Tourism Accredited Zoos Program


The Tourism Accredited Zoos Program provides funding to Pennsylvania accredited zoos designated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Zoological Association of America (ZAA). The mission of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Commission is to establish, uphold, and raise the highest zoological and aquarium industry standards through self-evaluation, on-site inspection, and peer review. ZAA promotes responsible ownership, management, conservation, and propagation of animals in both privately funded and publicly funded facilities through professional standards in husbandry, animal care, safety, and ethics.


Funds may be used to support zoo facilities enhancements, new construction and/or renovations or for the development of marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns to build attendance.


Pennsylvania zoos that are certified by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and or the Zoological Association of America are eligible to apply for funding.


Tourism Accredited Zoos


An applicant may not make or authorize any substantial change to an approved project without first obtaining DCED’s consent in writing. If the full amount of the grant is not required for the project, the unused portion shall be returned to the DCED. Failure to comply with these Guidelines may result in penalties, including repayment of funds with interest. When a project is funded, the recipient must place the grant funds in an interest bearing account. Any interest earned on invested grant funds must be returned to the state.

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