$2 million grant helps fuel Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ growth


The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens recently received a $2 million grant from the family of Dan and Brenda Davis that will be used to drive further enhancements and improvements throughout the zoo.

“The Davis Family has been inspirational in their dedication and devotion to the Jacksonville community,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “To be one of the organizations that they have chosen to invest in to make our community a better place is an honor. We are so grateful for their help, friendship and leadership.”

The Davis family’s generosity toward the zoo dates back to the early 1990s and has continued ever since. A nonprofit organization, the zoo relies on donations from community partners like the Davis family to further the zoo’s mission of creating innovative and fun experiences that highlight education and conservation of wildlife. Over the past 35 years, more than $55 million has been raised for the zoo, which is home to approximately 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 species of plants.