July 2015
Volunteer Spotlight: Susie Hons
Volunteer Susie Hons working around the garden at the JMZ

Read about volunteer Susie Hons and work at the JMZ:


How did you first become involved with the Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ)?

I met Rob Steele, JMZ Zoo Director, through my work at the Wildwood Veterinary Hospital. One day Rob asked if I would come to the Zoo and help him with a little pruning. Rob had the responsibility of all of the gardens as well as his Zoo duties, and there was just not enough time. When he asked me if I would like to volunteer and do the landscaping, I said "Yes!!" I love to garden, and ended up going crazy working on all of the planted beds. This really changed my life:  I had found myself at kind of a loss as to what I wanted to do to add joy to my life, and this was it. Not only do I get to make the garden flourish, but I get to work with the animals and all of the great volunteers and teachers at JMZ.


What's a typical day like when you volunteer at the JMZ?

My typical day at the Zoo starts with whatever Rob needs done, then I get to work on MY project for the day: "manicuring" the different beds, building something new, and planting and pruning as needed. Just making everything pretty and healthy takes most of the day. When I can, I work with some of the animals for enrichment - though I'm sure Scully (the African gray parrot) doesn't think her weekly bath falls into that category!


In your opinion, what's the most important work the JMZ does?

The most important thing that the Zoo does is educate the public - Kids! - about caring for and respecting the animals, and how all of nature interacts with itself. Children get to see the animals up close, touch them, and experience the wonder.


What do you do when you aren't volunteering at the JMZ?

When I'm not at the Zoo, I manage Wildwood Veterinary Hospital, lecture at Foothill College, teach Animal Camp at Peninsula Humane Society, and lead birding walks for Sequoia Audubon. I also garden at home and take care of my own little zoo.

Thank you for all your hard work, Susie!
Creative Ecology Collaboration

The Palo Alto Art Center and the Junior Museum & Zoo are collaborating on a project that blends both art and science:  Creative Ecology: Exploring Our Environment with Art, Science, and the Community. This project, funded by an $88,000 Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) grant, will allow four artists-in-residence to explore the natural world around Palo Alto and exhibit the culminating artwork at the Art Center over an 18-month period.


Artists will explore areas such as the Baylands Nature Preserve, Foothills Park, and Cooley Landing in East Palo Alto. Their investigations will focus on the artwork and its setting in a natural environment, and will engage the community in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education.


The Art Center and the JMZ co-hosted a kick-off reception at the
Baylands Nature Center on May 20th and introduced the selected artists: Linda Gass, Mari Andrews, David Tomb, and Jenny Odell. Ms. Gass will be the first artist-in-residence to begin her project.
Join Linda Gass for free art and science activities at Cooley Landing on Saturdays in July, 10am - noon. 
Summer Science Camps
Don't miss out on Science Summer Camps at the JMZ!  Camps are for students in K-5th grades, and run no though August 14th.

In the popular Bay Camp class, campers spend a week discovering a Salt Marsh as they become fishermen, scientists, traverse Byxbee Park, and paddle the Baylands in canoes for a closer look at the plants and birds.

To register for camps, call 650-329-2111 or register online.
Updates on the JMZ Initiative Capital Campaign

The JMZ Initiative is the plan to redesign and rebuild the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. This 80-year-old institute serves more than 150,000 visitors each year and provides science education to elementary schools throughout the region.   


The Friends of the JMZ's Board of Directors is on a sprint to meet the challenge of the Peery Foundation's $15 million match. The Foundation will give $1.50 for each dollar raised in the first $10 million tranche for funding the new JMZ.  We are more than halfway there, thanks to several early investors who recognized that their funding will return many times its principal.


Special thanks to significant funding recently received from the Page Family Foundation Donor Advised Fund, the KC Family Foundation, the John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, the LaureL Foundation, William Reller, William Campbell, the and members of the Friends of the JMZ's Board of Directors. The team from Cody Anderson Wasney Architects is also a valued partner.


The Friends of the JMZ's Board of Directors is supported in their vision for a new JMZ by active Honorary and Advisory Councils made up of individuals with government, education and corporate affiliations.  David Kelley, founder of IDEO, recently joined the Visitor Experience Sub-Committee of the Advisory Council.  His collaborative efforts will help to shape the new JMZ.  Chase Rapp, Developer and member of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, and Tod Bensen, former Chairman of the Board of WildAid, have also recently joined the Advisory Council.

If you have questions, comments or ideas for the JMZ Initiative, please contact Paula March, Campaign Counsel at 650-326-6338 or paula@friendsjmz.org.

Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo

1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94301

In This Issue
Donor Spotlight 


We would also like to thank those who give to the Annual Fund:


John Aikin

Annette Bialson & Gary Sharron

Aletha & Denis Coleman

Dransfield Bridger Family

Shirley Ely

Melissa & Paul Hopkins

Jake & Robin Reynolds Fund

Koch Family Fund

Marnie & Karol Marcin

Robert McKeown

Michelle & Roxy Rapp

Laurel & Matt Robinson

Jane Rytina & Jonathan Chadwick

Chris Skarakis

Mollie & Tim Stitt

Shelly & Scott Taylor

Steve & Missy Reller Fund

William Reller


Club JMZ Corporate and Leader Members:


Burr Pilger Mayer

Melissa & Paul Hopkins

Kimberly & Alex Klikoff

Liencres Family

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Olander Family Foundation

Peet's Coffee & Tea

Meredith & David Pfeffer

The Sereno Group

Silicon Valley Risk & Insurance Svcs. 


 Thank you to our generous donors for making Science Outreach Program and other projects possible:

Anonymous (2)

Brin Wojcicki Foundation

KC Family Foundation

Koret Foundation

Palo Alto Community Foundation
Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund
Pearlstein Family Foundation
Penner Family, Walton Family Fdn.
Rathmann Family Foundation
Yellow Chair Foundation 


Thank you to those who have donated to the JMZ Initiative 

(capital campaign):

Friends of the JMZ Board of Directors

Brin Wojcicki Foundation

William V. Campbell

Christensen Family

John & Allison Marston Danner Family Fund

David & Lucile Packard Foundation

John & Marcia Goldman Foundation

KC Family Foundation

Annette & Chop Keenan

Keith & Mariela Kleiner Charitable Fund

Koch Family Fund

LaureL Foundation

Ludwick Family Foundation

Page Family Foundation

Peery Foundation

Rathmann Family Foundation

William H. Draper III & Phyllis C. Draper Fund

William Reller

Sereno Properties Palo Alto

Mary Hughes & Joe Simitian

Ted & Michele Wang

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Yellow Chair Foundation

Photo by Veronica Weber
The Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoois a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo. Our public/private partnership with the City of Palo Alto provides families with a creative and nurturing environment for kids to learn about science. Thank you for your continued support!