600,000 Annual Visitors

Each year, nearly 600,000 guests visit John Ball Zoo. They’re able to experience over 2,000 animals of over 230 species that represent the beautiful wildlife living in our world.

Prioritizing Inclusivity

We have hosted over 55,000 economically-disadvantaged children and adults in Kent and Ottawa counties, providing free Zoo admission through our JUMP program.


A Commitment to Care

Generations of Kent County families, seniors and children have been inspired by the Zoo. John Ball Zoo is a regional destination and a critical economic driver for Kent County and West Michigan. The Zoo has a $92 million annual economic impact in our community and is currently the most attended cultural attraction outside of Detroit in the state. John Ball Zoo also gives families and school groups in Kent County free admission to the Zoo, reduced admission for Kent County seniors to help ensure members of our community can enjoy the Zoo and learn about our efforts in wildlife conservation, sustainability and animal care.

Peter D’Arienzo

Chief Executive Officer

Saving Animals From Extinction

We participate in five Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) programs – three in the Great Lakes and two beyond the Great Lakes.

Watch Us Grow!

In 2014, John Ball Zoo became a nonprofit organization after having been managed by Kent County for decades. Since then, we have realized incredible growth in so many areas, including our team!


280 staff members + 281 volunteers


323 staff members + 602 volunteers


438 staff members + 679 volunteers

Yellow fern

Our team has completed more than 24 total conservation projects, 18 of which were Great Lakes-focused

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spent on conservation locally and around the world
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of our conservation efforts were focused on Great Lakes projects
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The Zoo has a $40 million annual economic impact in our community

In 2021, John Ball Zoo was the first Zoo in the world to be awarded Sustainable SITES Initiative certification

John Ball Zoo has been building to green standards for many years and is working to obtain green building certification for large projects. In 2021, John Ball Zoo was the first Zoo in the world to be awarded Sustainable SITES Initiative certification for our Meerkat habitat and the first SITES gold certification in the state of Michigan.

SITES is a national comprehensive rating system for developing sustainable landscapes, similar to LEED. SITES is awarded to landscapes, site infrastructure and spaces that demonstrate a high level of environmental and social sustainability. With SITES gold certification for the Meerkat habitat, John Ball Zoo is the first zoo in the world to receive this certification.

John Ball Zoo was the First AZA-accredited zoo in Michigan


Making an effort to save wild places for wildlife

In an effort to save wild places for wildlife, the Zoo continues to positively impact the environment. In efforts to reduce our carbon footprint in 2021, our Meerkat habitat solar panels produced 648 kWh, a carbon offset of 988 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of 10 trees. Our support to the Red Panda Network planted 8,000 trees, which has a carbon reduction of 955 tons of carbon dioxide. We also installed a new bike parking and repair station to encourage guests and staff to bike to the Zoo, which not only reduces carbon dioxide production, but also contributes to community wellness.

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millions of gallons of water saved in efforts to reduce our carbon footprint
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total waste/compost produced onsite was diverted from landfill or incinerator
John Ball Zoo participates in almost 50 species survival plans
The Animal Care team manages over 2,000 species, 365 days per year

Statement of Activities Year Ending December 31, 2021


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December 31, 2021 & 2020

Statement of Financial Position

Cash & Cash Equivalents 1,624,658 868,244
Investments 7,226,000 2,350,835
Accounts Receivable 490,322 19,776
Pledges Receivable, Current Portion 1,020,946 2,026,471
Inventory 145,166 132,108
Prepaid Expenses 483,657 221,358
Total Current Assets 10,990,749 5,618,792
Pledges Receivable, Net of Current Portion 2,533,699 2,775,354
Beneficial Interest in Assets Held by Community Foundation 109,533 99,201
Intangible Asset 11,167 13,167
Construction in Progress 8,006,629 4,892,909
Property & Equipment, Net 2,127,294 2,204,382
Total Noncurrent Assets 12,788,322 9,985,013
Total Assets 23,779,071 15,603,805
Construction Line of Credit - 400,000
Accounts Payable 1,101,740 410,815
Accrued Expenses 502,625 594,955
Deferred Income 498,816 372,944
Total Current Liabilities 2,103,181 1,778,714
Construction Line of Credit - 1,300,000
Total Noncurrent Liabilities - 1,300,000
Total Liabilities 2,103,181 1,300,000
NET ASSETS 2021 2020
Without Donor Restrictions 18,166,278 8,287,429
With Donor Restrictions 3,509,612 4,237,662
Total Net Assets 21,675,890 12,525,091
Total Liabilities & Net Assets 23,779,071 15,603,805