BioPark Society History
(formerly the New Mexico Zoological Society)
In January 2006 the New Mexico Zoological Society (in existance since 1969) and the Friends of the Aquarium and Botanic Garden merged to become the New Mexico BioPark Society (NMBPS). The NMBPS supports not only the Rio Grande Zoo, but the Albuquerque Aquarium, Rio Grande Botanic Garden and Tingly Beach as well.
Unifying the two organizations created an opportunity for two successful, mission-driven organizations to provide increased financial support to all four facilities that comprise the Albuquerque BioPark.
The NMBPS raises funds from donations received from private foundations, individuals, businesses, fundraising events, state lobbying efforts, grants, and special fundraising campaigns. Since 1969 the organization has contributed over $10 million to the Zoo and, since 1993, more than $2 million to the Botanic Garden and Aquarium.
Through the support of donors, the Society has purchased animals, equipment for the veterinary clinic and the education department, art to enhance the BioPark, and has partially funded the renovation of many exhibits including Tropical America, Africa, Koala Creek, the Children’s Fantasy Garden, the Aquarium front entrance remodel, the Jelly Fish Exhibit, Heritage Farm, Inukshuk Bay (the polar bear habitat) and much more. Additional support has included funding the Animal Encounters Bird Show and, most recently, the Rio Line train that connects the Zoo to the Aquarium and Garden. The NMBPS is currently responsible for funding the BioVan, a free school outreach program and is involved in raising funds for the Insectarium and related education outreach.
The Society produces the annual Run for the Zoo, the largest road race of its kind in the State of New Mexico, in which 10,000 individuals participate. It provides the major funding and administration for the annual holiday classic -- the River of Lights -- and works cooperatively with BioPark staff to present the Summer Concerts at both the Zoo and the Botanic Garden. The membership program for the Albuquerque BioPark is administered by the Society and the Society produces the popular Feast with the Beast and Roar and Snore programs. The BioPark Parent program is administered by the Society.
Like many zoological parks and gardens throughout the world, the BioPark is supported by public funds. But, also like other great facilities everywhere, additional assistance is necessary to enhance the experience and provide the “icing on the cake” that distinguishes a good park from an exciting and innovative one – a true world-class facility.
The New Mexico BioPark Society is dedicated to ensuring that its facilities continue to exhibit the best. NMBPS is committed to assisting the BioPark's outstanding educational programs, its efforts regarding international animal conservation and its innovative research.
There is a lot going on at the BioPark and the NMBPS provides the extra support to help make it all happen.
The NMBPS is a not-for-profit corporation under the laws of the State of New Mexico, and is tax exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is governed by a 19-member, volunteer Board of Directors, whose members are elected annually by the NMBPS membership. Since 1998 NMBPS has been managed by Executive Director, Julie Miller Rugg. The Society staff has seven members. Current membership in the Society represents over 60,000 individuals.
© 2014 New Mexico BioPark Society • 903 10th Street SW • Albuquerque, NM 87102 • 505.764.6280 Home