 and 2016 can be considered for the 2017 awards. Exhibits that opened to the public in 2017 must wait until 2018 to submit an application.

New in 2015: Awards are presented in two categories based on annual operating budget (budgets $5 million or less and budgets of more than $5 million).

If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Barbara Pueschel or call 301-244-3326.

How to Submit an Application

Download the Exhibit Award application (DOC)
Guidelines for Submission (PDF)
Remember to submit a Media Release Form with your application (DOC)

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. AZA has contracted with Webcargo to provide a quick and easy way for you to submit your application. Send your application via Webcargo.


Past Recipients

See the past winners' applications (member login required)


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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