News release from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo:
AEP Foundation Presents Major Gift to Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
(July 17, 2015) – Indiana Michigan Power on behalf of the AEP Foundation presented a gift of $75,000 to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo for renovation of the zoo’s Jungle Lab classroom earlier today.
“The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is a gem and we are lucky to have this world-class attraction right here in our community. Indiana Michigan Power and the AEP Foundation are more than pleased to provide support for the zoo and its mission to educate children through hands-on learning,” said Paul Chodak, I&M president and chief operating officer.
“We are always honored when organizations like the AEP Foundation choose to support the zoo’s community outreach,” said Zoo Director Jim Anderson. “This gift directly supports many important zoo education programs.”
The Jungle Lab classroom was built as part of the Indonesian Rain Forest in 1994. It currently hosts summer camps, workshops, and school programs. New curricula for inquiry-based science and math programs are under development for the renovated space. Renovations will take place this winter while the zoo is closed for the season.
The zoo receives no tax funding for improvements or operations, so donations such as this are important to the continued growth of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
“Each year, more than 35,000 children participate in zoo education programs,” said Cheryl Piropato, the zoo’s director of education and communications. “These funds will help us create an exciting space that will engage children and inspire learning.”
About the AEP Foundation
The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.
The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.
The Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.
About Indiana Michigan Power: Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 589,000 customers. It operates 2,600 MW of coal-fired generation in Indiana, 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan and 22 MW of hydro generation in both states. The company also provides its customers 450 MW of purchased wind generation.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
About the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo’s mission is to connect kids and animals, strengthen families, and inspire people to care. The zoo is northeast Indiana’s largest tourist attraction, hosting more than 500,000 guests annually. The zoo received the 2014 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, was voted Indiana’s #1 “Gotta-Do Summer Attraction,” and is consistently named one of the nation’s Top Ten Zoos for Kids by national media outlets.
The zoo is a conservation leader, contributing more than $80,000 annually to local, regional, and international efforts to protect wild animals and habitats, and participating in cooperative management programs for 91 endangered species and taxa. The zoo was named Northeast Indiana’s Sustainable Business of the Year in 2014.
As a self-supporting facility, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo receives no tax dollars for operations. The zoo’s operations are funded entirely by earned revenue and donations.
The zoo is open 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily; last admission 5:00 PM; exhibits, rides, & buildings close at 5:30 PM; grounds close at 6:00 PM. The zoo is open seven days a week through October 11, 2015. Admission is $14.00 for adults; $10.50 for seniors age 60+; and $9.00 for children ages 2-18. Babies age 1 and under and Zoo Society Members are admitted free.