Zoo Society

The mission of the Potter Park Zoological Society is to share our knowledge and love of the wild, by striving to teach each visitor to Potter Park Zoo and each participant in Zoo Society programs to take an educated delight in the ways of nature. Our hope is to inspire these individuals, young and old, to commit to the care of our creatures and to the preservation of their habitats and ours.

The Potter Park Zoological Society is a private, 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization that supports Potter Park Zoo.

The Society raises funds by managing the membership program, running the concessions, gift shop and pony/camel rides, producing family events, grant writing, conducting educational programs, and coordinating fundraising activities.

The Society first began in 1969 as the Friends of the Zoo Society. Founder Jim Hough, a columnist for the Lansing State Journal, brought together local residents with the goal of raising money for some much needed zoo improvements. It was not until 1986 that the Friends group became known as the Potter Park Zoological Society. Later that same year the first Docent class of 12 volunteer teachers graduated, launching the Society’s Docent Association. Today, the Society consists of more than 130 volunteers.

From its humble beginnings, the goals of the Society have remained the same: to inspire and engage children, students, teachers, and others among the general public to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.

If you would like to help make a difference, please consider donating your time or money to the Potter Park Zoological Society. Donations can be made online by clicking on the link below. Click here to learn about other opportunities to become involved with the Society.

Donate Now

Sherrie Graham

Executive Director
(517) 342-2715

Dennis Laidler

Education Curator
(517) 342-2714

Jennifer Horvatin

Program & Volunteer Coordinator
(517) 342-2713

Rick Parker

Guest Services Manager
(517) 342-2715

Jill Garnett

Enrichment Coordinator
(517) 342-2716

Rebecca Morningstar

High School Instructor

Jen Rostar

Special Events Coordinator
(517) 342-2709