By: Taylor Christensen
One of the main attractions on UF’s campus, the Mazza Museum, has partnered with the Toledo Zoo to open a mini gallery in the zoo’s ProMedica Museum of Natural History. The gallery was made possible by contributions from the museum on Findlay’s campus. Offering a cool, comfortable place to relax away from the zoo, the exhibit is a must-see attraction for all ages.
Benjamin Sapp, the Director of the Mazza Museum, stated that Jeff Sailer, the Executive Director of the Toledo Zoo, came to the museum about a year ago. Around that time, Sailer suggested a partnership with the zoo to bring the Mazza Museum to Toledo.
“We are very excited, we’re honored to be a part of that,” said Sapp.
Sapp is hopeful that this new partnership with the zoo will help bring in a new audience to the University.
“The hope is that the folks that visit the zoo will then learn about the Mazza Museum and the University of Findlay because of that,” Sapp said.
Senior Director of Advancement, Karen George, expressed her gratitude towards the Toledo Zoo for recognizing the museum.
“For me, it’s just being able to be a part of something as big and nationally recognized as the Toledo Zoo,” said George. “The fact that they are working with the University of Findlay and are excited about it. We know that this is a wonderful, special partnership that is very unique, and we don’t take it for granted.”
Sapp and George have been working on making it possible to offer the Universities resources to the group of teenage volunteers, which are called ZOOTeens.
“We are going to be a resource for them there. But also give the opportunity for them to come here to UF’s campus, to show them programs that the University has to offer,” Sapp said.
“The whole idea is we want to build a mutually beneficial partnership along the way,” said George.
Along with working on offering resources to the ZOOTeens, Sapp and George have been making efforts to create an educational environment at the new mini gallery at the Toledo Zoo.
“Ben has been working with some artists, so that we can do some book signings at the zoo,” George says.
Sapp and George are also actively planning to have an event for the students at UF and visitors at the zoo.
“We’re hoping that towards the end of our academic year, we can add a fun-day Sunday event or two at the zoo,” George said.
This collaboration is making a dream a reality for the Mazza team, they have been so excited about the opportunities this partnership has to offer.
“We are just so very blessed to be a part of this, and the doors that already have been opened and those that are yet to be open are very exciting for this collaboration. And one that we are looking forward to be a part of for years to come,” Sapp said.