There are 221 accredited zoos and aquariums in the United States. That may sound like a lot, but as of the year 2000, the US Census counted over 10,000 cities. A quick memory lane math trip tells you that only 2% of US cities contain a zoo or aquarium. Lansing is fortunate enough to be one of those cities and the community has really taken ownership of their Zoo. Through events, donations and even every day visitation, Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan has constructed new exhibits, improved its education programs to enrich the learning environment of over 25,000 students annually and hosted guest speakers from around the globe. The Zoo also participates in 19 endangered Species Survival Programs (SSP’s), ranging from Puerto Rican Crested Toads to Amur tigers.
Potter Park isn’t alone. Several other cultural centers and museums speckle the cityscape and they continue to improve thanks to support from a community that gets involved. When we invest our hearts and minds ahead of our pocketbooks, great and positive things happen. The people of Lansing have done well to invest in both their cultural and informal educational environments.