Community Outreach

In 2005, Audubon Nature Institute launched a special community relations program designed specifically to engage minority/underserved residents in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Since then, over 2.3 million minority/underserved visitors of all ages have experienced the wonders of nature through Audubon's family of parks and museums.

Through special partnerships with local businesses, schools, churches, health organizations and social service organizations, African American, Hispanic American and Asian American families are able to make life long connections to nature and enjoy family entertainment they would not otherwise be able to access.

Whether it be complimentary field trips for Title 1 schools, a health information booth at Soul Fest, a business expo for local minority owned businesses, a UNCF Walk for Education, or a citywide Easter Egg hunt, Audubon Nature Institute remains committed to the minority/underserved populations in our community.

Community Relations Report



| Category: About Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute History

Audubon Nature Institute is a 501(c)3 not for profit that operates a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. It has its roots in historic Audubon Park, a natural setting for family recreation since the 1800s, and Audubon Zoological Gardens, which evolved from a single flight cage built in 1916 to a 58-acre jewel ranking among the nation’s best zoos. Along the way, Audubon grew into a respected steward for economic leadership, conservation and environmental education.

Read the full story

| Category: About Audubon Nature Institute


Audubon Nature Institute is committed to transparency. As a successful example of the public/private partnership model, Audubon values its role as a steward of the public trust. A fiscally responsible 501(c)3 non-profit, Audubon Nature Institute is an enduring and ethical community partner which effectively manages its collection of attractions and facilities on behalf of the City of New Orleans.



Audubon Nature Institute Board and Commission Manuals

Charity Navigator
Audubon Nature Institute's rating from Charity Navigator 

Fight Fraud
Contact the Louisiana Legislative Auditor Hotline if you suspect the misappropriation, fraud, waste or abuse of public funds.

| Category: About Audubon Nature Institute

Capital Projects

Magic, wonder, connection—Audubon Nature Institute attractions inspire these feelings. Connection to nature; a sense of wonder at the incredible world around us; the magic of the continuing circle of life—each visit to an Audubon attraction is filled with all this.

Audubon's guests have grown to expect the sense of wonder that comes with the discovery of new and exciting features. These capital projects are important for a number of reasons. New features throughout Audubon Nature Institute generate visitation, which in turn generates revenue to keep Audubon at the leading edge of conservation, education and quality family attractions. New projects implement the latest in enrichment and technology, incorporating newest and best practices in management for Audubon's cherished collection of animals, many of which are critical to breeding programs to stem the tide of extinction. These projects also fuel the economy of our region, providing jobs and economic impact.

2016 – 2017 Completed Projects:

  • Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Building
  • Cooper Plaza Elephant Fountain Sculptures and Mechanical
  • Audubon Zoo Asian Domain
  • Audubon Park Jogging Path resurfacing

Capital Projects in Construction:

  • Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife Phase I
  • Cooper Plaza Rockwork
  • Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Planetarium and Entry Gates
  • Audubon Park Shelter 11 and Shelter 12
  • Jaguar Jungle II with nocturnal house

Capital Projects Planned for the Future:

  • Lions
  • Penguin Parade
  • Shark Touch Pool and Shark Tank
  • Wetlands Gallery
  • Lobby and Related


  • 2017: Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Building and nature trails open. Elephant fountain renovations are completed at the Zoo.
  • 2016: New Elephant exhibit and Bamboo Village Asian Discovery Trail opens at the Zoo.
  • 2015: New Orangutan exhibit opens at the Zoo.
  • 2014: Great Maya Reef opens at the Aquarium.
  • 2013: Geaux Fish! exhibit opens at the Aquarium.
  • 2011: Cool Zoo opens at the Zoo; Parakeet Pointe opens at the Aquarium.
  • 2010: Audubon Aquatic Center was the critical care unit for animals rescued by the oil spill.
  • 2008: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is the first major attraction to open in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, adding more fun and foot traffic to Canal Street.
  • 2006: Audubon Aquarium reopens the following spring with the joyous return of its penguins, signaling recovery is indeed underway.
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina is a heart-stopping milestone. In November, tears flow as Audubon Zoo welcomes weary residents back to their Zoo in an emotional homecoming.
  • 2003: Audubon invites educators and community groups to take advantage of the Jeri and Robert Nims Community Center, a community meeting room and resource center at Audubon Zoo.
  • 2001: Guests are welcomed into the heart of Audubon Zoo with a dynamic new front gate, including a palm-line promenade and a large, colorful flock of flamingos.
  • 2001: The challenging Audubon Golf Course changes the face of golfing in New Orleans when it is renovated and opened to the public in Audubon Park.
  • 2000 : An Audubon Park tradition is renewed with the construction of Audubon Tea Room, replacing an iconic building destroyed by fire in the 1970s.
  • 1998: A stunning example of innovation in immersive exhibitry, Jaguar Jungle opens at Audubon Zoo with spider monkeys, anteaters and jaguars within a setting filled with authentic reproductions of ancient Central American structures.
  • 1996: Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species brings new focus to the Survival Center. The Research Center logs 26 scientific firsts and earns Audubon Nature Institute worldwide accolades in conservation.
  • 1995: Entergy IMAX® Theatre opens on the New Orleans Riverfront.
  • 1994: Audubon assumes operation of Louisiana Nature Center.
  • 1993: Audubon opens a secluded 1200-acre breeding center for endangered species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.
  • 1990: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas opens and introduces family tourism to downtown New Orleans.
  • 1986: Voters approve a $25 million bond issue to build Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located in a brand new space that took the dilapidated New Orleans riverfront and, for the first time, opened it up and renovated it so everyone could enjoy it.
  • 1960s – 1970s: Audubon Zoo suffers severe disrepair. The public demands closure unless changes happen. Friends of the Zoo forms, and Audubon Zoo is on its way to world-class. As a private, not-for-profit, Audubon Zoo generates operating funds from revenue earned, managing the Zoo (and future attractions and facilities) on behalf of the City of New Orleans. Cities nationwide take notice as the Zoo opens natural habitat exhibits where animals thrive and attendance soars.
| Category: About Audubon Nature Institute

AZA Accreditation

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science and recreation. As part of AZA's mandatory accreditation process, AZA members like Audubon Nature Institute meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, veterinary care, wildlife conservation, scientific research, education, expert staffing and safety.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums—such as Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas—are leaders in the protection of endangered species. Twenty years ago, AZA established the Species Survival Plan Program™ (SSP), which is a long-term plan involving conservation breeding, habitat preservation, public education, field conservation, and supportive research to ensure survival for many of the planet's threatened and endangered species. Currently, AZA members are involved in 116 SSPs working on behalf of 172 species.

Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.

AZA Accreditation Standards

In December 2015 Audubon Zoo received the AZA Quarter Century Award recognizing the Zoo’s 25 years of continuous accreditation. The award states “Audubon Zoo’s dedication to best modern zoological practices and philosophies is a hallmark of AZA accreditation, and we applaud your continuous commitment to uphold AZA standards and policies.”

| Category: About Audubon Nature Institute