1926 Society

That's when it all began...

In 1926, Spencer Penrose founded the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Spurred into action by a growing collection of animals with nowhere to put them, Penrose was inspired to create the “zoo on the mountain.” When he incorporated the Zoo as a non-profit public trust for the people of Colorado Springs, he could hardly have imagined that his small menagerie would someday become one of the finest private zoological parks in the country. 

Today, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is thriving, in no small part because of the unwavering community support we receive. Because the Zoo operates without any local or regional tax support, it is our friends and supporters who help us to achieve our mission of conservation, education and animal care. Over the years, many individuals and families have chosen to leave lasting gifts for the Zoo through gift planning and bequests, creating a unique way to leave their own legacy.


Meet Mari and Paul.


Do you have childhood memories of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo? ...Or have you created grown-up memories?  Paul Martinez and Mari Sinton-Martinez, pictured above, have been coming to the Zoo since they were kids.  As natives to Colorado Springs, Paul and Mari remember feeding the giraffes as children, sparking a life-long love of nature, wildlife, and the Zoo.  Now, decades later, Paul and Mari share that same experience with their nieces and nephews.

Says Mari: “For the past few decades, we have watched our Zoo grow and evolve to one of the top zoos in North America.  Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has proven to be not just a form of entertainment for the children of Colorado Springs,  but also a catalyst for the education of the community about the importance of animals in nature--both the ones we see everyday and those found on the endangered species list.  This has not been an easy task, as our Zoo is one of very few that does not receive any tax support to operate. It is our desire to see our Zoo continue its mission of education and conservation, and allow many more generations the opportunity to enjoy its beauty, as we do today.”

In order to provide for the Zoo’s future, Paul and Mari have made the Zoo a beneficiary in their will.  With this designation, they are proud members of the Zoo’s 1926 Society, formed to recognize those that have included the Zoo in their will or estate plans.

A planned gift for the Zoo is a gift to wildlife, to nature, and to all the families that visit.


Please join us.

Your membership in the 1926 Society is activated once you notify us that your estate plans include the Zoo. Membership includes exclusive activities and events.

Already included the Zoo in your estate plan?  Let Us Know!


For more information about planned giving or the 1926 Society, please contact Kelley Parker, Major GIfts adn Planned Giving Manager at 719-424-7846 or email kparker@cmzoo.org.