Edmonton Valley Zoo receives multiple national awards for conservation excellence
November 22, 2023

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is being recognized nationally as a leader for education and conservation.

The zoo is proud to be a leader in conservation and environmental stewardship by protecting the natural environment and helping mitigate climate change. This passion and commitment to making a difference was recognized earlier this month at Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums’ 2023 Annual Awards of Excellence. The zoo received national awards in three out of seven categories.

“This is an incredible achievement for the zoo and for our team. Our staff works hard every day to create an engaging place that inspires the protection and conservation of animals and the world we live in,” said Edmonton Valley Zoo Director Gary Dewar. “For CAZA to recognize that hard work at the national level is so rewarding and humbling. We are proud to be honoured in this way.”

Edmonton Valley Zoo was the distinguished recipient of the Colonel G.D. Dailley Conservation Award for our Ex-Situ Propagation of the Northern Leopard Frog. The zoo has established this endangered species' assurance population as insurance against catastrophic extinction of the species in the wild. This summer, zoo team members released tadpoles who were raised at the zoo’s facility from egg masses into their new habitat in Cherry Meadows, BC.

"Pay it Forward For the Planet" is an innovative program that has local companies and individuals adopt a class to come to the Edmonton Valley Zoo for a field trip. The class is required to pay it forward by taking on a conservation initiative that helps the planet. To date 29 classes have benefited from the program involving over 730 students. This program represents a collaboration between the Edmonton Valley Zoo and the Valley Zoo Development Society and was the recipient of the Eleanore Oakes Award for Innovative Education Program Design.

The third award went to Doug Warren, a volunteer for more than 25 years, who received a significant achievement award for his outstanding work on the Zoo’s Conservation Carousel as Volunteer of the Year. Doug represents a team of volunteers who painstakingly transformed the original 1959 Herschell Spillman carousel into a beautiful work of art featuring a collection of hand carved endangered animals. Admission to ride the carousel is by donation which in turn supports a variety of conservation programs.

Each year, CAZA grants awards to accredited members for their significant contributions to the zoological profession. These awards recognize excellence in animal care and welfare, habitat design and development, program design and education, volunteers, professionals, and conservation for large and small facilities across the country.
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