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Grand Valley Zoological Quest (GVZQ) is a FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATION which seeks to create a children's nature center located on the Western Slope of Colorado.

Our goal is to have A POSITIVE IMPACT ON OUR COMMUNITY by improving the economic base through tourist development, education, and enhancement of our beautiful valley’s lifestyle.

Over 175 million people visit zoos and aquariums annually; contributing over 16 billion dollars into our nation’s economy.  45-65% of guests who visit zoos and aquariums are from out of town, which translates into tourist dollars spent locally for food, shopping, gas, lodging, and will link guests to other tourist activities in our area. Companies relocating look to communities with educational and recreational opportunities for their employees.  New industries beget new industries.


Education is of great importance to GVZQ .  US Labor & Statics reports that 60% of jobs between now and 2018 will be in the science related fields.  GVZQ’s EdZOOcational programs are designed by professional zoologist and licensed teacher to exceed the State of Colorado Science Standards.  Since January, 2011, over 16,000 students have participated in our EdZOOcational programs, connecting individuals with animals and nature.  Research supports that children exposed to animals and nature:

  • *Show a greater awareness of their environment.


  • *Score higher on standardizes test.


  • *Demonstrate a better understanding of empathy and responsibility.


  • *Grow up to be better stewards of the environment.


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.


Scientist estimate that over 27,000 species are lost annually, GVZQ has received a grant and is currently working with the Association for Zoos and Aquariums and the National Science Foundation on documenting local amphibian populations.  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.


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.



Janet Gardner

Executive Director

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