Connecting People, Animals and the Natural World
How do you experience the Minnesota Zoo? What’s your favorite trail or program?
For many, it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends seeing and learning about the over 5,000 amazing, diverse animals we house. A visit to the Minnesota Zoo puts us in touch with nature and allows us to step into another world for a short time.
For Edie Ernst it is all that and more. Edie started coming to the Zoo in 1994 and continues to be a member and regular visitor. Like most of us, she fell in love with many of the animals and wanted to learn more. To feed her curiosity, she has participated in numerous Zoo programs like Back-Stage Pass, adult classes, overnights, lectures and even traveled to Africa with the Zoo.
Edie also enjoys the peaceful moments at the Zoo. Each time she visits, she takes her time and strolls through the exhibits, frequently sitting quietly to observe and learn from each animal—her favorites being the otters and bears.
A few years ago, Edie made a donation to sponsor a bench by the bison exhibit that is dedicated in memory of her parents. It is now a favorite stop on her regular Zoo visits.
We love the moment of awestruck wonder when a child comes face to face with a grizzly bear for the first time or giggles as a penguin darts through the water, but we sometimes forget how amazing that experience can be for adults as well. Edie enjoys this same feeling each time she visits. She says, “I have a connection to the animals and I love spending time with them.”
That is why Edie has chosen to give back to the Zoo. She makes annual gifts and has included the Minnesota Zoo Foundation as a beneficiary of her estate. She wants to be sure that these amazing animals continue to thrive here and in the wild for years to come. Her gift supports the Zoo’s mission to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.
“This is my Zoo and I’m happy that I can do my part for the animals. I hope others will do the same.”