News Release                                             Contact : Sondra Katzen
April 8, 2014                                                                                      Public Relations
                                                                                                         708.688.8351
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               sondra.katzen@czs.org

Note: Images of Party for the Planet activities at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded at www.CZS.org/PressRoom.

Brookfield Zoo Celebrates Earth Day with Party for the Planet
April 27 Event Spotlights Endangered Animals and Earth-Friendly Tips
 
Brookfield, Ill.—An Earth Day extravaganza is being planned for Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet celebration on Sunday, April 27, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The fun-filled, environmentally friendly event will feature educational and entertaining activities for the entire family, displays from ecofriendly companies, kite-flying demonstrations, live music, animal Zoo Chats, and more.

Guests will learn ways they can make a difference and keep the planet clean and green for all. In addition, zoo staff will share steps that guests can take to protect animals like the celebration’s featured animal: African painted dogs, of which only 6,000 remain in the wild. African painted dogs are a medium-size dog that lives on the savannah and in the open woodlands of central and southern Africa. Guests can see African painted dogs and talk to the zookeepers who care for them at Habitat Africa! The Savannah during special Zoo Chats that will take place at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

On the North Mall from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., youngsters can have fun painting a life-size cutout of an African painted dog. The species has a distinctively patterned coat, and much like snowflakes, no two coats are exactly alike. Additionally, guests can share their conservation-inspired artistry and help create a sidewalk chalk mural by drawing or writing their wishes and personal resolutions on how to adopt a greener lifestyle. While there, everyone can climb aboard the whimsically decorated Clean Air Club Bus, a recycled 1980s-era school bus, where they can listen to ways to help the environment and learn about renewable fuel for vehicles. The Eco Expo, located on the North Mall and at the Pavilions, will feature representatives from nearly 20 ecofriendly companies, including energy ambassadors from ComEd and Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program that will be at Party for the Planet to share tips on making wise energy choices.

Also at the Pavilions, zoogoers can enjoy live music from members of local band Green Thirteen as they “recycle” song hits from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Breezy fun will be had by all on the West Mall, where guests can watch professional kite demonstrations by Chicago Kite. Kites of all shapes and sizes will also be available for purchase.

Electronics are now banned from Illinois landfills and are illegal to discard in regular trash. As part of the Party for the Planet celebration, guests can bring in approved unwanted electronics to recycle and receive FREE parking in the zoo’s Main Lot at 31st Street and First Avenue. Representatives from Vintage Tech Recyclers will be accepting items such as VCRs, telephones, video game consoles, stereo equipment, monitors, and other electronics. Additionally, members from Working Bikes will be collecting unwanted bicycles, crutches, wheelchairs, and sewing machines for recycling. Both collection events, which take place from noon to 6:00 p.m., will be presented by Microsoft Corporation. Also joining in the efforts will be representatives from “Soles for Kids,” an organization that collects gently used shoes as well as soccer balls that they distribute to children in Botswana, Tanzania, Haiti, Dominican Republic and western United States.

“As part of our commitment to inspire conservation leaders, we encourage our guests to help play a part in protecting the Earth and its animal inhabitants during our Party for the Planet celebration by recycling their unwanted electronics and bikes,” said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo.

Nearly 60 percent of all electronics can be reused, and the other 40 percent can be recycled. The valuable resources that go into electronics, such as precious metals, plastics, and glass, can be reused into making new products, and this limits waste of those resources. Certain electronics, like computer monitors and circuit boards, contain toxic chemicals, and when they are thrown away and disposed of improperly, those chemicals can get into groundwater and pose an environmental risk.

A complete schedule of Party for the Planet activities will be posted at the zoo’s North and South Gates. Party for the Planet activities are free with general zoo admission of $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10. For further information, visit www.CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.

The Chicago Zoological Society inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo's innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation.

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