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Foundation Grant Supports Study to Explore Potential Zoo-Butterfly House Partnership

A grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation will support a study to explore the operational feasibility and potential economic impact of a possible formal partnership between the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly House & Aquarium.

The grant was announced yesterday at City Hall, where plans to explore a possible formal partnership were introduced to the community.

The study will be contracted with Zoo Advisors. In addition to analyzing the operational feasibility and sustainability of the partnership, the study will also seek to ascertain how the new business model would affect our community's economy while also further establishing the zoo as a destination for tourism to Sioux Falls.

Patrick Gale, the Foundation’s vice president for community investment, called the potential partnership a “win-win” for Sioux Falls and the region.

“The Foundation and our donors have a long history of supporting the great work of both the Butterfly House and the Great Plains Zoo — two organizations who do so much to enrich and enhance the vitality of our community,” Gale said. “So when we heard the idea for a possible partnership, we knew we wanted to help bring the idea to light by supporting this study. We’re excited to see how joining together might allow these two nonprofits to make an even greater impact.”

A Long History of Collaboration

The Foundation has multi-faceted, long-standing collaborative partnerships with both the Zoo and the Butterfly House. From organizational endowments which provide sustainable annual support, to its competitive grant-making programs, to support provided through donor advised charitable funds, “it’s been an honor for us to help these two organizations advance their missions,” Gale said. “We look forward to the results of this study and what a potential partnership could mean for our region.”