Leadership Stockton project looks to improve zoo

Leadership Stockton works on demolition for their Micke Grove Revitalization project, the first step of many. PHOTO COURTESY BY KRISTI CAPRA
Leadership Stockton works on demolition for their Micke Grove Revitalization project, the first step of many. Photo courtesy by Kristi Capra

Four Delta College employees among class members hoping to raise $70,000 for Micke Grove

Leadership Stockton’s current class of 24 community members are fundraising to revitalize the stage area in the back of Micke Grove Zoo by next summer, in order to give back to the city.

Four class members from Delta are part of the project. 

Jordan Harless, Kristi Capra, Mario Vasquez and Raquel Romero have reached out to campus as part of the fundraising efforts. The intent is to raise $70,000.

“It’s really funny what people do when you just simply ask them, you know you have a good cause and you want it supported, people are usually willing to give you something for that,” said Capra, an adjunct English professor, who primarily teaches online courses.

Vasquez is a police sergeant for Delta police. Romero is a Student Programs Assistant at Delta.

The group considered other projects, including revamping the local animal shelter or a park.

According to Associate Professor and Learning Centers Coordinator Jordan Harless, “sweat equity” was something the group wanted to get out of the project. Leadership Stockton found this in the Micke Grove revitalization project because of the hands-on work. 

The project has been described as an adoption of the zoo’s dilapidated amphitheater area so it can be used for animal demonstration and education once again. The area besides the stage includes mews, children’s play space, and birthday party tables, and shade structures.

A mew is a resting space for animals who spend most of the day socializing with zookeepers.

Capra said the zoo focuses on animal rescue, not animal exploitation. 

Capra mentioned the bald eagle at Micke Grove is disabled and would die if released into a natural habitat. 

So far, the project has undergone the first demolition last weekend and is scheduled for another one. 

“Micke Grove is really cool because the five acres of land that it sits on her in a trust and not five acres that encompasses you have to remain a zoo no matter what … they have a board of directors and their brand new it’s great I think new leadership helps, but they were struggling with their fundraising efforts in these for projects,” said Harless. 

Stockton Chamber of Commerce’s annual agenda for Leadership Stockton is reach out for people who are active in the community and want to give back. Those chosen meet once a month for eight hours, learn more about our local infrastructure, government system and school system. Finally, the class chooses a project to fundraise for and work on.

The class encompasses people from all industries, not just education.

Leftover funds after the project is finished will be donated to securing new animals for the zoo. 

According to Harless, Micke Grove has missed out on adopting a few animals because they did not have enough funds at the time. The group hopes any additional funds can provide extra support to the zoo. 

Leadership Stockton’s Class of 2020 graduating next summer plans to walk on the stage they build, according to Capra.

The idea behind helping the zoo is to further animal education in the community. 

Capra and Harless both mentioned Micke Grove’s intention of bussing animals to schools for children who are unable to make it to the zoo. 

Ways that students can assist with this project is to reach out to Leadership Stockton’s Facebook page to volunteer, and donate to the group’s GoFundMe page.


Find out more about the Leadership Stockton class of 2020 Micke Grove Zoo project by visiting: 


• gofundme.com/mickegrove