News Release

April 10, 2017
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
Photos for Party for the Planet may be downloaded below.
Photo 6079
Photo 156
Photo 6591
Photo 6566
Photo 6716

6079: A young guest adds her special touch the sidewalk chalk mural by drawing a green-themed picture during Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet celebration.
156: At Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet celebration, a youngster assists in planting flowers in front of the Hamill Family Play Zoo.
6591 and 6566: Youngsters help a groundskeeper plant a tree during Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet.
6716: During Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet celebration on April 23, staff will be giving away milkweed seeds to guests to plant at home. 

Celebrate Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo’s
Party for the Planet

Brookfield, Ill.—You can go green and make a big impact this Earth Day by joining Brookfield Zoo for its annual Party for the Planet celebration on Sunday, April 23.The daylong extravaganza, presented by energySMART, a Nicor Gas Program, will feature fun and environmentally friendly activities for the entire family, including planting flowers, recycling, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and an Eco Expo, where guests can learn easy tips to help save the planet.

Throughout the day, zoogoers can venture over to Hamill Family Play Zoo, where youngsters can take part in a nature play art activity and assist staff in planting flowers near the exhibit’s entrance. In addition, families can pick up an oak sapling and milkweed seeds (while supplies last) to take home and plant.

Party for the Planet’s featured animal is black rhinoceroses, a critically endangered species in their native Africa mainly due to illegal hunting for their horns, which are used for medicinal purposes and to make dagger handles and other items. Guests can attend Zoo Chats at 11:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. to learn about Brookfield Zoo’s rhinos, as well as what they can do to make a positive difference for these magnificent creatures in the wild.

Families can stop by the Eco Expo, located at the Pavilions, where representatives from more than 40 companies and organizations will be onsite to share how they’re committed to conserving the planet and ways to be “green.” They include Illinois Solar Energy Association, with its mini solar home display; the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; the Forest Preserves of Cook County; the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; The Wetlands Initiative; and Illinois Partners for Clean Air. Also at the Pavilions, guests can enjoy live performances from Recycle The Day at noon and 2:00 p.m. The eclectic five-member cover band will perform popular tunes from Motown to rock to hip-hop. At 1:30 a.m., prior to the second performance, guests can get an up-close encounter with one of the zoo’s animal ambassadors.

Other activities families can participate in include assisting groundskeepers in planting a tree at 11:30 a.m. and showing off their artistic skills on a sidewalk chalk mural by drawing or writing their wishes and personal resolutions on how to adopt a greener lifestyle.

On April 22, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the zoo will be offering free parking in its main parking lot, located at 8400 31st Street (First Avenue and 31st Street) in Brookfield, to guests who bring in an approved item to recycle. Items being accepted are cell phones, cell phone accessories, pagers, handheld electronic games, e-readers, laptops, iPods, iPads, tablets, MP3 players, bicycles, bike accessories and attire, coats, backpacks, shoes, soccer balls, and basketballs. Representatives from Soles for Kids and Working Bikes will be onsite assisting in the collection of recyclables.

Party for the Planet activities (excluding activities inside Hamill Family Play Zoo) are free with general zoo admission of $19.85 for adults and $14.50 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $12.00. For additional information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire 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 its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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