Nature Play Begins Past Grant Awards

2017-2018 Awards

With support from the Disney Conservation Fundgrants were awarded to 30 AZA-accredited institutions totaling $230,000 in 2017. The following list provides the institution (alphabetically) and project title:

  • Assiniboine Park Zoo, "Nature Family Club for New Canadians"
  • Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society, “Nature Trek for All”
  • Buffalo Zoo, “Nature Play Begins with a Sense of Belonging’” 
  • California Academy of Sciences, "Nature Play at the Academy"
  • Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo, “Grass Roots Nature Play: Growing a Nature Play Leadership Team in an Urban Head Start Center” 
  • Cosley Zoo, “Cosley Zoo Nature Play for All”
  • Denver Zoo, “Nurturing Scientists through Nature Play” 
  • Detroit Zoological Society, “Nature Tots”  
  • Greenville Zoo, “Greenville Zoo Nature Play Head Start Extension” 
  • Milwaukee County Zoo, “Nature Wonderland”
  • Mystic Aquarium, “Barrier Breaking Family Nature Club”
  • North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, "ExploreOutdoors"
  • New England Aquarium, "Communities Connecting to Oceans (C2O)"
  • North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, “Nature Play by the Sea” 
  • North Carolina Zoo, “Nature Rocks! Playful Pedagogy for Parents” 
  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, "Play, Explore, & Discover with Omaha's Zoo & Aquarium
  • Phoenix Zoo, “Creating a Community of Nature Play-Get Outside and Play in Arizona!”
  • Racine Zoo, "Racine Nature Club"
  • Reid Park Zoo, “Nature Club Development and nature Play Space Enhancements” 
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo, “Urban Nature Explorers” 
  • San Antonio Zoo, "Outdoor Learning Environments and Loose Parts
  • Sequoia Park Zoo, “Nature Play Begins at Sequoia Park Zoo”
  • Tennessee Aquarium, “Expanding Nature Nuts” 
  • The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, “BMore Natural with the Zoo!” 
  • The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, "Palm Beach Zoo Nature Play Program"
  • Tracy Aviary, “Nature in the City” 
  • Utah's Hogle Zoo, “Monroe Elementary Family Nature Experience” 
  • Virginia Living Museum, “Play Date with Nature and Connect & Learn in Nature”
  • Western North Carolina Nature Center, “Making Play Make Sense(s)”
  • Zoo Miami, “Zoo Miami Nature Play” 

2016-2017 Awards

With support from the Disney Conservation Fundgrants were awarded to 37 AZA-accredited institutions totaling $270,000 in 2016. The following list provides the institution (alphabetically) and project title:

  • Adventure Aquarium, “Family Fun with Nature"
  • Blank Park Zoo, “Permanent Natural Playscape”
  • Brevard Zoo, “Brevard Families Out to Explore” 
  • Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society, “Bronx Zoo Nature Club – Family Events”
  • Buffalo Zoo, “Nature Play Begins with Nature Play Events and ‘Drop-ins’” 
  • Buttonwood Park Zoo, “Nature Connection Education Center – Nature Play Area”
  • Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo, “Nature Play for Zero to Three” 
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, “Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Family Nature Club Expansion” 
  • Cosley Zoo, “Cosley Zoo Nature Play for All!”
  • Dallas Zoo, “WildFUN”
  • Denver Zoo, “Nurturing Scientists through Nature Play” 
  • Detroit Zoological Society, “Nature Tots”  
  • Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History, “Great Plains Zoo Nature Play Club Continuation”
  • Greenville Zoo, “Greenville Zoo Nature Play Outreach to Early Head Start Classes” 
  • Houston Zoo, “Houston Zoo Family Nature Club”
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, “Nature Trail Enhancements” 
  • Milwaukee County Zoo, “Nature Wonderland”
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, “Mommy and Me at Mote ‘Exploring the Bay’”
  • Mystic Aquarium, “Family Nature Club – Field to Sea”
  • North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, “The Lost Woods, Yr. 2 Expansion” 
  • North Carolina Zoo, “Nature Rocks! Dream Center Family Club” 
  • Oglebay’s Good Zoo, “’Nature: Get IN it’ Family Nature Play Club”
  • Phoenix Zoo, “Creating a Community of Nature Play-Get Outside and Play in Arizona!”
  • Pueblo Zoological Society, “Plant.Grow.Fly.Pueblo”
  • Queens Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society, “Wild Inquiries Nature Club” 
  • Reid Park Zoo, “Nature Play Days for Families” 
  • Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, “Nurturing through Nature”
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo, “Urban Nature Explorers” 
  • Saint Louis Zoo, “Saint Louis Zoo Family Nature Club”
  • Sequoia Park Zoo, “Family Nature Play at Sequoia Park Zoo”
  • Tennessee Aquarium, “Nurturing Our Next Nature Nuts” 
  • The Wilds, “Nature Center, Play Space and Family Nature Club at the Wilds” 
  • Tracy Aviary, “Nature in the City” 
  • Utah's Hogle Zoo, “Utah's Hogle Zoo's Family Nature Club” 
  • Virginia Living Museum, “Play Date with Nature!”
  • Western North Carolina Nature Center, “Play Like Animals with the WNC Nature Center”
  • Zoo Miami  - Zoological Society of Florida, “ZooNature Family Adventures at Zoo Miami” 

2015-2016 Awards

With support from the Disney Conservation Fundgrants were awarded to 44 AZA-accredited institutions totaling $270,000 in 2015. The following list provides the institution (alphabetically), project title:

  • Audubon Nature Institute, Audubon Celebrates the Wonder of Nature Play
  • Blank Park Zoo, Zoo Nature Club
  • Brevard Zoo, Zoo Sprouts- Family Nature Play
  • Bronx Zoo - WCS, Bronx Zoo Nature Club - Let Your Imagination Run WILD!
  • Buffalo Zoo, Nature Play at Urban Community Places and Waterfront Spaces
  • Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Family Play Partnership
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Family Nature Club Expansion 
  • Denver Zoo, Growing Scientists through Nature Play
  • Detroit Zoological Society, Nature Tots 
  • Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Families for Nature 
  • Greenville Zoo, Greenville Zoo Nature Play 
  • Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield Nature Buddies
  • Indianapolis Zoo, Family Nature Center 
  • Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Play the Natural Way 
  • John Ball Zoo, John Ball Zoo Family Nature Club
  • Lee Richardson Zoo, Lee Richardson Zoo's Family Nature Club 
  • Lehigh Valley Zoological Society, Preston's Pad and Playground - A Nature Play Area for Little Toads, Fairies and Gnomes
  • Minnesota Zoo, Hanifl Family Wild Woods Nature Play Program Suite Kick-off
  • Mystic Aquarium, Family Nature Club
  • North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, The Lost Woods
  • North Carolina Zoo, Nature Rocks! Family Club Camp Outs
  • Peoria Zoo, Peoria Zoo Natural Play Area/Glen Oak Park Nature Club
  • Phoenix Zoo, It's a Dry Heat - Get Outside and Play in Arizona!
  • Potter Park Zoo, Nature in Your Backyard
  • Prospect Park Zoo, Pre-K Nature Play
  • Queens Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Society), Wild Inquiries Nature Club
  • Reid Park Zoo, Nature Play Days for Families
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo, Family Nature Play Dates and Dads In the Park
  • Sacramento Zoo, Exploring the Zoo's Backyard Nature Station and Workshops
  • San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Zoo Nature Play and You
  • Santa Ana Zoo, Let's Play! with the Santa Ana Zoo 
  • Santa Barbara Zoo, Family Explore Trips 
  • Tennessee Aquarium, Nature Nuts 
  • The Florida Aquarium, Explorers Club: An Adventure for Young Children and Their Families
  • Toledo Zoo, Play Naturally Toledo
  • Tracy Aviary, Nature in the City 
  • Tulsa Zoo, Nature Experience
  • Utah's Hogle Zoo, Utah's Hogle Zoo's Family Nature Club
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Nature Play in the Preschools 
  • Western North Carolina Nature Center, Growing Nature Play at the WNC Nature Center
  • Woodland Park Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo Family Nature Clubs
  • Zoo Miami  - Zoological Society of Florida, Zoo Nature Family Adventures at Zoo Miami
  • Zoo New England, ZNE Early Childhood Initiative
  • Zoological Society of Milwaukee, Nature Wonderland

2014-2015 Awards

With support from the Disney Conservation Fund, grants were awarded to 30 AZA-accredited institutions to implement nature play programming in their communities. The following list provides the institution (alphabetically), project title. An asterisk (*) denotes a Children & Nature Network Family Nature Club affiliation.

  • Adventure Aquarium, Family Fun at the River *
  • Audubon Zoo, Audubon Celebrates the Wonder of Nature Play *
  • Brevard Zoo, Family Nature Stations
  • Bronx Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Society), Bronx Zoo Nature Club *
  • Brookgreen Gardens, Children's Nature & Sensory Trail Expansion
  • Buffalo Zoo, Nature Play Begins in the Niagara Frontier *
  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Sprouts and Seedlings Children's Garden *
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Zoo Nature Club *
  • CuriOdyssey, Stewards from All Settings
  • Dallas Zoo, Wild FUN (Families United in Nature) *
  • Detroit Zoological Society, Zoo Tots Outside
  • Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History, Great Plains Zoo Nature Club for Families *
  • Greenville Zoo, Greenville Zoo Nature Play *
  • Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, Kids'N'Snow
  • Lee Richardson Zoo, Developing Children "Naturally"
  • Minnesota Zoo, Hanifl Family Wild Woods Nature Play Program Pilot *
  • Mystic Aquarium, Family Nature Club in Connecticut *
  • Peoria Zoo, Peoria Zoo Natural Play Area
  • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Families Untamed: Zoo Nature Club *
  • Prospect Park Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Society), Nature Play Time
  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Back to Nature
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo, Nature Play in "Our Big Backyard" and Beyond *
  • San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Family Nature Club *
  • Sedgwick County Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo's Get Into Nature Program *
  • Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, Nature T.R.E.K.
  • The Living Desert, Me and You at the Gardens
  • Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Home Learner Partnership Program
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Nurturing Naturalists: Helping Families Take a Walk on the "Wild Side" *
  • Western North Carolina Nature Center, Nature Play at the WNC Nature Center 
  • Zoo Miami, ZooNature Family Adventures 

Funding for these projects was made possible through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund as part of the Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


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