ZooQuest looks forward to growing in the future
The Grand Valley Zoological Quest (GVZQ), a for impact organization which seeks to create the only educational zoological center located on the Western Slope of Colorado, has been a volunteer based organization for two years.
The goal of GVZQ is to have a positive impact on the community by improving the economic base through tourist development, education, and enhancement of the valley’s lifestyle.
Janet Gardner, Founder/Executive Director/Secretary of GVZQ has been hoping to open a zoo in Western Colorado for years.
“I would just dream about how I wanted to do this,” Gardner said. “I’ve always been connected with the outdoors and nature.”
Gardner has been working toward this goal for most of her life. She earned a BA in psychology with a minor in biology. Gardner also has master’s work in behavioral science and countless certifications that qualify her to take on such a large, intricate project
Gardner and the rest of the GVZQ team have been working not only to raise the funds to make this zoo a reality with a Zoological Center, but to get community members involved in education. Since Jan. 2011, GVZQ has worked with over 8,700 students of all ages through their programs and outreach. Gardner volunteers her time to give students lessons in life science with real animals.
“It’s all about connecting kids with nature and animals,” said Gardner.
The funding for the GVZQ Zoological Center has, for the most part, come from donations and grants.
The GVZQ hasn’t officially decided on a building or lot which they will purchase for the center, but they have come up with basic plans for it. The center will cost around $2 million to complete after purchase of a building and remodeling it to accommodate the animals.
On Oct. 20, GVZQ will host an event at the Kokopelli Plaza in Fruita featuring a day of cars, animals, music, food, and fun. The proceeds will support GVZQ in their mission to raise funds for their Zoological Center.
For more information about GVZQ, events, education, or how to donate, visit www.gvzooquest.org.