Hose2Habitat: Where surplus fire hose becomes zoo habitat enrichment

Zoos need fire hose for habitat enrichment; fire departments have surplus fire hose they often throw away. We match them up and everybody wins. Join us!


In A World Where Fire Hose Is Thrown Away, One Organization Steps In...And Everybody Wins.

Every year local fire departments and fire safety companies get rid of thousands of feet of fire hose that is decommissioned because of safety, regulatory, and other issues.  Literally tons of fire hose ends up as waste in landfills. 

Every year, zoos need thousands of feet of materials to enrich the habitat of the animals they serve. Decommissioned fire hose is durable, heavy, and perfect for use as animal habitat enrichment material.

As volunteer EMTs at the local county fire department, we saw dumpsters of hose being taken to landfills. As avid zoo goers, we knew that zoos use fire hose to enrich the animal habitats. Zoos need donations of fire hose, but have difficulty finding who to contact to get it. Fire departments don't want surplus fire hose to go to waste, but don't know that zoos would welcome it. We decided create a program to connect these two interests. Since we live outside of Washington, DC, the National Zoo was the first to receive donations through the program. Other zoos followed and now we are ready to take the program beyond what we can do by ourselves.

Loading hose to be donated to the National Zoo:


So We Called In The Big Gunz!

We contacted the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1924 to assist zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Through their network of more than 6,000 committed zoo and aquarium professionals, organizations, and suppliers world-wide and their 224 accredited zoo and aquarium members, AZA can help us identify and connect with zoos that would like to receive fire hose donations.

We then contacted the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), which represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. With its network of more than 10,000 chief fire and emergency officers, the IAFC can help spread awareness among fire chiefs interested in becoming involved with decommissioned fire hose donations to zoos through our program.

With the program piloted and major international organizations ready to help, we are ready to take Hose2Habitat to the next level. That's what this campaign is all about.

How Funds Raised Will Be Used

501(c)(3), nonprofit status. The first thing we will do with funds raised from this campaign is apply for 501(c)(3) status to become recognized by the federal government as a nonprofit organization. This is an expensive process. The application fee alone is $750. In addition, the application is 25 pages long and we'll need to hire an attorney to help make sure it's done properly. 

An awesome, useful website. After paying for the nonprofit status fees, funds from this campaign will be used to build our current website into an awesome resource that includes:

  • A database of zoos and fire stations participating in the program to help match up zoos that need fire hose with local fire stations that have decommissioned fire hose to donate.
  • A page that contains instructions for how to make innovative habitat enrichment items out of fire hose. This is where zoos can share and find ideas for habitat enrichment.
  • A page that promotes projects that communities and volunteers can engage in to help with fire hose donations to their local zoos and the use of the fire hose by those zoos.
  • Other needs and creative ideas related to the Hose2Habitat program.

If the campaign exceeds the original goal, funds will be used to: 

  • Increase awareness of the Hose2Habitat program with a national exhibition and contest to encourage zoos to share their innovative ideas for the use of fire hose for habitat with other zoos and conservation organizations. 
  • Roll out our detailed plan for promoting and growing Hose2Habitat into an international program with the help of AZA, and our many contacts in the environmental and fire safety communities. We will roll out those ideas on this campaign page, our website, and through social media. And, of course, all backers will be informed and involved with exclusive updates throughout the campaign and fulfillment process.


Perks For Backers

We are offering perks that we hope you will like. The perks are designed to celebrate your Original Backer status and welcome you get to know us and join the program in a real way. If there are combinations of perks you would like to see offered together or any additional perks that you would like that we do not have listed, please let us know. We can add more at any time during the campaign.

Shipping: We will send out an email after the campaign ends so you can send us the address where you would like your perks sent. Domestic shipping is included in the perk amount. For international shipping, please add $20.

Monkey Around For A Buck - $1

Most campaigns we've seen don't include a $1 perk level. We want everyone who wants to contribute to be able to afford it. Just want to give us a high five...um...high one? That makes you an Original Backer! 

Almost A Dunk Tank - $10 

Founders, Lisa Daly and Tony Slamin, will sit under the Orangutan Mister at the National Zoo thanking each of you by name on video. The more backers we need to thank, the wetter the Orangutans can get us. We'll post the video on the Hose2Habitat website for at least a year. 

T-Shirts - $20, $25, 4 for $79 

All of the t-shirts will have the Hose2Habitat logo on the front and say "Original Backer" under the logo. These Hose2Habitat Original Backer t-shirts will only be available through this campaign.Youth t-shirts are Hanes Beefy-Tees (shown in white). Unisex t-shirts are Hanes Tagless ComfortSoft tees (shown in grey). Ladies style t-shirts are Gilden Ultra Cotton tees (shown in pink). All styles are available in white, pink, and grey. White and pink are 100% preshrunk cotton; grey is 99% cotton, 1% polyester.

 Signed Photographs - $30

 The photographs on our campaign page (except the t-shirt torso people) were taken by co-founders Anthony Slamin and Lisa Daly. Let us know which one you like and if you'd like it signed with our thanks or another message. We'll send an 8" x 10" color copy to the address that you provide.

VIP Ticket To After-Party (includes a T-Shirt) - $75

On July 19, we'll have a party in Frederick, Maryland, to celebrate the campaign and the Hose2Habitat Original Backers. This perk is limited to 25 people so we can get to know each other better. Everyone will get an Original Backer t-shirt as part of the perk. The party venue has a photo booth that will be yours to use for free; take a "selfie" alone and with other backers in your new Original Backer t-shirt! There will be food, drink, and merriment in abundance. Come celebrate with us! 

A Day With Founders (includes two T-Shirts and lunch) - $200

Program founders, Lisa Daly and Anthony Slamin, will take you on a tour of a fire station were we volunteered and treat you to (a modest but filling!) lunch at the fire station. Next we will go to the National Zoo to see fire hose habitat enrichments. Extremely geeky info about fire hose regulations, specifications, and more is included!  We can set a date that works for you...but please make it within a year of the end date of the campaign (by July 2015). Two Original Backer t-shirts are included with this perk.

Sponsor a National Prize - $2500

 You aren't just monkeying around! This is a big one; contact us and we'll talk. You'll have fun with this rewarding perk, you generous visionary, you!

Co-founder Lisa Daly (middle) with a cheetah from the Columbus Zoo.

Who Are These People Anyway?

Lisa Daly is a nonpartisan attorney who has worked for the United States Congress for almost 20 years. She studied law on three continents and her areas of expertise include natural resources, environmental issues, and American Indian law. Her love of the environment and animals and her work as a volunteer EMT with fire departments lead to the establishment of the Hose2Habitat program that partners fire departments and zoos to repurpose surplus fire hose as habitat enrichment for endangered species.

 Anthony Slamin is a lieutenant at a local fire department where he has volunteered since he moved to the Washington, DC area almost 10 years ago. He is also a trained firefighter, fire investigator, hazardous materials responder, and emergency vehicle response driver, a medic with an aeromedical evacuation squadron, a war veteran, and an all-around good guy to have on your side.

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