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Resolution RS2020-193

A Resolution honoring Rick Schwartz for his 30 years of service to the Nashville Zoo.

WHEREAS, Mr. Rick Schwartz has been a dedicated advocate for the world of conservation for over thirty years; and

WHEREAS, in 1989, Mr. Schwartz lent his expertise to a group of Nashvillians who wanted to create a local Zoo; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Schwartz became the director and primary architect of the Nashville Zoo in 1990, where he has built facilities, designed exhibits, and worked with animal experts around the world to develop the outstanding collection of species represented at the Nashville Zoo; and

WHEREAS, the Nashville Zoo opened to the public in 1991 in Cheatham County as a small, private operation before moving to its current location at Grassmere in 1996; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Schwartz has overseen the Zoo’s growth to an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)-accredited facility that hosts more than one million visitors each year; and

WHEREAS, under his leadership, the Nashville Zoo has received multiple awards including Excellence in Construction Awards for its Entry Village, Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear exhibition, and the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center; an AZA Top Honors International Conservation Award for the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center, an AZA Top Honors Exhibit Award for its Expedition Peru exhibition, and an AZA Innovation in Education Award for the Zoo’s partnership with Croft Middle School; and

WHEREAS, under his leadership, the Nashville Zoo completed the first successful artificial insemination of a clouded leopard in 1992, and the first birth of a clouded leopard using artificial insemination and cryopreservation in 2016; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Schwartz himself has been named Outstanding Nashvillian by the Kiwanis Club of Nashville in 2005, a Most Admired CEO finalist by the Nashville Business Journal in 2012, and a Salute to Excellence CEO of the Year finalist by the Center for Nonprofit management in 2012; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, the Nashville Zoo had over one million visitors, making it one of the year’s most visited attraction in Nashville; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council go on record as recognizing Mr. Schwartz’s 30 years of service to the Nashville Zoo and recognize his contributions to Nashville.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring Rick Schwartz for his 30 years of service to the Nashville Zoo.

Section 2. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Courtney Johnston, Brett Withers, Russ Bradford, Tonya Hancock, John Rutherford, Larry Hagar, Freddie O'Connell, Bob Nash, Erin Evans, Burkley Allen, Russ Pulley, Jeff Syracuse, Ginny Welsch, Sharon Hurt, Kyonzté Toombs, Steve Glover, Nancy VanReece, Colby Sledge, Thom Druffel, Zulfat Suara, Sandra Sepulveda, Joy Styles, Jonathan Hall, Zachary Young, Emily Benedict, Jennifer Gamble, Kevin Rhoten, Robert Swope, Thomas Cash, Gloria Hausser, Delishia Porterfield, Sean Parker, Bob Mendes, Antoniette Lee, Dave Rosenberg

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedFebruary 4, 2020

AdoptedFebruary 4, 2020

ApprovedFebruary 4, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 02/11/2020 11:31 AM