RENTALS & PARTIES

Parties

JOHN BALL ZOO

Celebrations

Celebrate life’s milestones amidst the wonders of nature at John Ball Zoo. Whether commemorating a graduation, anniversary, retirement, or any special occasion, our unique venue provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable parties. From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, our dedicated team will work closely with you to create an event tailored to your vision and needs. Whether you’re looking to host a formal dinner, a lively cocktail reception, or a themed party, our versatile rental areas offer endless possibilities. Treat your guests to an immersive wildlife experience, surrounded by lush greenery and exotic animals, while creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Book your special event at John Ball Zoo today and let the festivities begin!

JOHN BALL ZOO

Graduations

Celebrate your graduation in style at John Ball Zoo. From intimate to vibrant gatherings, our dedicated team will work closely with you to ensure every detail is tailored to perfection. Book your graduation party at John Ball Zoo and embark on a wild adventure as you step into the next chapter of your life.

Hey 2024 Graduates, make your graduation party truly unforgettable by booking one of our exclusive venues at John Ball Zoo before May 31st! Choose from the Bissell Tree House, Pavilion, or Event Tent spaces and receive a fantastic 24% discount off the base rental fee for Sunday through Thursday bookings. This limited-time offer is valid until August 2024, giving you the perfect opportunity to celebrate your achievements in a unique and memorable setting. Don’t miss out on this special promotion – reserve your space today and let the festivities begin!

JOHN BALL ZOO

Anniversaries

Celebrate your love story with a memorable anniversary party at John Ball Zoo, where romance meets adventure amidst the beauty of nature. Whether you’re commemorating one year or a lifetime together, our venue provides a picturesque backdrop for your special day. From intimate dinners to grand receptions, our dedicated team will ensure that every detail is meticulously planned, allowing you to focus on savoring the moment. Book your anniversary celebration at John Ball Zoo and embark on a journey of love and adventure as you create new memories together.

JOHN BALL ZOO

Retirements

Celebrate the culmination of a successful career with a memorable retirement party at John Ball Zoo, where relaxation meets adventure amidst the beauty of nature. Whether you’re bidding farewell to decades of hard work or embracing the next chapter of your life, our venue provides a picturesque backdrop for your special day.Our dedicated team will ensure that every detail is meticulously planned, allowing you to relax and enjoy this well-deserved milestone. Book your retirement celebration at John Ball Zoo and embark on a journey of relaxation, reflection, and excitement as you transition into retirement.

Special Occasions

Mark your special occasions in a truly unique and unforgettable way at John Ball Zoo, where every moment becomes a cherished memory amidst the wonders of nature. Whether you’re celebrating a bat mitzvah, a quinceañera, or any other milestone event, our venue offers a picturesque setting that perfectly blends tradition with adventure. From intimate ceremonies to lively receptions, our dedicated team will work closely with you to ensure that every detail is tailored to make your day special. Book your special occasion at John Ball Zoo and embark on an unforgettable adventure as you create lifelong memories with family and friends.

Contact Us

For details and questions contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 616.336.4314

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Great Lakes Rare Turtles

Great Lakes Conservation
About

Turtles are in trouble around the world and locally. The Great Lakes Rare Turtle Program addresses on threats that are existential and widespread for Blanding’s, Spotted, Wood, and Box Turtles. The John Ball Zoo is working wth partners to study head starting as a conservation tool, protecting nesting habitat for Wood Turtles from raccoons, and researching the distribution and status of Spotted Turtles in Southwest Michigan. The zoo partners with local community scientists to indentify road crossings that pose a threat to Blanding’s and other species of turtles.

Partners

Poweshiek Skipperling

Oarisma powesheik

Facts
Habitat

Grassland, Wetlands (inland)

Threat Range

Critically Endangered

Region

Extant (resident) - Canada (Manitoba); United States (Wisconsin, Michigan), Possibly Extinct - United States (South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa), Extinct - United States (Indiana, Illinois)

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Mitchell's Satyr

Great Lakes Conservation
About

The prairie fens of southern Michigan are a stronghold for the Endangered Mitchell’s Satyr butterfly. We are working with Michigan State University, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and the Kalamazoo Nature Center to develp to propagate this rare butterfly. Offspring reared in the program may be used to supplement wild Mitchell’s Satyr populations.

Partners

Freshwater Mussels

Great Lakes Conservation
About

Freshwater Mussels are one of the most fastenating groups of animals. Unfortunately they are also one of the most imperiled groups on animals with more than 70% of North American species listed as Threatened or Endangered. Our own Grand River is home to an impressive 32 different species, 19 of which are listed. The John Ball Zoo is working with scientists at Grand Valley State University to evaluate Grand River Mussel populations. During the 2023 field season, the team documented over 1,000 individuals from 27 different species. This includes the Endangered Snuffbox Mussel.

Partners

Habitat Hero

Community Science
About

The Habitat Hero program is focused on creating better urban pollinator habitat by giving away native plants to west Michigan community members. By giving away native trees, shrubs and wildflowers, we are inviting community members to provide crucial nectar sources for pollinators as well as become more involved in pollinator conservation in their own yards and gardens.

Partners

Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring

Community Science
About

American Kestrels are one of North America’s most abundant raptors, but their populations have been steadily declining since the mid 1960’s. This year we have begun participating in the American Kestrel Partnership, run by the Peregrine Fund, to monitor local kestrel nest boxes and help better understand Kestrel population trends and biology.

Partners

Grand River Sucker Monitoring

Community Science
About

Suckers are a very important, and often overlooked, group of migratory fish that inhabit the Grand River. Every spring they migrate upriver from Lake Michigan to spawn in tributaries of the Grand River. We are joining a project started by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to determine how changes in temperature and flow of the streams impact the spawning behavior of the suckers.

Partners

Turtle Road Mortality Surveys

Community Science
About

One of the major threats to turtle populations is mortality associated with roads and vehicles. We have a team of trained volunteers who survey predetermined road crossing sites and report the number of turtles they find at these locations. We plan to use the data to assist in conservation decision-making regarding roads and turtles in west Michigan.

Partners

Michigan Butterfly Network

Community Science
About

As part of our pollinator conservation work, we want to understand how native butterfly populations are changing over time. By training community members to use the Michigan Butterfly Network monitoring protocol, we are offering passionate people the opportunity to help contribute to our understanding of butterfly populations in west Michigan.

Partners

Bat Surveys

Community Science
About

West Michigan is home to several species of rare and threatened species of bats. This summer we will have a group of volunteers collecting bat occurrence data by driving predetermined routes and using special recorders and software to identify bat species. The data will be submitted to the North American Bat Monitoring Project as part of their ongoing analysis of bat abundance and occupancy across North America.

Partners

Massasauga Rattlesnake

Great Lakes Conservation
About

The Massasauga is Michigan’s only venomous snake and plays an important role in the ecosystem. Unfortunately, these snakes are declining in numbers and are listed as Threatened. The John Ball Zoo helps to educate the public on the plight of the Massasauga and helps conservation biologists study them in the field. Currently, we are assisting Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Grand Valley State University, and Sarett Nature Center develop new technologies to monitor this secretive snake species.

Partners

City Nature Challenge

Community Science
About

The City Nature Challenge is one of the world’s largest annual community science events. Started by iNaturalist in 2016 as a friendly competition between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, this bioblitz has grown into a global phenomenon with over 500 cities participating. Taking place over the last weekend in April each year, the City Nature Challenge is all about getting outside and documenting the biodiversity in and around our communities while building and strengthening relationships with other people who are passionate about conserving local species. The West Michigan City Nature Challenge is Michigan’s only City Nature Challenge event, and encompasses Allegan, Barry, Kent and Ottawa Counties. We are excited to partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and many other local organizations to engage our communities in four days of exploring our biodiverse outdoor spaces.

Partners

Michigan Area

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Freshwater Mussels

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Habitat Hero

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Kestrel Nest Box Monitoring

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Grand River Sucker Monitoring

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Turtle Road Mortality Surveys

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Michigan Butterfly Network

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Bat Surveys

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Massasauga Rattlesnake

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City Nature Challenge

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Get Involved!