Capital Campaign - The Pride Of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Capital Campaign - The Pride Of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.

Capital Campaign: The Pride of the Desert. Invest in The Living Desert’s Future

History of the Project:

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens broke ground on May 3, 2017 to mark the start of the three phase, $30 million capital project – The Pride of the Desert – in support of our critical enhancement and expansion program. Phase 1 – Crossroads of Conservation presents a new welcome plaza, visitors services and gift shop. Generous leadership gifts from campaign co-chairs, Patti and Jack Grundhofer, Connie and Bob Lurie and Suzan and Bill Appel, and the The Living Desert Board of Trustees spearheaded the project. The new entrance opened to the public November 2018.

Phase 1

Now Open!

It’s time to stretch our horizons. The Coachella Valley is growing and so is our attendance. Our guests expect exceptional animal care and bigger, more natural exhibits, increased species conservation efforts in the wild and more conservation education. Therefore, we must make investments in three key areas: capacity, engagement and conservation. Expanding our capacity includes modernizing and upgrading the guest experience.

Our new Patti and Jack Grundhofer Plaza – The Crossroads of Conservation – will welcome more than 500,000 guests each year, providing new conveniences and amenities including the Suzan and Bill Appel Gift Shop. Visitors will be greeted by animal keepers, informed and engaged volunteer conservation ambassadors, and integrated technologies to guide and inspire people of all ages.

Financial commitments required: $10 million

Phase 2

lions, Rhinos and hyenas

The Living Desert is planning on growing our family. We know guests expect our work to further the impact on global wildlife initiatives and accelerate our ability to make a difference in the world. Therefore, we will deepen our commitment to global conservation by introducing new African species to our care. This will give us all more opportunity to learn about and protect these majestic species such as the lion, rhino and hyena. Expanded animal habitats will enable guests to have an up-close and personal experience with animals in our care, awakening a connection with nature to inspire future agents of conservation.

Financial commitments required: $15 million

Phase 3

Community and Event Center

We want to bring guests even closer to the action. The Living Desert will create a gathering place, supported in part by a generous gift from Connie and Bob Lurie, for education programs and community events that includes a glass wall looking directly into the lions’ habitat, bringing guests right into the world of the king of the jungle!

Financial commitments required: $5 million


Please fill out the form below if you would like to learn more about The Living Desert's new plans for people, plants, and animals and to get a sneak peek at park's future.

Naming Opportunities

We invite you to publicly show your commitment to the mission of The Living Desert by considering naming a section of the new park. These range from $50,000 to $10 million.

Thank You

  • to our current Pride Members who have chosen a naming opportunity.
  • Patti and Jack Grundhofer Plaza
  • Suzan and Bill Appel Gift Shop
  • Connie and Bob Lurie Event Center

The Pride

  • Thank you to our Pride members!
  • Patti and Jack Grundhofer
  • Suzan and Bill Appel
  • Connie and Bob Lurie
  • City of Palm Desert

your opportunity

  • Lion Savannah Habitat
  • Lion Crossing Bridge
  • Crossroads of Conservation Interior Plaza
  • Rhino Savannah
  • Digital Visitor Center
  • Lion Experience Pavilion
  • Hyena Habitat
  • Lion Enrichment Experience
  • Rhino Overlook
  • Animals of the Savannah Habitat
  • Guest Services Building
  • Main Shuttle Station
  • Lion Viewing Windows
  • Keeper Chat Plaza
  • Donor Recognition Wall

Call (760) 340-5865 or email to schedule your private tour to see what we have accomplished and how you can be a part of the future of The Living Desert.