Louisville Zoo Receives Additional $2 Million for Glacier Run Project From J. Graham Brown Foundation
July 15, 2009 — The Louisville Zoo has received an additional $2 million from the James Graham Brown Foundation for Glacier Run, bringing the Foundation’s total support of the project to more than $5 million.
“James Graham Brown was the first, original contributor to help fund a Zoo in Louisville, and the foundation that bears his name has been a longtime supporter. We are excited that the Foundation continues to invest in the Zoo’s programming and exhibits,” Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak said. “The James Graham Brown Foundation has once again acknowledged the Zoo’s value to the community and Commonwealth and the important role the Zoo plays in educating our youth.”
With this gift, the Zoo has raised more than $20.2 million for the Glacier Run project, the most money ever raised for a new exhibit in the Zoo’s 40 year history.
In September 2008, the Zoo broke ground on the Glacier Run Village, the “heart” of Glacier Run, which will feature pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and polar bears.
The pinniped portion of the exhibit is scheduled to open in the spring of 2010 and the much-awaited polar bear portion is scheduled for 2011. The other originally planned components of the project, including Steller’s sea eagles, sea otters and the Glacier Run animal outreach center, will be added soon after the main area is complete.
Another $8.9 million is still needed to complete all portions of project as well as provide an endowment to ensure its legacy.
“From the beginning, this exhibit was created to be ‘phasable,’” Walczak said, “and the two strategic openings of pinnipeds in 2010 and polar bears in 2011 will continue to support our business plan which hinges on opening a new Zoo element each year to keep visitors engaged and attendance growing.
“The Louisville Zoo is known for its award-winning, innovative exhibits and Glacier Run will continue that tradition. Not only will it communicate one of the most relevant conservation issues of our time, global climate change, it will also be the high quality, exciting experience that our visitors and community have come to expect. It will fundamentally advance the Zoo’s mission of ‘bettering the bond between people and our planet’ through education, recreation and quality family fun.