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The identified purpose of education at WPZ is to advance the zoo’s mission by inspiring and cultivating an informed community of conservation stewards. As the Washington hub for excellence in conservation education, WPZ programs are grounded in a robust, science and outcomes-based framework for inspiring conservation.

Our guiding framework for program development is:

  • Connecting children to nature
  • Developing ecological literacy
  • Providing pathways to conservation

From early learners to senior learners, and on and off grounds, our developmental approach to lifelong learning is to foster empathy for nature, build conservation knowledge and skills, and increase people’s personal ownership for action that benefits wildlife and habitats.


Education Strategic Initiatives

  1. Connect children to nature
  2. Intensify the impact of zoo experiences
  3. Deepen science education, increase ecological literacy
  4. Empower conservation leaders
  5. Strengthen our leadership through education research





Playing a leadership role in deepening science education and increasing ecological literacy is core to Woodland Park Zoo’s vision of creating the next generation of conservation stewards. The zoo accomplishes this through educator professional development, learning experiences on zoo grounds, in classrooms, in schoolyards and local natural areas; strategic partnerships; and extensive educational resources.

Our programs for educators and students support academic requirements in the sciences, offer field-based opportunities and foster inquiry to ensure that all students have sufficient knowledge and skills in science for success and sustainability in the 21st century.


Field Trips to the Zoo

Community Engagement

Educator Programs

  • Educator Development - Weekend workshops, summer courses, and field courses for educators (clock hours available).
  • Master’s Program for Educators   - Advanced Inquiry Program. Earn your Master’s degree through workshops at Woodland Park Zoo and web-based courses through Miami University.
  • Educator Appreciation Day - Once a year Woodland Park Zoo celebrates educators and shares information on our school programs through an Educator Appreciation Day the first Saturday in June.


Teacher Resources


School and Community Partnerships



Education Year in Review


This document showcases our yearly programs and accomplishments in Education and how our efforts are strategically aligned to create the next generation of conservation stewards.

Read the 2016 Education Year in Review

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