Wild Applause

Louisiana Seafood

Thank you to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board for generously sponsoring the Summer of Sustainability, a dinner series created by Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) program to highlight the bounty and diversity of local, sustainable seafood prepared by some of the city’s best chefs. In addition to supporting the event series as the title sponsor, Louisiana Seafood is also providing the delicious seafood being served at the dinners.

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board was created by the State of Louisiana in 1984 to support Louisiana’s world-class commercial fisheries industry and respond to changes in the marketplace and in the environment. The Board supports Louisiana’s seafood industries, promotes Louisiana seafood locally as well as globally, and gives consumers the resources to make informed decisions when purchasing seafood in grocery stores or in restaurants.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board for supporting Audubon’s Summer of Sustainability series and making a lasting difference for our local fisheries. Thank you!

The final dinner in the 2016 Summer of Sustainability series will be held on September 15.

Fertel Family and the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation

Thank you to the Fertel family and the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation for their generous support as sponsor of Audubon Zoo’s Junior Keeper youth development program. The program is open to rising 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students.

Through a wide variety of volunteer experiences, the program encourages hands-on learning, creativity, teamwork, a sense of stewardship towards the environment, and the development of work place and life skills. Learn more about Audubon’s youth development programs here.
The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation – established in the will of Ruth’s Chris Steak House founder Ruth Fertel – supports high-impact education initiatives in Louisiana. It gave away $1.2 million in 2006 after Katrina, including a grant to Audubon Nature Institute. Audubon truly appreciates the Foundation’s incredible generosity and support over the years.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation for supporting education at Audubon and throughout our community. Thank you!

Whitney Bank

Thank you to Whitney Bank, a longtime supporter of Audubon Nature Institute, for their commitment as presenting sponsor of Zoo-To-Do since 2010. In its 39 years, Whitney Zoo-To-Do has generated more than $20 million for Audubon Zoo projects. Proceeds from the 2016 Zoo-To-Do events will celebrate the restoration of the Zoo’s Tropical Bird House, breathing new life into the historic Odenheimer area of the Zoo.

"Whitney Bank is very proud to partner with Audubon Nature Institute. The funds raised in support of Whitney Zoo-To-Do continuously help underwrite new and necessary enhancements to Audubon Zoo for locals and tourists to enjoy,'' said Whitney Bank Regional Market President Gary Lorio.

By making this crucial fundraiser possible, Whitney Bank has an immeasurable impact on Audubon’s ability to grow and thrive. Because of Whitney, Audubon is able to educate and inspire millions of visitors from Louisiana and across the globe each year.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to Whitney Bank for making such a difference for Audubon and our community. Thank you!

Jeffrey Feil and the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Under the Will of Louis Feil

Thank you to Jeffrey Feil and the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Under the Will of Louis Feil for generously donating $1 million in support of the education pavilion in Audubon Zoo’s new Asian elephant exhibit. This incredible gift was key to the construction of an elevated education pavilion that provides Zoo visitors a birds-eye view of the new home for Panya and Jean, Audubon Zoo’s beloved Asian elephants.

In addition to offering plenty of shade for visitors and elephants alike, the education pavilion is an engaging, Asian-themed interpretive center where Zoo educators will display artifacts and host chats with guests.

The Feil family, whose local commercial holdings include Lakeside Shopping Center, Lakeway Center office complex, and the Galleria office building in Metairie, has long been a fixture in the New Orleans area business community. Audubon Nature Institute is so grateful that they have chosen to invest in the Zoo with such a meaningful gift.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to the Feils for making this exciting new addition to Audubon Zoo possible. Thank you!

Robert Steeg and Family

Thank you to Robert Steeg and family for partnering with Audubon to provide memberships to disadvantaged families in our community. Because of a generous donation in memory of Robert’s father Moise Steeg, Jr., a longtime supporter of Audubon who was instrumental in the initial creation of Woldenberg Park, Audubon is able to work with three local community organizations to grant memberships to families who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

An annual membership will provide these children and families with incredible access to one-of-a-kind educational experiences, introduce them to animals and cultures from all over the globe, and inspire them to care for our natural world, all while creating lasting family memories.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to Robert Steeg and family for sharing the wonders of nature with our community. Thank you!

Barbara Gervis and the Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation

Thank you to Barbara Gervis and the Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation for sponsoring the launch of Audubon’s Every Family program, which will develop innovative learning experiences for guests with special learning needs.

Current statistics suggest that as many as one in every 15 families in the Greater New Orleans area includes a member with special learning needs. There is a lack of meaningful programming for learning-diverse audiences at informal educations centers that offer free-choice learning activities (such as museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers) in the New Orleans area, but through the Every Family program, Audubon can work with the community to address that need.

An advisory council with experts from Tulane School of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, and Easter Seals of Louisiana is working with Audubon to evaluate the program’s efforts. Audubon’s goal is to one day share what we learn from developing the program with other free-choice learning centers in New Orleans, like museums and recreational centers.

Let’s all give a round of wild applause to Barbara Gervis and the Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation for making this exciting new program possible. Thank you!


Thank you to CITGO for partnering with Audubon Nature Institute through their Caring for the Coast initiative! CITGO is promoting environmental education in the Greater New Orleans Area by sponsoring teacher workshops, field trips, and outreach vehicle visits from Audubon educators in the 2015-2016 school year. The programming, focusing on coastal and wetlands environments and conservation, is available free to grade 3-6 classes in New Orleans East, St. Bernard Parish, and St. Tammany Parish.

Partnering with schools in these areas will help Audubon ensure that future educational curriculum at the new Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is tailored to the needs of the local education community.

CITGO is also supporting Audubon’s efforts to replant native trees at the Nature Center in areas where invasive Chinese tallow trees have been cleared, a critical component of restoring the hardwood bottomland forest habitat surround the Nature Center facility. Thank you, CITGO!

The new Audubon Louisiana Nature Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

Tulane Health System

Thank you to Tulane Health System for their commitment to Audubon Nature Institute and to the families of New Orleans. As the next step in a longstanding partnership with Audubon, Tulane Health System is the new presenting sponsor of the @Audubon e-newsletter and will be sharing a new Fit Family Fun Fact in the newsletter each month.

And, Tulane is teaming up with Audubon to throw New Orleans’ premier fundraising event for kids and families, Zoo-To-Do for Kids presented by Tulane Pediatrics. Come to Audubon Zoo on April 29, 2016 for an evening of food, games, and fun for the whole family! 

Let’s all give a round of wild applause for Tulane Health System, our zoopendous partners who are ensuring that the families of New Orleans can be healthy, happy, and celebrating the wonders of nature for generations to come.

The Van der Linden Family

Thank you to the Van der Linden family, who sponsored the new orangutan exhibit in Audubon Zoo in memory of Ryan David Reaves, the grandson of longtime Audubon supporters Bernard and Elaine Van der Linden. Ryan loved animals, especially orangutans and meerkats.

The Audubon orangutan family—mom Feliz, dad Berani, and daughter Menari—have moved into their new, more spacious exhibit in Audubon Zoo’s Asian Domain. The new exhibit across from Cooper Plaza is 6,800 square-feet with climbing structures that reach as high as 45 feet, allowing them to look out over the Zoo, Audubon Park, and even the Mississippi River.

Audubon is grateful to the Van der Lindens for helping Feliz, Berani, and Menari swing into their beautiful new home, and we are humbled to be a part of honoring Ryan’s memory in this special way. Thank you again to Bernard and Elaine Van der Linden, and to the entire Van der Linden family, for celebrating the wonders of nature with Audubon.

Greater New Orleans Foundation and Gert Town Community Development Center

For three weeks this summer, Audubon Zoo Summer Camp welcomed campers from the Gert Town community of New Orleans through a special grant provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation Gert Town Community Fund.

Zoo Camp offers kids an incredible summer experience filled with learning and active fun at Audubon Zoo. During each of the three one-week sessions, 9-12 kids from Gert Town attended Camp, with some kids attending multiple sessions. Reverend Kaseem Short, Executive Director of the Gert Town Community Development Center, assisted Audubon with outreach to the families of Gert Town and arranged transportation to and from Audubon Zoo, ensuring that interested families were able to participate.

Thank you to the Greater New Orleans Foundation Gert Town Community Fund, the Gert Town Community Development Center, and Reverend Short for helping Audubon share the wonders of nature with the children of Gert Town!

Coralie Arcement-Buffone

For Coralie Arcement-Buffone, “Cora” to her friends, it all began with seeing an ad for volunteers in the paper. “I had been certified for a few years and had some dives under my belt,” she remembers. Before long, Cora was diving in the Caribbean Reef—now Great Maya Reef—exhibit as part of the first group of volunteer divers at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Today, more than 25 years after that first dive, Cora is as enthusiastic as ever about her Audubon experience.

“I’m amazed at what Audubon has been able to do in the City of New Orleans.” She cherishes helping make the Audubon magic happen. “I volunteer my time, am a member, and donate to the Annual Fund because by doing so, I enable Audubon to continue these efforts. It makes me feel good to be a part of that.”

Audubon Nature Institute truly appreciates the support and dedication of the incredible members of the Audubon family, like Cora, who make everything we do possible. Thank you to Cora and to all of the Audubon volunteers!

The New Orleans Pelicans

On November 7, 2014 the New Orleans Pelicans announced the launch of Quest for the Coast presented by Chevron on the team’s mobile app. In addition to adding a game to the Pelicans app, the organization is hoping to provide a fun, engaging way to educate fans about the coastal issues affecting not only New Orleans and Louisiana, but the entire Gulf South.

Pelican Coast Clothing

During Summer 2014, Pelican Coast Clothing generously donated 20% of online sales to Audubon Nature Institute when customers shopped with a special code. Pelican Coast offers a variety of classic, locally made clothing items for men and boys, including ties, shirts, pants, belts, and fishing wear. Thanks to the Pelican Coast team for their support!