Zoo Map

Support your Akron Zoo

 

This November, the Akron Zoo will be on the ballot to support the operations and continued growth of our accredited Zoo. The levy helps the Akron Zoo continue to provide educational programs, conservation efforts and excellent animal care. Check out some frequently asked questions below to learn more about Issue 47!

FAQS

What is Issue 47?
Issue 47 will be on the ballot on Nov. 3 for Summit County residents. The levy is 0.8 mil renewal with a 0.4 mil increase for 10 years.

What will I be spending to support the zoo?
The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $2.92 per month, or $35 a year. 

Why is the Akron Zoo on the ballot now?
The zoo levy was last on the ballot in 2013. The levy expires in its entirety if voters do not support it every seven years, and therefore is back on the ballot this year. The legislation to place the levy on the ballot was approved in December 2019, well before anyone knew we would face a pandemic.

What is the levy for?
The levy helps the Akron Zoo continue to provide educational programs, conservation efforts and excellent animal care.

How does supporting the levy further education?
Supporting the levy increases STEM and science-based education and outreach programs for kids, seniors and families. As an informal science learning center and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, your Akron Zoo provides unique learning opportunities for more than 91,000 children and adults which focus on endangered species and conservation programs. We also provide over 880 education programs each year to 81 school districts, including Summit County schools, and other conservation education opportunities to over 400,000 visitors each year.

How does supporting the levy help the animals at the Akron Zoo?
Passage of the levy allows your Akron Zoo to continue to provide excellent animal care and realistic habitats for more than 250 species and 1,000 animals. Since 2012, the zoo has increased the number of animals and species in its care, including endangered red wolves, Speke's gazelles, octopus, musk deer and grizzly bears. It has also allowed us to begin construction on new habitat areas, including Pride of Africa, which opened in 2019, and Wild Asia, which will open in 2021 and feature endangered tigers, red pandas and gibbons.

Why does supporting the zoo matter for Summit County?
As the zoo has grown, Summit County has also seen correlating increases in economic activity, contributions to state & local tax revenues (by virtue of increased employment and increased sales) and its capacity to provide educational programming to 81 school districts in Northeast Ohio. The zoo generates nearly $8 in economic impact in Summit County for every $1 of public support received. Since 2011, the zoo has had an overall economic impact of over $581 million (half a billion dollars), a 47.29% increase in overall economic activity across Summit County. Plus, the number of jobs supported throughout Summit County since 2011 has grown nearly 50% to over 800 full time equivalents.

How does the levy further conservation? 
The Akron Zoo is one of only 238 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA is the accrediting body for zoos and aquariums. It sets the highest standards for animal care, welfare and professional operations of a zoo or aquarium. By funding the levy, you can help the Akron Zoo save endangered species from extinction by participating in 46 species survival plans and 21 conservation and recovery projects, in partnership with the AZA.

What plans does the zoo have for the future if the levy passes?
The zoo has plans to provide more education, animals and exciting habitats, such as potential projects featuring giraffes. 

Why is the zoo requesting an increase instead of a renewal?
The Akron Zoo's footprint has grown substantially since 2001, so to continue the zoo's growth and associated economic benefits to the region, additional funds are being requested to support critical operations and animal care. This is the first time the zoo has requested an increase since the first zoo levy in 2000. The requested levy increase would allow the zoo to focus a higher percentage of our overall budget on infrastructure repairs to aging facilities and continue to grow, which is critical to sustaining the framework on which our current habitats and future projects rely.


Supporting the Akron Zoo levy is an investment in education, wildlife and conservation. Your Akron Zoo is so much more than just one of our community’s largest tourist attractions - and passing the levy is critical to the impact the zoo has on Summit County!

Education

  • The Akron Zoo is a place where kids love to learn!  Each year, our Zoo connects over 91,000 individuals to wildlife and nature through science-based education programs.
  • The Zoo provides over 880 education programs each year to 81 school districts, including Summit County schools.
  • As an informal science learning center and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, our Akron Zoo provides unique learning opportunities for children and families that focus on endangered species and conservation programs.

Animals & Habitats

  • Since 2012, the Zoo has increased the number of animals and species in its care, including endangered red wolves, Speke’s gazelles, octopus, naked mole rats, tree monitors, snowy owls, red breasted geese, musk deer and grizzly bears.
  • In 2019, the Zoo launched Pride of Africa, featuring amazing animals, including Africa lions, Speke's gazelles and white storks. Pride of Africa is now home to two prides of lions, a first for the Akron Zoo.
  • Wild Asia - the newest planned habitat at the Zoo - will feature endangered tigers, red pandas and gibbons.

Conservation

  • The Akron Zoo is helping to save endangered species from extinction by participating in 46 species survival plans and 21 conservation and recovery projects.
  • The Akron Zoo is one of only 238 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA is the accrediting body for zoos and aquariums. It sets the highest standards for animal care, welfare and professional operations of a zoo or aquarium.
  • The Akron Zoo provides conservation education opportunities to over 400,000 visitors each year.
  • The Zoo’s Komodo Kingdom Cafe is the first 4-star green-certified restaurant in a North American zoo.
  • The Akron Zoo has reduced water consumption by 82% since 2009.
  • In 2011, the Zoo became an official Green Energy producer and is working towards becoming a net-zero energy consumer of electricity.
  • Zoo-sponsored events and rentals strive to be ‘zero-waste’ events.

Economic Impact

  • The Akron Zoo is one of the most visited attractions in Summit County. Over 400,000 people visit the Akron Zoo annually, making it a top attraction.
  • The Zoo generates nearly $8 in economic impact in Summit County for every $1 of public support received.
  • Since 2011, the Zoo has had an overall economic impact of over $581 million (half a billion dollars) across Summit County.
  • Since 2011, our Akron Zoo has experienced a 47.29% increase in overall economic activity across Summit County.
  • The number of jobs supported throughout Summit County since 2011 has grown nearly 50% to over 800 full time equivalents.

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