In 1959, Arnott Folsom had a vision to create a family destination where thousands of children and adults could interact with nature. With a donation from himself and his wife as well as the help from community leaders, Lincoln Children's Zoo was founded. Opened in the summer of 1965, the Zoo became a place where children could get up‐close to animals and surround themselves in scenic gardens.
Today, Arnott Folsom's vision has grown and in the process positively impacted generations of families in the community. Lincoln Children's Zoo is home to over 400 animals, more than 40 of which are endangered. In 2017, more than 230,000 people visited the Zoo, making it the third most visited arts and science attraction in Nebraska and the first in the city of Lincoln. All of this is part of fulfilling the Zoo’s mission “to enrich lives through firsthand interaction with living things.”