Mill Mountain Zoo is located within Mill Mountain Park, a beautiful 568-acre regional park which is maintained by Roanoke Parks and Recreation. Located at the top of Mill Mountain just off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, the zoo overlooks the city of Roanoke and the surrounding mountain vistas The zoo was founded in 1952 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit operated by the Blue Ridge Zoological Society. Our mission at the Mill Mountain Zoo is to promote an appreciation and understanding of wildlife and habitat preservation through the use of quality exhibits and educational programs, and to work in cooperation with other animal conservation programs. Our facility advances three core beliefs: excellence in the implementation of the highest standards of animal care, conservation management of endangered species and fostering science education through its animal collection. While a recreational attraction, the zoo strives to provide an enjoyable experience for visitors, within the context of an educational organization dedicated to the natural sciences and management of captive animal species.
2018 was an eventful year! We completed the renovations to an existing exhibit to convert it to a Bald eagle exhibit, which now houses 2 Bald eagles. The renovations and updates to the Snow leopard exhibit were also finished. Both of these projects were made possible by a generous grant from the Roanoke Women’s Foundation. The nature-based play area funded by the Golden Foundation was also completed. In addition, we received a $10,000 grant from the Arts Commission for a project called Art to Rescue the River and is modeled after Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. Art to Rescue the River is meant to bring awareness of trash and litter and the health of the Roanoke River to the public through the use of sculptural works made from recyclables. These materials are collected from the river during the CVC’s annual river clean-ups and assembled into sculptures by local artists. We also received 2 smaller grants for educational projects. One was from The Beirne Carter Foundation to create zoo animal trading cards. Another came from The Louise R. Lester Foundation for the development and printing of Discover Virginia booklets to get parents and children outdoors doing nature and science related activities together.
Today, the Mill Mountain Zoo is the only major non-profit wildlife attraction on the entire 469-mile span of Blue Ridge Parkway, and enjoys continued success thanks to the support of the community, philanthropic organizations, and private donors.
Unlike many city zoos, Mill Mountain Zoo does not receive a large portion of its funding from municipal sources. Mill Mountain Zoo’s current annual budget is funded primarily by admissions, concessions, education programs, events, and private donations. It costs $2500 per day to run the zoo, and winter can be particularly difficult as our admissions drop during the colder months. The money we receive each year during the Roanoke Valley Gives event is essential in making up this deficit and provides us with much needed funds to care for the animals and to allow us to make all the necessary preparations to the grounds and facility as we head back into high season. We can't do it without you!
Donate today and help us care for our furry, feathery and scaly friends!