We appreciate the community’s support as the Tulsa Zoo becomes the world-class destination and educational facility our citizens deserve.
Did you know the Tulsa Zoo is committed to matching every public dollar with private dollars?
More and more private donors require public funding to be in place before committing their dollars. Public funding gives our private donors confidence that the community wants the zoo to thrive. The zoo has a long history of matching public dollars we receive with private dollars. For our Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve, as an example, the zoo raised three private dollars for every public dollar.
Improve Our Tulsa 3 (2023)
Thank you to the citizens of Tulsa for approving Improve Our Tulsa 3 on Aug. 8, 2023. This important capital improvements package provides $25.7 million toward infrastructure needs of our nearly 100-year-old zoo.
With $27.5 million, Tulsa Zoo will replace vital infrastructure at the Rainforest exhibit; replace failing roofs at TREK, Conservation Center and Lemurs; address accessibility and other needs at Children’s Zoo, and secure our perimeter for the planned Animal Shelter addition at our staff entrance.
Improve Our Tulsa 2019
Thank you, Tulsa! Tulsa taxpayers approved $6 million in infrastructure improvements as part of the 2019 third-penny extension. The zoo’s owner, the City of Tulsa, envisioned pursuit of public funding such as this when developing the public-private partnership. The zoo greatly appreciates your support.
This investment in vital parking lot improvements — from safety enhancements, to additional parking spaces, to flood control — is part of the planned front entry project complex.
At our current attendance, we typically exceed parking lot capacity on more than 20 percent of our business days. The larger lot will accomplish the following:
- Expand for our future. The new lot will have 2,033 total parking spaces. The zoo continues to grow and with an expected 800,000 annual guests at the completion of Phase 2 Master Plan projects, we need a larger parking lot to accommodate increased attendance.
- Safer environment for our guests with designated walkways, repaved parking lot, and new storm sewer modifications. This includes a designated area that is designed for unloading/loading school groups. The new parking lot will also allow the zoo to install new light poles and camera systems for guest safety.
- Help with traffic on Sheridan that impedes business access during Spring Break and other high attendance days. Traffic currently backs up when zoo guests cannot quickly park and have to find parking in other areas of Mohawk when the zoo lot is full.
- In addition to the guest parking lot, staff parking areas are also exceeding capacity and are in need of expansion, repaving and overall updates.
Thanks to your support through Vision, your zoo will be able to:
- streamline guest entry to accommodate our projected growth, a more than 40% jump in sustained annual attendance
- expand our elephant exhibit to meet evolving standards of care and herd management
In return, Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc., is responsible for ongoing operations and maintenance through earned revenue and our operating budget. And we’ll continue to build on our proven fundraising success.
You can learn about the Vision projects by visiting the City of Tulsa website.
Improve our Tulsa 2013
Your Tulsa Zoo was included in the 2013 capital improvements package to fund much-needed repairs to the City of Tulsa’s infrastructure. Your vote yes provided vital funding for exhibits that help the zoo thrive and continue contributing to our community. You can learn about the full city funding package by visiting the City of Tulsa website.
The zoo received $11.75 million to partially fund replacement of what we call the big cat grottos, home to our tigers, lions and snow leopards. These exhibits can no longer be repaired or upgraded and are marked for demolition. We used $3.75 million toward building new tiger and snow leopard exhibits, and will use $8 million for a new carnivore exhibit, featuring lions.