The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) will be re-imagined and rebuilt, thanks to a $15 million matching grant from the Peery Foundation and $10 million in private donations from local donors.
We are thrilled to tell you that we have raised $25 million to rebuild the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo! It's thanks to you that we made it. We received the final donation to reach our $10 million goal, releasing a $15 million matching grant from the Peery Foundation. Thank you to all of our donors, and to the Peery Foundation, the City of Palo Alto and the JMZ staff.
For more information:
How will the JMZ Improve?
Parts of our current building date back to 1941, and are inadequate to meet the educational responsibilities of the JMZ. The JMZ’s innovative and age-appropriate science teaching introduces more than 17,000 local students—in schools, science camps and field trips—annually to the wonders and joy of learning about the world around them.
We have approximately 180,000 visitors a year, and while we intend to keep the intimate feel of the JMZ, there are environmental, safety and comfort constraints we need to address.
On successful completion of the JMZ Initiative, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will have:
- Better visitor amenities and experiences, including a dedicated safe area for bus drop-off, special entrance for school groups, and modern bathrooms.
- More STEM and biosciences education, and a teachers’ lesson planning space.
- Expanded programming for economically disadvantaged schools.
- Improved facilities and programs for children with physical and developmental disabilities.
And be a Greener building by having:
- A sustainable, green building design.
- Renewable energy sources and recycled water systems.
- Heightened community pride.
- Increased earned revenue.
1941 JMZ is built
2012 Concept design involving CAW Architects, Portico Design Group, staff and public
2013 Campaign Launch: Strategic Plan and Business Plan completed
2014 Secure Seed Funding and Establish Advisory Council
2015 Fund Development and Negotiated Agreement with City of Palo Alto
2018 JMZ temporarily moves to Cubberley Community Center; Construction begins
2020 Grand Opening of JMZ
Date & Time: February 05, 2018, 7:15pm
Location: Palo Alto City Hall,
Contact us for more information.
Date & Time: August 10, 2017, 7:00pm
Location: Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Date: January 14, 2015
Location: Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
How much money has been raised? We reached our $25 million fundraising goal on January 31, 2017. This $25 million will fund the construction of the new JMZ. We continue to fundraise for visitor experience and exhibits.
Where did the money come from? The money was raised from private funds from local families and foundations. Ten million dollars was raised from our incredible community of donors, and this was matched by a generous grant from the Peery Foundation, which pledged fifteen million dollars in matching funds ($1.5 for every $1 dollar raised). This $25 million gift to the City of Palo Alto is unprecedented, but reflects a commitment by the Friends, the Peery Foundation and our donors to this amazing place to keep it viable for the future.
Are there still opportunities to donate to the JMZ? We need your support! There are many ways to donate to the JMZ.
- We continue to fundraise for visitor experience and exhibits in the new Junior Museum & Zoo. Please contact us for more information.
- The new building will include a community wall (currently in the design process), where tiles or bricks can be purchased. The details of this feature and how to contribute to it will be coming soon.
- The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo fund a vital Science Outreach Program, which provides regular science lessons to more than 1,600 students in Ravenswood City School District (East Palo Alto) each year, as well as schools in Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
- We also raise money for Super Family Sunday events. Super Family Sundays, held at the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, are appreciation days for families who have kids with special needs.
The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo raise money annually to support staff development, new exhibits, and capital improvements to ensure the JMZ remains usable and exciting. Please contact us or explore our website.
How will the JMZ change? The JMZ’s values and mission of providing early science education, and inspiring children to love science and nature will not change. The facilities of the JMZ will improve, with more space for classrooms, exhibits, offices, and restrooms and with a significantly better layout that will be more visitor-friendly and more effective to use. We will also better meet environmental standards that we are not able to achieve with the current building.
Why are you rebuilding? I love the JMZ just the way it is. The current JMZ was built in 1941, and is now simply inadequate to meet current safety and educational expectations. The new building will be just as intimate and interactive as the current one, but viable for future generations of children.
How big is the new building going to be? The new building will be 14,500 sq. feet (compared to 8,868 sq. feet now).
Will there be an entrance fee? The City of Palo Alto intends to introduce a modest fee for entrance into the JMZ. This fee will support the daily operations of the JMZ, such as zoo and educational staff. The Board of the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will continue to raise funds to ensure that all communities can participate in JMZ programs.
What will parking be like? The number of parking spots will remain the same. The parking lot has been completely redesigned to improve infrastructure, flow, and access. We are working with the City of Palo Alto on parking options during construction.
What will happen to the JMZ while you are rebuilding? On Friday, May 4, 2018, the JMZ is temporarily moving to Cubberley Community Center. Starting this SUMMER, enjoy our exhibits, camps, classes and Club JMZ events at our temporary new home:
Cubberley Community Center
4050 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
How long will construction take? What will that mean to the neighborhood? The rebuild will take approximately eighteen months from groundbreaking – planned to commence in the summer of 2018. We are committed to keeping our neighbors fully informed about our plans, before and during the rebuild, and working with them to keep disruption to a minimum.
Who are the Friends of the JMZ? The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo is a non-profit organization committed to raising funds to support the JMZ beyond the money the City provides. The Friends funds the Science Outreach Program, which provides science classes to low-income schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park at no cost to the schools. The Friends also funds Super Family Sundays, for families with children with learning differences and special needs. In addition, we raise money for capital improvements and new exhibits, such as Africa’s Bat Habitat, Bobcat Ridge and the Buzzzz exhibit.
Will the City of Palo Alto still operate the JMZ? The City of Palo Alto and the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo will enter into an operating agreement where the Friends construct the new facility and the City will operate once construction is complete.
Who are our supporters?
The Peery Foundation has issued a $15 million challenge grant to finance the new JMZ, giving one-and-a-half dollars for each dollar raised in the first $10 million tranche.
Early investors can be assured their funding will return many times its principal, not only from the Peery grant, but also in the general educational health and strength of our children and community, generation after generation.
The JMZ has demonstrated a consistent commitment to teaching high-quality, hands- on science to generations of children from the Mid-Peninsula - regardless of their economic background - that is transformational in their early education experience. Teachers from East Palo Alto and Palo Alto love these programs in their classrooms, and the children love the JMZ teachers. We are honored to partner with the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo to ensure that it can bring science alive for future generations, as it has done so effectively in the past. “
Dave Peery, Managing Director, Peery Foundation
We are thankful to our JMZ Initiative donors!
Meredith Ackley and Salvatierra Sisters
Acton Family Giving
Kurt Adzema and Rayme Waters
Melissa Anderson and Howard Look
Lauren and Michael Angelo
The Baker Family
The Baldwin Family
Jeff and Jamie Barnett
Clay and Kelly Bavor
Krishna Bharat and Kavita Thirumalai
Annette Bialson and Gary Sharron
Jennifer, Aurélie, and Anaïs Bienaimé
Robert Bridger and Wendy Dransfield
The Brin Wojcicki Foundation
John and Susan Cala
Brian and Jennifer Carlstrom
Shawn and Jennifer Carolan
Hui (Debra) Cen
Andrea Cervenka and Shai Friedland
John and Ashley Chambers
Sandra and Harry Cheung
Carmen M. Christensen (1913-2010)
Terry and Anne Clark
Denis and Aletha Coleman
David and Trish Collins
John and Caroline Cote
The Mark Crady and Lucy Stapleton Fund
Bill and Tammy Crown
John and Allison Marston Danner Family Fund
Ben Davenport and Lucy Zhang
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Mark DeLaurentis and Jackie Turner
Phyllis and Bill Draper
The Dave and Cheryl Duffield Fund
Jennifer and Len Dulski
The Elkes Foundation
Steve and Patricia Emslie
Robin and Basil Enan
Spencer and Stephanie Ewing
Abe Farag and Claudia Truesdall
Flora Family Foundation
The Frahn Family
Stephanie and Ryan Frick
Carol C. and Joel P. Friedman, MD
Marcel and Elisabeth Gani
Jamie and Bryson Gardner Family
The Gawley Family
Max and Nadia Gazor
Patrick and Sarah Gibbs
Matt Glickman and Susie Hwang
Claire Goldsmith, in honor of Kelly Bavor
Michael and Loren Gordon
Paul and Colleen Gormley
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gracon, in honor of Leannah Hunt
Tim and Hilary Gudgel
Eric and Elaine Hahn
Dr. Harry and Susan Hartzell
Andrea and Ryan Helft
Lisa and Dana Hendrickson
Marah and Jonathan Herbach
Tyler and Sharon Hoffman
Marv and Collette Hopkins
Paul and Melissa Hopkins
Gary Hornbeek and Susan Miller Hornbeek
Huang Pacific Foundation
Brette and Drew Hudacek
Shellan and Robert Isackson
John and Marcia Goldman Foundation
Pitch and Cathie Johnson
Amy and Glen Kacher
Doug Kalish and Donna Bohling
KC Family Foundation
Chop and Annette Keenan
David and Maureen Kennedy
The Kepner Family
The Kinsky Family
Jon and Karin Kissane
Frank and Trinity Klein with Asian Box
Josh and Juliet Knowles
Marshall and Heather Koch
Maya Kumar and Ross Metzger
Cheryl Lathrop and Bern Beecham
The LaureL Foundation
Peter Levin and Lisa Voge-Levin
Paul and Susie Levine
Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation
Richard and Suzanne Liu
Susan and Phillip Lorson
The Ludwick Family
Mario Family Foundation
Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue
Walter and Mary McCullough
Bob Meltzer in memory of Betty Meltzer
Ed and Shirlee Miller
Philip and Katy Miller
David and Lynn Mitchell
Moore Family Foundation
Elizabeth and Mark Moragne
Morgan Family Foundation
Glen Murphy and Lauren Ely
Merrill and Alicia Newman
Kristin and Peter Norvig, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Mary Obelnicki and Craig Silverstein
Bryn and Barbara Ostby
The Phumbhra Living Trust
Allen and Janet Podell
Kendra and Erik Ragatz
The Rakowski Family
Tim Ranzetta and Katherine Eslao
The Rathmann Family Foundation
Steve and Missy Reller
Jake and Robin Reynolds
Roger P. Roberts and Ariel Balter
Matt and Laurel Robinson
Eric Rosenblum and Titi Liu
Peter and Beth Rosenthal
Rotary Club of Palo Alto
Jane Rytina and Jonathan Chadwick
Greg and Sarah Sands
Daniel Shader and Lissa Dutton
Jessamyn and Ali Shams-Lau
Mark and Nancy Shepherd
County Supervisor Joe Simitian and Mary Hughes
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Sinton
Ben Smith, Diane Tang and Family
Jennifer Smith and Stephen Borota
Paula and Stephen Smith
Roger Smith and Judy Kay
Jeff and Jeanese Snyder
Julia and Robert Soderbery
Pamela and Mike Steil
Madeline and Isaac Stein
The Stitt Family
Dale Stuart and Barbara Gordon
Scott and Shelly Taylor
Alex and Nadine Terman
Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals
Carl and Susan Thomsen
Simon and Shamim Tong
Zach and Marisol Trailer
The Tsern Foundation
Mike and Ellen Turbow
Joe and Sarah Vaccaro
Virginia and Peter Van Kuran
Don and Anne Vermeil
Rob and Melissa Wagner
Rick and Mara Wallace
David and Malin Walrod
Michele and Ted Wang
Adam Weiss and Lydia Callaghan
Jaime and Elizabeth Wong
Yellow Chair Foundation
Linton and Kisa Young
Andrew and Flora Zee
Employee Matching Programs
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Varian Medical Systems
Clay and Kelly Bavor
City of Palo Alto
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
Donate to the JMZ Initiative
Make an investment in the Junior Museum & Zoo by donating online, in-person, or through a planned gift.
On Monday, September 10, the Rotary Club of Palo Alto presented the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (Friends) with a $100,000 grant to support a new Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) facility. Aletha Coleman, Friends’ Board President, says that the organization is proud to partner with the Rotary Club… [Read More]
On Saturday, June 30, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) celebrated the groundbreaking of a new facility. The celebration included a ceremonial shovels-in-the-ground ceremony, as well as speeches by Mayor Liz Kniss, the Friends of the Junior Museum & Zoo (Friends) Board President, Aletha Coleman, and JMZ Executive Director, John Aikin. Aletha Coleman… [Read More]
The Palo Alto City Council approved $1 million in funding for the new Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) to help the Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (Friends) include two exciting features in the new facility. In addition to the $25 million previously raised by the Friends, the City and the… [Read More]