20 USC § 81
Administration by Regents of Smithsonian Institution
through Pub. L. 116-344, except Pub. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283

The National Zoological Park is placed under the direction of the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, who are authorized to transfer to it any living specimens, whether of animals or plants, in their charge, to accept gifts for the park at their discretion, in the name of the United States, to make exchanges of specimens, and to administer and improve the said Zoological Park for the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people.


1961—Pub. L. 87–360 inserted "and improve" after "administer".

Central Parking Facility

Pub. L. 115–178, June 1, 2018, 132 Stat. 1379, provided that:


"This Act may be cited as the 'Smithsonian National Zoological Park Central Parking Facility Authorization Act'.


"(a) In General.—In order to improve visitor experience and multi-modal access to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution is authorized to plan, design, and construct a central parking facility on National Zoological Park property in the District of Columbia.

"(b) Central Parking Facility.—The facility authorized under this section may include parking, transportation improvements, visitor amenities including restrooms, a pedestrian bridge to a midpoint entry of the National Zoological Park, and ancillary works to accommodate alternative uses of the facility.

"(c) Funding.—Construction of the facility described in this section shall be conducted with funds from nonappropriated sources."

Establishment of Parks

The National Zoological Park was established under provisions of the District of Columbia Appropriation Act for the Fiscal Year 1890, act Mar. 2, 1889, ch. 370, §4, 25 Stat. 808, which constituted a commission to select from a certain district along Rock Creek a tract of land, including a section of the creek, suitable for a zoological park, and to purchase the land so selected, or take proceedings for the condemnation thereof, the United States to have title to the land on payment therefor to the owners.

The Rock Creek Park was established by act Sept. 27, 1890, ch. 1001, 26 Stat. 492.

The Potomac Park was established by act Mar. 3, 1897, ch. 375, 29 Stat. 624.

Addition of Lands

Certain parcels of land were added to the National Zoological Park by acts June 5, 1920, ch. 235, §1, 41 Stat. 892; Mar. 4, 1921, ch. 161, §1, 41 Stat. 1384.

Connecting Parkway

Provisions for a parkway connecting Potomac Park with Zoological Park and Rock Creek Park were made by act Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 147, §27, 37 Stat. 885.

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