Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums (ZBGA) Grant Program

New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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Grant amount: More than US $30,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 15, 2019

Applicant type: Museum/Library/Zoo

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: New York

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The Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program (ZBGA) is administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). The ZBGA Program, which is funded through annual appropriations from the state Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), provides the stimulus to develop educational, cultural and recreational programs interpreting our natural heritage as well as support for the permanent collections of eligible institutions, throughout the State of New York.

ZBGA grants provide eligible local governments and not-for-profit organizations timely and stable annual funding for operating and program support. Applicants will be evaluated based on the administrative and fiscal strength of the organization, the quality and care of its collections, and the level of service to the public. 

This grant application will be for a five year contract. Each organization’s grant funding amount in years two through five will be a pro-rated share of the total ZBGA appropriation in those years in comparison to previous year’s appropriation. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


    • Public or not-for-profit organizations which own, house and care for living or systematically organized collections of objects of natural origin and which primarily provide such services to the general public on a regular and predictable basis are eligible for funding under the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program.
      • For narrative purposes within this application, such organizations are referred to as Natural Heritage Institutions, and the collections, which they own, manage and interpret for the public, are referred to as Natural Heritage Collections.
    • Institutions with collections which include both eligible and ineligible categories and otherwise meet all program eligibility criteria are eligible only for assistance in areas relating to the natural heritage portions of their collections and public service programs.
    • In addition, each applicant must meet ALL of the following criteria in order to be eligible for the program:
      • have well-defined program goals;
      • be organized as a public or private non-profit institution and exist on a permanent basis to act as or for a natural heritage institution with, as a primary purpose, ongoing education programs servicing children and adults;
      • support a facility from which to operate these programs and interpret the collection which is open to the general public on a regular and predictable basis for at least seven consecutive months of the year with a continual full schedule of programs and services for the public during that time;
      • support an organized and systematic program for care of the collection, in accordance with State and Federal standards;
      • be a municipality or a not-for-profit organization;
      • have proven financial, administrative and public service stability for a minimum of two years;
      • conduct all institutional operations in accordance with requirements of Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of the Rehabilitation Act of 1963, as amended, which bar discrimination on the basis of race, age, color, nationality, handicap or place of residence;
      • hold all captive animals and plants in accordance with State and Federal laws and maintain them in accordance with current professional standards of humane treatment and conservation;
      • if affiliated with a larger organization, the applicant must have a separate budget; and
      • comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) requirements of Article 15A of the Executive Law. 


    • Under present guidelines, the following are not eligible for funding under the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program:
      • natural history or history museums or collections
      • science-technology centers/museum or collections
      • planetariums
      • gardens and plantings which are primarily decorative, ornamental or commercial
      • programs which deal primarily with interpretation, utilization and/or maintenance of genetically domesticated plants and/or animals
      • public school districts or their components;
      • archeological or anthropological museums or collections
      • Federal agencies and their programs
      • New York State agencies and departments
      • research projects;
      • land acquisitions;
      • program activities solely restricted to or directed towards an organization’s membership or clients;
      • lobbying or political activities;
      • fundraising activities;
      • food services; or
      • overhead and other indirect expenses.