American Association of Zoo Keepers
The Redwood Coast Chapter's mission is to support conservation, encourage environmental stewardship, and enhance animal care through enrichment and professional development.
“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
Redwood Coast AAZK is committed to supporting local and international conservation efforts. We fulfill this aspect of our mission by raising funds for organizations that are committed to conserving and protecting our environment.
Cupcakes for Conservation
Our Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser takes place yearly in February, just in time for Valentine's Day. We offer delicious cupcakes topped with handmade fondant animals which represent the species benefiting from your purchase. The recipient receives the cupcake and a card from their Valentine with a special keepsake photo of the species represented on their cupcake. All proceeds from this fundraiser go directly to conservation organizations working with the species you selected.
This year, we were proud to support the Turtle Survival Alliance and Save the Redwoods League.
What species would you like to see supported next year? Email us your ideas!
Bowling for Rhinos
AAZK’s "Bowling for Rhinos” fundraiser began in 1990 on a very small scale, with only a handful of chapters participating. Today, it is an international event raising nearly $600,000 annually. Initially only supporting the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (formerly Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary) in Kenya, support now also extends to the International Rhino Foundation and Action for Cheetahs in Kenya.
The beauty of these fundraisers are that they are organized by volunteers who donate their time and organizational skills to help raise money to send directly to the places in need. Since all of the people involved are volunteers, 100% of all donations are sent directly to these in situ rhino conservation areas! As of 2017, over 7 million dollars had been raised by AAZK chapters for rhino conservation!
In 2012, our local Redwood Coast chapter held its first BFR event, "Wii Bowling for Rhinos" which raised $100 for rhino conservation. In 2013, our chapter raised another $100 for this cause. In 2014, we created our first major event called "Winos for Rhinos." It was wildly successful, raising over $1000 for rhino conservation! In 2015, we proudly raised another $1650, and in 2016 we donated over $1700. Last year, we switched event styles and created "Arts for the Animals" featuring handmade crafts and zoo animal paw-print paintings. Over the course of three mini-event nights, we once again donated $1700 to rhino conservation.
International Red Panda Day
Every year, RCAAZK teams up with Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Advisory Committee to create fun and educational activities celebrating International Red Panda Day. Activities include face painting, a raffle to win a unique red panda paw-print painting, red panda training demonstrations, and a "Become a Red Panda Guardian" station. Since 2012, we have collectively raised over $2000 for the Red Panda Network and their incredible efforts to save red pandas and their native habitat.
Bat Conservation Station
During Sequoia Park Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo event, we set up a Bat Conservation Station where we offer fun games and educational materials about bats. Through donations, crafts, and bat video sales, we have raised over $300 to support Bat Conservation International Inc.
Oregon Silverspot Butterfly Habitat Restoration
Every March, we participate 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. We help remove scotch broom from the butterfly's small habitat in Crescent City, CA. We collaborate with volunteers from the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Sequoia Park Zoo.
The two main conservation concerns for this species include the fact that,
How can you help? Join us in the next scotch broom bash! Check our calendar for details.
Bowling for Rhino's Conservation Resource Grant
We are excited to announce that AAZK National offers a Conservation Resource Grant for up to ~$10,000!
Applications are due yearly on June 1, and will be accepted for projects meeting one or more of four criteria:
1. In-situ Rhino Conservation and Research
2. In-situ Community, Educational, or Medical Program
3. In-situ Species Conservation
4. Ex-situ Rhino Conservation and Research (e.g. zoological research)
For details, refer to AAZK's Bowling for Rhino's FAQ page.