What is GivingZOODay?

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

#GivingZOOday is about the impact the community has on accredited zoos and aquariums! It's also about how these institutions enrich the communities they live in by engaging their visitors to be stewards of the environment and save species from extinction. Zoos and aquariums also mentor their staff and volunteers to give back in their own communities to a wide range of causes.

The Children's Zoo at Celebration Square is home to many animals, including many endangered species and rescued wildlife. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we are held to the highest standards of animal care and visitor experience. When you donate to the Saginaw Children's Zoo, you are helping us provide the best possible life for the animals who call the zoo their home. Your support is responsible for the birth of the cotton-top tamarin twins earlier this spring, a critically endangered species on the brink of extinction. Your support allows us to give our many rescued animals permanent sanctuary, where they can live out the rest of their days knowing only peace and love. Your support brings in hundreds of children into our Living, Learning Lab program, a STEM-based formal educational opportunity that is FREE to teachers.Thank YOU for everything YOU do for the Children's Zoo at Celebration Square!

zoo camp at amphitheater

Click here to DONATE today and help make this #GivingZOOday extra special!

 Our goal is to reach 100 donors! Will you help us making #GivingZOOday a success?



Click HERE to order your Brick or Bench Today! 

Engraved Bricks 

The Zoo Brick Project began in 1998 as an ongoing fundraising effort to support the Zoo. Each brick is engraved with a custom inscription of the purchaser’s choice. The bricks are placed along the walkway and plaza encompassing the River Otter exhibit, Train Depot, Alligator exhibit, and Carousel Corner. Bricks are priced at the following ranges: $40 or $250.

Inscription Information

Please follow the inscription specifications

• Only alphanumeric numbers and letters. All letters will be capitalized.

• Punctuation and blank spaces are counted as characters

• Inscriptions on this form will be automatically centered on the brick

The example below illustrates an inscription for a 4” x 9” brick. The inscription area is up to 3 lines, 12 characters per line. Small bricks are $40 each.

I N   H O N O R   O F  
  J O H N   S M I T H  

The example below illustrates an inscription for a 9" x 9" brick.  The inscription area is up to 5 lines, 13 characters per line. Large bricks are $250 each.

  I N   H O N O R   O F   
           J O H N        
        S M I T H        

You will receive an acknowledgement letter and you will be notified once your brick has been completed. Please allow 2-4 months for completion of benches and bricks. Orders received between late summer and early spring may not be placed until the Zoo reopens.

Please keep in mind that additional bricks ordered at the same time may be placed near or adjacent to each other in the walkway, should space allow. Due to the overwhelming response, we are unable to honor any special placement requests. The Saginaw Valley Zoological Society reserves the right to refuse any submission it deems unsuitable for the purposes described in this offer.

Please note: The zoo reserves the right to relocate any tribute to an adjacent area, if the zoo determines such relocation is required. All plaques ordered have a line and character limit.



Benches are available at various locations throughout the park. Bench plaques may be personalized and inscribed with brief text before being affixed to the bench. The zoo pledges to display the plaques on the bench for no less than 15 years from the time of installation. At the end of this time, the donor will have the opportunity to renew this recognition with an additional gift at the prevailing gift amount. Bench tributes are priced at $1,500.



Winfield Comfort Bench  

• Black color

• Contoured seat

• Durable & maintenance free, portable

• Thermoplastic-coated, expanded with powder coated, galvanized steel legs 

Engraved Plaque

• Heavy cast bronze

• 8 inches long by x 2 inches high

• 3 lines of text, 18 characters per line

Please note bench will be black in color.

You will receive an acknowledgement letter and you will be notified once your bench has been completed.


For more information on Children’s Zoo at Celebration Bricks and Benches, please call (989) 759-1408 or email us. 


Click HERE to order your Brick or Bench Today! 

Cathartes auraSammy


  • Cathartidae

Common Name

  • Turkey Vulture


  • Oldest known specimen: 20.8 years
  • Average Wild Lifespan: 10-17 years


  • Length: 25-32 inches
  • Wingspan: 67-72 inches
  • Weight: 2-4.5 pounds


  • Ranging from the Southern border of Canada all the way to the Southern-most tip of South America.


  • Open and forested areas.
  • Turkey Vultures are well adapted to living in any environment with a supply of carrion.


  • Fresh carrion of small animals is preferred, but they will also eat larger animals that have decayed longer, rotten fruits and vegetables, and domestic animal dung


  • Yearly breeding season between March and June in North America
  • 1-3 eggs per season
  • 30-40 days incubation for an egg to hatch
  • 70-80 days before young are fledgling
  • 80-90 days to independent offspring

Interesting Facts

  • Turkey Vultures are one of very few birds that rely on their sense of smell to locate food.
  • Because of their keen sense of smell, Black Vultures, another species of vulture, will follow Turkey Vultures around to steal food from them.
  • Based on their wing surface to weight ratio Turkery Vultures have light wing loading. This makes them more buoyant in air meaning they can use thermals more effectively while using less energy to stay adrift in air longer than other birds.

Conservation Status

  • CITES – Not Listed
  • IUCN –Least Concern


  1. AnAge: The Animal Aging and Longevity Database. Accessed September 2016. http://genomics.senescence.info/species/query.php?search=turkey%20vulture
  2. Animal Diversity Web. Turkey Vultures. Accessed September 2016 http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cathartes_aura/
  3. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed September 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed September 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

**All animal information is meant to be an educational resource. It may not include all the latest scientific information. Though we edit our information we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all facts presented.


Animal Commissary

Volunteering with this program gives you opportunities to prepare extra tasty animal diets and enrichment for the animals! You will get to work alongside our very knowledgeable and friendly Animal Care Team!  Volunteers in this position will not be working individually with animals, but with increased commitment they would be able to discuss progressing towards animal care.


Do you like hands-on, active experiences?  Don’t mind getting dirty?  Get involved in wildlife and habitat conservation!  Contribute to community, national, and global impact while helping to spread our conservation message.  Assist with habitat improvement, perform wildlife monitoring and tracking, inspire current and future natural stewards, and enjoy the natural resources all around us!  Prior experience is not necessary --- we accept everyone!


Assist with outreach programs, participate in amphitheater shows, be a counselor at a zoo camp, and more. Requires a consistent time commitment on the same days of the week for a couple hours at a time because of the nature of the programs. 


Our beautiful gardens don't just happen, it takes a whole team of volunteers to maintain! Garden volunteers weed the gardens, trim shrubberies, and water. A gardening schedule is made in advance for the season, however, once trained, volunteer gardeners may come when they wish to work at their leisure.


Do you enjoy working with your hands while outside on a beautiful day? Grounds maintenance is for you! Mowing lawns, weed whipping, assisting in general maintenance of the facilities. No specific time commitment required!


Conduct the famous Zoo train or operate the region’s only hand-carved carousel. Ride operators conduct the train and carousel while facilitating a safe environment for visitors on the rides, and ensuring visitors treat the equipment with respect. Requires a regular commitment of at least 4 hours at a time. To ensure a safe ride for everyone; you must be 18 years of age to operate the rides.

Special Events

Did you have an amazing time at one of our events? Events happen because of the dedication of volunteers. From working booths, to helping set up the facilities, we can always use an extra set of hands on our busiest days. Perfect for volunteers that want to volunteer only once or twice a month.

Zoo Crew

Teenagers are welcome to participate in our Zoo Crew program. More information is located HERE

Zoo Store

Kids, candy, toys and smiles are what the Zoo Store is all about! If you enjoy helping kids of all ages satisfy a sweet tooth or find just the right little plush penguin or slithery lizard toy to take home, you’ll enjoy volunteering in the Zoo Store. Whether you have lots of time or just a little bit, we’d love to have your smiling face and helping hands making our visitors happy. Zoo store volunteers are responsible for handling the sales of zoo merchandise from our gift shop, maintaining a balanced cash drawer, and restocking merchandise. Proficiency with computers is required.


Volunteer now!

Click the above link to register with our volunteer system online.  Don’t like computers? 

Call (989) 759-1408 or e-mail Emily@saginawzoo.com and we’ll make it easy!