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The Louisville Zoo Youth Board is a 30-member Board founded in 1993 for young people age 13-17.  The purpose of this group is to provide an opportunity for youth to develop leadership skills and to create a forum for youth to be actively involved with the Louisville Zoo.  The Youth Board is part of the Volunteer Department and the Coordinator of Volunteers oversees activities and serves as staff liaison.

In 1997 members of the Youth Board started offering face painting to Zoo guests for $1 as a fundraising activity. They came up with a monetary goal and made a pledge of $2,000 to help build the Boma African Petting Zoo. The Board later decided to increase their pledge to $10,000.00 which they paid off in two years. 

Since that time they have been going strong. Youth Board Members have continued to provide face painting for Zoo guests, and in the spring of 2001 expanded their activities to include sand art and removable tattoos. 

Their donations to major Zoo projects are:

Boma African Petting Zoo - $10,000

Gorilla Forest - $15,000

Lorikeet Exhibit - $7,000

And they have already earned $8,000 toward their most recent pledge of $20,000 for the construction of Glacier Run.

These enthusiastic young people work long, hard hours throughout the year.  At the end of summer, they take an annual trip paying for this out of their budget. Click here to see pictures of the 2008 canoe trip.

The Youth Board has made a huge impact on the Zoo.  Not only have they made monetary contributions but many have gone on to become employees of the Zoo.  Seven of our full-time keeper staff are past members of the Youth Board and several past and present members are seasonal employees. 

Youth Board Members participate in Customer Service Training and Team Building and attend all of the Zoo’s major events.  They have represented the Zoo at events throughout the City including Light Up Louisville, Festival at Jefferson Mall and at the airport and National Processing Company. 

This fine group of volunteers, past and present, has always supported the Zoo’s Mission “to better the bond between people and our planet”. 

Click here to meet some members of the Youth Board past and present, and hear what they have to say about their experiences.


Contact: mary.taylor@louisvilleky.gov if you are interested in becoming a Louisville Zoo Youth Board member.

2008 Canoe Trip