Our Accomplishments

We are proud to share the results of our hard work! With our activities and fundraisers, we do our best to help make the world a better place. These projects would not be possible without your support and the dedicated work of our wonderful chapter members. Thank you!

Holiday Craft Fundraiser - December 2016

At this year's craft fundraiser, we raised $260 through our ornament sales at the Eureka Arts Alive event and the Sequoia Park Zoo's Holiday Hoorah event. Thanks to our community for your support!

Boo at the Zoo - October 2016

During the Sequoia Park Zoo's Boo at the Zoo event, our AAZK chapter hosted a Bat Cave where visitors could build their own paper bats. We provided educational material about the function of different bat features and the benefits of supporting bats in our community. Visitors donated $125 to Bat Conservation International through our Bat Cave! Thanks, everyone!

Winos for Rhinos - October 2016

This year was record-breaking for our Winos for Rhinos fundraiser! Through our silent auction and purchases of paired wine flights with cheese and chocolate, we raised $1785 for the Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) campaign! This brings our grand total BFR donation to $4,785 over the years!

This year, we had live music donated by For Folk's Sake (so talented!), games, a silent auction, and paired wine flights with chocolates and cheese. We want to extend a huge thank you to Harvest for donating their space for the event and donating 25% of their proceeds during the event to BFR! Harvest and Crush have been fabulous supporters of our work, and we look forward to a continued collaboration with them for this event. Thanks for an amazing performance by For Folk's Sake. We are very grateful to Cypress Grove Chevre for donating all of the cheese for this event to pair with the tasty and diverse wines at Harvest. Thank you very much to Dick Taylor Chocolates for their discounted chocolates to pair with wines. Everything was delicious!

We had many wonderful donors this year that contributed to our silent auction. and we want to thank them personally: Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation, Crush Wine Bar, Action for Cheetahs, Jerry's Rogue Jets, Far North Climbing Gym, Endless Jewelry Arcata, DL Smith Construction, Godwit Days Birding Festival, Ferndale Reperatory Theatre, Target, Health Sport, Scentsy, Wildberries, International Rhino Foundation, Haley Rader (personal watercolors), Angela Jones (personal pottery pieces and a tour of the HSU marine lab and nearby tide pools), Ann Knight (Nzalamba art piece donation), Jack Mock (personal bike tune-up), Amanda Auston (personal baker and cake decorator), Lindsey Miller (personal animal training lessons), and Ruth Mock (personal screen printing).

National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2016

We had a blast this year during National Zoo Keeper Week! AAZK celebrated by tabling at the Sequoia Park Zoo, discussing important topics with visitors including the zoo keeper's role in conservation (and how you can help!) and animal training and enrichment.

We held a fantastic raffle for a selfie safari around the zoo where the winner accompanied a zoo keeper in three animal enclosures to meet some our of zoo's most celebrated residents.

As a grand finale, we held the infamous Zoo Keeper Olympics! Zoo keepers showed off their skills in an obstacle course-style relay race. Everyone had a good time. The first and second place winners took home the Zoo Keeper Cup and Zoo Keeper Rake! Guests could test their raking skills side-by-side a zoo keeper as well! We aim to continue raising awareness about the amazing work that zoo keepers do for animal conservation and welfare.

Western Lowland Gorilla Conservation Donation - July 2016

Our chapter donated $100 to support Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) conservation. The research project we chose to support is called the Mbeli Bai Study and is the longest-running study of western lowland gorillas (ongoing since 1995). The research site is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society - Congo (WCS-Congo) in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo. From a tall observation platform on the edge of a natural forest clearing, scientists study and monitor many large mammals in addition to gorillas including forest elephants, sitatungas (a swamp antelope!), and forest buffalo.

Professional Development Grant - June 2016

Due to successful fundraising efforts this year, we were able to offer two professional development scholarships to our AAZK members. Lindsey Miller and Ruth Mock were awarded grants to attend the Zoological Association of America Mid-year conference in Rhode Island. The conference offered an intensive animal training workshop with Barbara Heidenreich (famous for her force-free animal training techniques) and also discussed working with ambassador animals, primate husbandry, and how to best utilize the ZIMS database that is shared among the majority of accredited zoos. Congratulations!

Brew at the Zoo - May 2016

Our chapter sold our handmade pretzel necklaces at the Sequoia Park Zoo's tenth annual Brew at the Zoo fundraiser. We had a blast! Our proceeds totaled $230. Half of those proceeds were donated to the Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Program, and the other half were allocated to our chapter's Conservation Fund, waiting to be donated to the next deserving conservation project we discover!

Party for the Planet - April 2016

This year's Party for the Planet theme at the Sequoia Park Zoo was water. Our AAZK chapter discussed an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program focused on Western Pond Turtles. The Sequoia Park Zoo is home to four western pond turtles that were rescued from the illegal pet trade. AAZK offered educational animal encounters and discussed what locals can do to help western pond turtle populations.

Western pond turtles are endangered in Washington and threatened in Oregon. Thanks to the work of zoos like the Oregon Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo, a strong captive breeding program has allowed reintroductions of western pond turtles to our watersheds! This species has grown in numbers from this program. In 1990, only two pond turtle sites were left in Washington. Through this program, six populations have been established! During the same period, more than 1,800 turtles have been head-started and released to these sites. Research shows that an estimated 95 percent of turtles released in the Columbia River Gorge survived their first year.

Rummage Sale Fundraiser - April 2016

Thanks to our Humboldt community for another successful annual rummage sale! This fundraiser is our chapter's major general fundraiser of the year, as most of our fundraisers are held for specific conservation projects. We raised about $2000 which was divided among our conservation fund, professional development fund, enrichment fund, and education fund. Through our conservation fund, we donate money to on-the-ground conservation projects. Our professional development fund supports our annual conference grant. Our enrichment fund allows us to build new enrichment items for the Sequoia Park Zoo animals. The education fund allows us to operate our information kiosk at the Sequoia Park Zoo and develop and print education brochures and flyers.

Oregon Silverspot Butterfly Habitat Restoration - March 2016

We participated in the annual habitat restoration project for the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta). Invasive scotch broom shades out violets that are critical for this butterfly's survival, so we spent the day removing scotch broom from an area of its small habitat in Crescent City, CA. We continued working to clear a second patch of scotch broom that we started clearing last year. Organized by Chris Damiani of the Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Advisory Committee, we worked with volunteers from the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Sequoia Park Zoo to clear many acres of scotch broom, filling two large dumpsters! Surveys of last year's restoration work showed almost no scotch broom regenerating in those cleared areas, and we saw the native violets growing!


Conservation concerns for this species: This butterfly is very susceptible to extinction due to its patchy distribution. Habitat loss and invasive plant species are huge concerns. The silverspot is isolated to only five sites in Oregon and California, and perhaps only two of those subpopulations are viable. It is critical that what remains of its habitat be conserved and restored! 


How you can help: Join our scotch broom bash next year! Keep an eye on our calendar in the spring of 2017.

Edible Landscaping Project - March 2016

Using a generous environmental grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), we funded an edible landscaping project at the Sequoia Park Zoo. Sam Polly from Streamline Planning Consultants donated his design plan and time to help with planting. Our AAZK members enjoyed a beautiful, warm day as they worked hard to get the plants in the ground. The plants are small, but they will grow into shrubs and trees.

Conference Presentations - March 2016

Three RC AAZK members gave public presentations to our chapter about their experiences at the conferences they had attended using funds from the Redwood Coast Professional Development Grant! Congratulations and thanks to Natalie, Kelsey, and Kathleen for your inspirational presentations and for sharing the most recent new developments in our field with the group!

Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project Donation - March 2016

Our chapter was awarded a $2500 grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2014 for our local tree planting projects. We donated another $500 to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for their Salt River ecosystem restoration project. A few years ago, the Salt River was almost unrecognizable compared with how it looked and functioned 50 years ago. The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District has been doing fantastic work restoring this habitat, and we are happy to support them in planting new vegetation to protect this important wetland area.

Earth Hour Lights Off! Campaign - March 2016

Earth Hour is a global environmental campaign sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The goal is to unite global citizens to turn off their lights for an hour to bring awareness about climate change. 


Sponsored by an Environmental Grant from PG&E, AAZK hosted a table at the Sequoia Park Zoo to talk about Earth Hour. As an activity, guests could design their own light switch covers to remind themselves to conserve energy. Powering down is one easy conservation action we can take to help the planet! 

Enrichment Workshop - March 2016

Our chapter designs and builds enrichment to enhance animal care. We had a great experience creating new platform beds for the spider monkeys and red pandas and a really neat new red panda tunnel! A HUGE thanks to Redwood Coast AAZK Members Gary and Sharon Chadwick who purchased a fantastic tool for us to cut fire hose! It is amazing and makes our work go so much faster!

Cupcakes for Conservation - February 2016

This year's Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser was a big success, selling 116 cupcakes! Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered cupcakes! We created Chilean flamingo toppers and honey bee toppers, raising money for two nonprofits working to save these species. We donated $465 to the Honeybee Conservancy and $375 to the  Andean Flamingos Conservation Group/ Conservación de Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA). 


The Honeybee Conservancy is              a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the importance of bees and inspires people and communities to act as stewards for bees and their natural environment. Through research, education, and outreach, they hope to end the decline of bee populations by finding a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder and to inspire individuals and groups to build “bee hive sanctuaries.”   


The Andean Flamingos Conservation Group is a non-profit initiative of scientists and conservation specialists whose goal is to protect Andean and Chilean flamingos and their habitats. Through research, monitoring projects, and training and outreach to local communities, students, rangers, and professionals, they aim to promote the value of these important and charismatic species and work towards their conservation.

Ornament Fundraiser - December 2015

During our annual ornament fundraiser, we raised about $350 to help support our chapter's annual projects! Chapter members decorated ornaments with nature themes. In addition to our adorable bulbs, we created felted ornaments and wood burned ornaments. This fundraiser helps support our conservation fund, professional development fund, education fund, and more! Thanks to the Humboldt community for your support! 

Lights Off! Conservation Messaging - November 2015

Sponsored by an Environmental Grant from PG&E, AAZK hosted a table at the Sequoia Park Zoo where guests could design their own light switch covers to remind themselves to conserve energy. Powering down is one easy conservation action we can take to help the planet! We used the zoo's free admission day on Veteran's Day to reach hundreds of people.

International Red Panda Day - September 2015

Our Redwood Coast AAZK chapter joined the Sequoia Park Zoo and their Times-Standard sponsor in celebrating Red Panda Day. Our AAZK chapter ran the raffle booth which was one of many fundraisers that day that raised $850 for the Red Panda Network! The Red Panda Network is an international nonprofit organization that protects wild red pandas in Asia by conducting scientific monitoring of the population, protecting red panda habitat, and offering economic alternatives to locals that don't harm red pandas or their habitats.

Blackberry Picking for Enrichment - September 2015

As an animal enrichment project, our chapter went blackberry picking locally in Blue Lake, CA. Many of the zoo animals enjoy blackberries for enrichment food, including the primates, red pandas, and the aviary collection!

International Coastal Cleanup Day - September 2015

Our chapter participated in this year's worldwide coastal cleanup day. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Ocean Conservancy's coastal cleanup program. Our chapter lives in a coastal town, and we decided to pick up trash in the beautiful Sequoia Park bordering the Sequoia Park Zoo. 


As part of the program, participants submit how much garbage they collect. We collected about 40 pounds of trash including food wrappers, clothing, and personal hygiene items!

Winos for Rhinos - September 2015

Our second annual Winos for Rhinos event was a big success! Crush Restaurant and Wine Bar hosted the event and helped us raise $1650 for wild rhino conservation! We had a silent auction, games, live music, free wine glass, and free first glass of South African wine with each entry ticket. The community rallied together to donate a wonderful spread of items for the silent auction. We were very impressed! All proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales were donated directly to Bowling for Rhinos, a huge nationwide AAZK fundraiser that is run by volunteers. Every penny donated goes to on-the-ground rhino conservation efforts by Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, International Rhino Foundation, and Action for Cheetahs. Crush generously donated 25% of their proceeds from the night to Bowling for Rhinos as well! Learn more about Bowling for Rhinos and these successful conservation nonprofits on our Winos webpage and the AAZK website.

Professional Development Scholarship - August 2015

In August, two deserving AAZK members were awarded our chapter's professional development scholarships. We offer one $750 scholarship to attend the annual AAZK conference and one $500 scholarship to attend a conference/workshop relevant to the zoo keeping field. Kelsey Kuhn was awarded the AAZK scholarship, and Kathleen Juliano was awarded a scholarship to attend the Zoological Registrars Association Annual Conference in Seattle, WA! Congratulations! Pictured is Kelsey Kuhn presenting her poster entitled "Can We All Just Get Along?" at the 2015 AAZK conference in St. Louis. 

National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2015

Our AAZK chapter celebrated National Zoo Keeper Week with the community! We talked with guests at the Sequoia Park Zoo about animal enrichment, designing animal diets, what it is like to be a zoo keeper, and how conservation plays a central role in today's zoos. 





We had big crowds come to hear zoo keeper talks!

Our chapter helped raise money for giraffe conservation by participating in the Jeans for Giraffes fundraiser. Donated old jeans are collected and recycled by a textile recycler, and the recyclers pay per pound for those jeans. Money raised from the recyclers are donated to giraffe conservation and research projects. 


Our chapter gave donors raffle tickets for each pair of jeans donated, and Sue Leskiw was our lucky winner of a behind-the-scenes otter tour! 


On the last day of the week, AAZK hosted a fun social event for the chapter at the Humboldt Crabs baseball game.

Brew at the Zoo Fundraiser - May 2015

During the Sequoia Park Zoo's annual Brew at the Zoo event, our chapter held two very fun fundraisers. We raffled two exciting experiences, a behind-the-scenes otter feeding and a zoo selfie safari! The raffle raised $200, which our chapter donated to the Chacoan Peccary Project (Guyra Paraguay) in Paraguay. Guyra Paraguay partners with the World Land Trust to purchase and protect threatened peccary habitats. Also, AAZK members designed stylish and tasty pretzel necklaces and were able to raise $188 for our chapter. We loved seeing folks all over the event wearing the necklaces!

Photo credit: Chris Smith, Apex Media

Earth Day Education about Rat Poison - April 2015

For Earth Day, the Sequoia Park Zoo unveiled their wonderful new raptor aviary! As part of the zoo's Party for the Planet, AAZK chatted with visitors about how they can protect our beautiful native raptors. Recent research has shown that a huge threat to native predators is rat poison. If a predator eats a rodent that has been poisoned, the predator also dies from the effects of that poison. 


AAZK shared FIVE predator-friendly ways to keep rodents out of your home while also helping native raptors get access to your unwanted pests.


Thank you to Raptors are the Solution for their great website full of tips and information!

Rummage Sale Fundraiser - April 2015

One of our biggest annual fundraisers is our AAZK rummage sale. This year, we filled an entire moving truck and five other vehicles with items to sell! Thanks to generous donations from the community, we were able to raise $2028! This fundraiser supports our professional development activities such as attending workshops and conferences so that we can learn the latest, most advanced techniques for high quality animal care. These funds are also used to support various conservation projects throughout the year. We want to extend a huge THANKS to the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods for allowing us to hold the fundraiser in their parking lot!

Animals Asia Foundation Donation - April 2015

Thanks to winning the National AAZK membership drive in December 2014, we reallocated money intended to pay AAZK recharter fees and instead donated $300 to the Animals Asia Foundation


More than 12,000 bears are kept on bile farms in China and Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine. It's an invasive, painful process with huge animal welfare concerns. Animals Asia works to shut down these bile farms by 1) operating bear sanctuaries for rescued bears, 2) educating the public and policy-makers about the issues associated with these medicines, 3) closely monitoring the bile trade, and 4) funding research on wild bear populations in Asia. We thank them for the important work that they do!

Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project Donation - April 2015

Our chapter was awarded a $2500 grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2014 for our local tree planting projects. Most of this grant will be spent on a habitat restoration project involving our chapter members; however, at the Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Lecture Series, we learned about a highly effective, local conservation project in Ferndale that we wanted to support, too! 


We donated $500 to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for their Salt River ecosystem restoration project. A few years ago, the Salt River was almost unrecognizable compared with how it looked and functioned 50 years ago. The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District has been doing fantastic work restoring this habitat, and we are happy to support them in planting new vegetation to protect this important wetland area.

Butterfly Habitat Restoration - March 2015

We participated in a habitat restoration project for the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta). Invasive scotch broom shades out violets that are critical for this butterfly's survival, so we spent the day removing scotch broom from two patches of its small habitat in Crescent City, CA. We worked with other friendly and energetic volunteers from the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Sequoia Park Zoo, clearing about 5 acres of scotch broom. Together, 28 volunteers were able to fill an entire dumpster with broom! Thanks to Chris Damiani for organizing the AAZK and Zoo volunteers for this event!


Conservation concerns for this species: This butterfly is very susceptible to extinction due to its patchy distribution. Habitat loss and invasive plant species are huge concerns. The silverspot is isolated to only five sites in Oregon and California, and perhaps only two of those subpopulations are viable. It is critical that what remains of its habitat be conserved and restored! 


How you can help: Join our scotch broom bash next year! Keep an eye on our calendar in the spring of 2016.

Enrichment Design for Zoo Animals - March 2015

Our chapter got together to design new enrichment items for the Sequoia Park Zoo animals! We built a fire hose ball, which the bush dogs have loved! They enjoy playing tug-of-war with it. We also built a bucket puzzle feeder for the hoof stock and bottle puzzle feeders (spin-a-jugs) for the primates and peccaries. They have been a big hit!

Cupcakes for Conservation Fundraiser Donations - 
February 2015

This was our most successful Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser yet! Our supporters purchased 150 of our handmade cupcakes topped with edible fondant representations of two endangered species. We raised $450 for the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group (working with pangolins) and $450 for the Ventana Wildlife Society (working with California condors). These on-the-ground projects work directly with these endangered animals to protect them from extinction. We appreciate and support their ongoing efforts!