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Partial Early Closing Sept. 1: Areas of the Zoo will close at 1 p.m. in preparation for Grapes with the Apes. More information can be found on the Hours page.

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Memorials and Honoraria

Commemorative Benches

memorial bench

A commemorative bench at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is a thoughtful and distinctive way to recognize a special person or occasion. In addition to being a meaningful honor, commemorative benches help beautify the Zoo and enhance the visitor experience. Funds raised from commemorative benches help FONZ support the Zoo’s mission to save species.

Available in several locations around the Zoo, benches remain on grounds year-round and last for many years. Benches can be personalized with a message of the donor’s choosing on a 10-inch by 5-inch bronze and copper plaque. Prominently installed on the front of the bench, plaque inscriptions may be up to four lines with 20 characters per line, including punctuation.

A commemorative bench may be ordered for a 100 percent tax-deductible donation of $5,000. Donors should allow approximately 10 weeks from the day the donation is received for their bench to be placed in the park.

If you have questions or would like to make arrangements for a commemorative bench, please contact us, or call us at 202-633-3042.

Please make checks out for commemorative benches payable to "Friends of the National Zoo" and  send to the address below. Please note the name or occasion that your donation honors in the memo portion of your check. 

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ)
Membership Department
P.O. Box 37012 MRC 5516
Washington, DC 20013-7012