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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Grand Valley Zoological Quest’s mission statement?

Grand Valley Zoological Quest is a center devoted to education, research, conservation, reproduction, and the enrichment of fauna and flora exhibited in comparable natural habitats as well as the education, enrichment, and recreation of those who visit.


Why does GVZQ exist?

Grand Valley Zoological Quest (GVZQ) is a FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATION which seeks to create an educational children's nature center located in the Grand Valley of Colorado. Our goal is to have A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY by providing opportunities in quality programs of education, conservation, research, and species survival, as well as the enhancement of our beautiful valley's lifestyle.


We endeavour to be both effective and proactive for the good of our community. Already we have collaborated with Mesa School District #51, the Museum of Western Colorado, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, Ute Water Conservancy, Mesa County Health and Safety Council, the Bureau of Land Management, City of Fruita’s Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Parks and Recreation, Mesa County Public Library, Fruita’s Girl Scout Troops, The Grand Valley Audubon Society, The Grand Valley Knights, and many others.


What does GVZQ do and who do you serve?

It is our desire that this facility be welcoming to not only the 5 million residents of Colorado but also to neighboring states and distant travelers. Currently, the over 600,000 residents on the Western Slope of Colorado must travel over the Rocky Mountains or into Salt Lake City, Utah to enjoy the educational benefits of an accredited zoological center; a distance of 250 miles in radius of the Grand Valley.


Grand Valley Zoological Quest continues the mission of all accredited zoological organizations contributing to education, conservation, and research of fauna and flora within our facility. GVZQ’s offers educational classes to local schools. Lesson plans are written by licensed teachers and zoological professionals. Our classes follow the science standards sanctioned by School District 51, the State of Colorado’s Department of Education and supports the goal of The National Science Foundation's STEM. Since January 2011 over 16,000 students of all ages have participated in our educational programs and outreach. Imagine what we can accomplish with a facility of our own!


Education is of great importance to GVZQ and we are research based. For decades, researchers have studied the important benefits of children interacting with animals and nature. Some of those findings include: nurturing relationships between children and animals helps to cultivate empathy in children; children’s interaction with animals create a sense of responsibility for living things; children who interact with nature and animals grow up to be conservation conscience adults; and children who are exposed to nature score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline.


Research further demonstrates that populations of individuals such as:  the elderly, autistic, developmental disabled, physically disabled, and Veterans suffering from PTSD, report positive benefits to their lifestyle when interacting with animals.


Can our community support a zoological facility?

Zoological centers may seem to be luxury expenditures in times of economic troubles, but in reality, they are one of the best attractions that a community can offer to build and boost its bottom line. Zoos attract visitors from a wide range of places like few other attractions can. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, there are “over 175 million annual visitors (to zoos and aquariums), more visitors than NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB annual attendance combined.” The Denver Zoo continues to be the most popular cultural attraction in the State of Colorado. The economic benefits of a zoo come not only in the form of initial construction jobs and on-site positions, but they also translate to the entire community by drawing a larger customer base into a region.


Accredited Zoos & Aquariums, Close to the Grand Valley

With Populations Between 36,000 to 150,000


According to the American Planning Association, “Large urban parks with zoos, memorials, museums, cultural and heritage artifacts, and historical sites can attract tourists.” The more activities clustered in one area the greater the attraction to distant travellers. Currently Fruita is host to the Vietnam Memorial, The Colorado Welcome Center, Dinosaur Journey Museum, and the entrance to the Colorado National Monument with the addition of a world-class zoological center Fruita will draw in more guests from distant places therefore staying longer in our area, and spending more dollars.


*click here for research supporting why zoos & aquariums are important.



Why a living children's nature center?

Today zoos and aquariums are much more than animals on display; they are destinations for education, conservation, and species survival.  "The role of zoos and aquariums is often misunderstood as being only entertainment menageries; however, they actually play a vital role in species conservation", says Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).


“One important aspect of the work of zoos and aquariums is the establishment of viable populations of species that went extinct in the wild. Through coordinated breeding programmes, reintroduction projects are one important option for many of those species and zoos and aquariums help to bridge the gap. Conservation breeding programmes are in place for numerous species.” (Complete article can be found at:  http://www.waza.org/en/site/pressnews-events/press-releases/zoos-and-aquariums-save-the-world-most-endangered-species ). 


Scientist estimate that over 27,000 species are lost annually, GVZQ will work with the Association for Zoos and Aquariums on global, regional, and species survival plans.  GVZQ will partner with regional colleges and local high schools on research with species within our facility and in the wild.  Internships will lead to jobs and published results.


GVZQ is devoted to our species, providing naturalistic habits where animals roam free and visitors remain captive! We hope you will join us on the fascinating quest to POSITIVELY IMPACT OUR COMMUNITY.  Grand Valley Zoological Quest is devoted to education, research, and conservation of exhibited species as well as the entertainment and enrichment to those who visit.


Is GVZQ for profit?

Grand Valley Zoological Quest is a registered nonprofit in the State of Colorado and holds the 501 (c) 3 status with the IRS. GVZQ incorporated the following nonprofit regulations into our By Laws:

• Must not distribute profits to members, officers, or directors.

• Must pay taxes on income from "unrelated activities."

• Cannot make substantial profits from unrelated activities.

• Must distribute its assets to another tax-exempt group if it dissolves



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