New membership program for Henry Vilas Zoo

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A new membership program at the Henry Vilas Zoo will have its proceeds go directly to supporting the zoo.

Dane County officials announced the program's launch on Thursday.

The zoo's admission will still be free.

The Conservation Club membership program will have 100 percent of its proceeds to benefit zoo operations and conservation efforts. Half of the proceeds will directly support wildlife conservation.

To sign up click here

Other membership perks include gift shop discounts and invitation to member-only events.

“For the first time ever, the Henry Vilas Zoo will have a membership program that directly benefits our zoo animals and conservation efforts for their counterparts in the wild,"said Executive Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz. "I can think of no better way for our community to join in our efforts to support animal welfare and conservation both locally and globally."

“The Henry Vilas Zoo is a community treasure, and we are happy to launch the Conservation Club to provide community members with a new way to support the zoo and become more involved with its offerings,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

The Conservation Club has four membership levels.


  • Advocate: $35 per year
  • Family: $75 per year, includes discounts on education programs, a 24-ride punch card for the zoo’s train and carousel
  • Guardian: $150 per year, discounts on behind-the-scenes tours, access member-only events with entire family and up to two guests.
  • Curator: $250 per year, VIP access and exclusive benefits.

All Conservation Club memberships include:


  • A 10% discount at the Glacier Grille and the gift shop
  • Discounted admission at over 150 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums throughout the United States
  • Subscription to the Henry Vilas Zoo e-newsletter
  • Invitation to member-only events, including Zoo Lights festivities and bleacher programs