7 Grants Awarded for Sweeping NC Zoo Initiatives


The North Carolina Zoo Society and its volunteer support organization, the Randolph Friends of the Zoo (RFOZ), are pleased to announce the awarding of grants totaling $11,885 to seven North Carolina Zoo employee initiatives. These grants, which are awarded annually, fund employee-directed programs that support the Zoo’s missions and directly improve the North Carolina Zoo’s park, animals, or guest experiences. Grant opportunities are limited to North Carolina Zoo and NC Zoo Society employees. 

This year, 10 employees submitted grants for consideration by the RFOZ Board of Directors. The following list recognizes the employees and programs that funded this grant cycle after careful review.  

Zookeeper Beth Malott was awarded $2,500 to provide an outdoor heat source for the holding area for the Zoo’s chimpanzees.  

Kathy Osborne, the Kidzone Coordinator, received $1,000 to purchase new furniture and shade sails for the Kidzone Mud Café.  

Sally Adams, Rocky Coast Zookeeper Supervisor, earned $1,185 to use in acquiring her “Applied  Animal Behavior Certification” through the University of Washington.  

Melissa Vindigni, Rocky Coast Zookeeper, was awarded $200 to conduct a Horned Puffin  Vocalization Study.  

John Ledbetter, Horticulture Supervisor, received $1,500 to install a living/green wall at the  Akiba Market underpass.  

Nicole Petersen, Community Education Supervisor, was granted $1,500 to purchase tools for educational programming and Citizen Science opportunities.  

Stephanie Tien, Forest Glade Supervisor, received $4,000 to purchase Blood Pressure Testing equipment for the gorillas. 

The Randolph Friends of the Zoo and the Zoo Society established the “Employee Grants Fund”  in 2000. Contributions from the Zoo Society’s loyal patrons provide the funding for this initiative. RFOZ is a volunteer organization that supports the fundraising efforts of the North  Carolina Zoo Society and the Randolph Friends of the Zoo Grant Fund.