In a partnership spanning nearly 20 years, The Tilles Foundation has provided over $560,000 in grants to the Saint Louis Zoo. The result has been a more inclusive and informed St. Louis community.

The Saint Louis Zoo, its visitors and students around the world have greatly benefited from the longstanding partnership of The Tilles Foundation. It has supported a variety of projects and programs focused on accessibility and inclusion for all Zoo visitors––whether they ever step foot in St. Louis or not.

The impact of The Tilles Foundation extends far beyond the walls of the Zoo. Thanks to this partnership, the Zoo was able to create, construct and outfit a stand-alone Distance Learning Studio in its Education Department. This studio gives Zoo educators access to professional equipment and the ability to share their message of conservation with students across the United States as well as in North and South America, Africa, and Asia.

Most recently, The Tilles Foundation and the Zoo teamed up with San Diego Zoo Global to provide patients and their families the opportunity to see and learn about animals from around the world. This partnership provides a closed-circuit television adventure channel, called “San Diego Zoo Kids,” which can be seen by pediatric patients while in the hospital. The creation and development of the channel has been funded by businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford. A generous gift from The Tilles Foundation has made the channel available on television monitors in every patient room and in waiting areas at Mercy Children’s Hospital, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis. San Diego Zoo Kids’ programming offers family-friendly, animal-oriented stories that are both entertaining and educational, exclusively designed with pediatric patients, families and medical facilities in mind.

Additionally, grants from The Tilles Foundation to the Saint Louis Zoo have reduced challenges of mobility and accessibility regarding the Zooline Railroad and the animal buildings on Historic Hill, providing all visitors the opportunity to see, experience and learn about animals, regardless of ability.

For more about the Saint Louis Zoo, please visit