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Memphis Zoo Receives $670,000 Grant from U.S. Department of Energy to Grow Sustainability Initiatives

Memphis Zoo is ready to boost its sustainability initiatives thanks to a $670,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

The money will be used by the Zoo to install rooftop solar panels on Zoo buildings, expand community outreach and clean energy education programs, and develop a waste characterization study and regional solid waste master plan for the city and county. 

“We thank the U.S. Department of Energy for this investment in advancing sustainability initiatives at Memphis Zoo and in our local community,” said Dr. Steve Reichling, Director of Conservation & Research at Memphis Zoo. “This grant emphasizes our vision and need for a clean energy future – one that not only protects wildlife, but also benefits everyone.”

This award was made possible through a partnership with Shelby County and the City of Memphis to further the Memphis Area Climate Action Plan. The goal is to lower energy use, reduce emissions, and promote energy efficiency in our local community.

City of Memphis Mayor Paul Young: “We are proud to say that the solar panels installed at the Memphis Zoo will be the first on City-owned buildings. The grant reflects the progress we can make through strong partnerships. By working together, we are advancing our commitment to the goals outlined in the Memphis Area Climate Action Plan and Memphis 3.0 and setting an example for more sustainable practices in our region.”

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris: “Shelby County takes pride in being at the forefront of sustainable energy. The solar energy grant from the Department of Energy will showcase the Memphis Zoo as a trailblazer in renewable energy, serving as a model for other industries. This integration of solar panels at a beloved family attraction reduces our carbon footprint and encourages eco-friendly habits, promoting a greener future for all.”

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded a total of more than $20 million to 32 states and local communities working to advance clean energy initiatives. Out of those, this was the only award granted in the state of Tennessee.

More About the Grant

Memphis Zoo, in partnership with Shelby County and City of Memphis, was awarded the grant from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, a funding opportunity from the Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

To learn more about this award, visit the EECBG Website


About Memphis Zoo 

Memphis Zoo, centrally located in Memphis, Tennessee, is a renowned accredited institution dedicated to creating adventures and saving wildlife. With a century-long history, it is a beloved destination for families, animal enthusiasts, and conservation advocates, housing 3,500 animals from over 500 species. Explore engaging exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational programs to connect with wildlife worldwide. Memphis Zoo actively supports global conservation efforts, fostering biodiversity preservation and environmental stewardship through partnerships and research. The Zoo also offers diverse educational programs, inspiring lifelong learning, and conservation passion. Learn more at www.memphiszoo.org To donate to the ongoing Zoo Hospital Fund, for the future care of the animals, please visit www.memphiszoo.org/donate

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