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 to re-imagine and rebuild the JMZ. “The Friends’ Board of Directors is thankful to the Rotary Club of Palo Alto for helping make possible a new Junior Museum & Zoo. Their support and partnership has been an instrumental part of the Friends’ successfully raising $25 million to construct the new facility.”
This gift from the Rotary Club, along with the generous support of other donors, helps to ensure that the Junior Museum & Zoo will be revitalized so that it can continue to serve children and their families for generations to come. Ginny Lear, Rotary Club President, believes that the new Junior Museum & Zoo will be a wellspring of rich educational opportunities. “This grant to support the JMZ is a perfect match for us as we begin to focus on our Club’s Centennial year, coming in 2022. We are proud to help to continue providing exceptional science experiences for our youngest community members and look forward to future partnerships.”
Built in 1941, the old Junior Museum & Zoo building had become inadequate for the extensive early-education science programming that the JMZ provides both on-site and in local elementary schools. The new Junior Museum & Zoo will include safer access, improved facilities and increased access for visitors of all abilities. The building will be modernized while retaining the kid-friendly and intimate qualities of the old facility, providing even more unique, educational experiences that are invaluable to children.
Construction began in June 2018 and the new JMZ will open in 2020. The current architectural designs and a project timeline can be found on the Friends’ website: https://friendsjmz.org/building-new-jmz/.
The JMZ is open at Cubberley Community Center during construction, located at 4050 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. Visitors can continue to enjoy many of their favorite exhibits, including the Kid-Powered Ball Machine and the giant Climbing Web. Some animals are also located at Cubberley, including the snakes, skinks and hedgehogs.