The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a powerhouse for the local economy producing millions of dollars every year. On Thursday, the city of Palm Desert announced it would be giving $1 million back to the nonprofit with taxpayer money.
CEO and President of the Living Desert, Allen Monroe, said they are extremely appreciative of the money but it doesn’t stop there. The Living Desert plans to reach out to other cities in the valley about support as well.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Michael Sliskevics, a customer at the Living Desert said about taxpayer money going to the zoo. “I mean, it’s something to do out here.”
Monroe said this is the first time the city of Palm Desert has allocated this sum of money to the zoo.
“We’re going to use the money from the city of Palm Desert to help grow our education and conservation programs,” Allen said. “Those are the two things that are really critical to us here at the Living Desert.”
In response to taxpayers who are not happy about the allocated money, Monroe said the decision was worth it because every year, the zoo generates about $50 million to help the local economy.
“We think of this as a great opportunity to build a partnership we have with the city,” Monroe said. “We think that we’re great neighbors, they help us out, we help them out.”
The $1 million check will be cut this month. In addition to the programs and maintenance costs, part of the deal was to change the “Brew at the Zoo” fundraiser name to “The Palm Desert Brew at the Zoo.”