Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign kicks off

Proposal will create a dedicated source of funding for the care of animals and artifacts, expansion of educational programming and exhibit repairs

GRAND RAPIDS – Supporters of the John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum announced today the launch of the Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign. This millage proposal will establish a dedicated source of funding to care for 1,600 animals and 250,000 artifacts, to provide enhanced educational programs and for the repair and renovation of exhibits.

“The John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum are treasured cultural institutions that enhance the quality of life of all residents across Kent County and beyond,” said Commissioner Harold Voorhees, Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign co-chair. “I encourage all Kent County residents to support this important proposal so our grandchildren, children and families can enjoy these special institutions for years to come.”

The Zoo and Museum have lost significant public funding over time, with the Zoo receiving only minimal public funding and the Museum receiving no annual public funding. The proposed rate of .44 mills means an increase of about $37 per year, or about $3 per month, for the average homeowner. All millage dollars would be reported to Kent County and go through an independent financial audit every year to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

“Both the Zoo and Museum connect our students to the world around them, providing them with invaluable educational and cultural enrichment opportunities,” said GRPS School Board Member Wendy VerHage Falb, Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign co-chair. “If passed, this proposal would provide support for future exhibits and increase cutting-edge educational programs so our students can continue to learn and grow.”

“The Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign will ensure these signature institutions can be a part of our West Michigan culture today and in the future,” said Lyman Parks Jr., Yes! Zoo and Museum campaign co-chair. “We encourage all Kent County voters to show their support for the Zoo and Museum by voting YES on this proposal in November.”

More information about the Yes! Zoo and Museum proposal can be found at or on Facebook and Twitter at @yeszoomuseum. Community members can learn more about the proposal, how to get involved and endorse the campaign.


Paid for with regulated funds by the Friends of the Zoo and Museum. PO Box 3302, Grand Rapids, MI 49501

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