News Release

April 5, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact : Sondra Katzen
Public Relations
708.688.8351
sondra.katzen@czs.org

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

Party for the Planet at Brookfield Zoo
Chicago Zoological Society Raises Awareness About Effects of Palm Oil on Orangutans

      Brookfield, Ill.—Every day is Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo, but the zoo is hoping to make a big impact on one very special day as it highlights orangutans and the effects that unsustainable palm oil plantations are having on these gentle creatures in their native Indonesia. This year’s Party for the Planet celebration will be on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will feature fun and engaging activities for the entire family while educating guests about everyday actions they can do to be green and help orangutans and the environment. The event will include electronic recycling, music performances, crafts and activities, professional kite-flying demonstrations, an appearance by the Clean Air Club Bus, and special animal Zoo Chats.

Before entering the zoo or on the way out, guests can help protect the environment by recycling their unwanted electronics, which are now banned from Illinois landfills and illegal to discard in regular trash. Representatives from Vintage Tech Recyclers will be stationed in the zoo’s Main Lot at 31st Street and First Avenue accepting such items as VCRs, telephones, video game consoles, stereo equipment, and monitors between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. on April 21 and 22.

Once inside the park, zoogoers can begin their visit at the Eco Expo on the zoo’s North Mall, where representatives from eco-friendly companies, including Nicor, Chicago Wilderness, Starbucks, Natural Balance, ComEd, Chicagoland Environmental Network, and many more, will share the latest environmentally friendly products in their fields and discuss tips on how to use them.
On The Carousel Plaza, 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. Chalk will be provided. Also on the plaza, guests can climb aboard the whimsically decorated Clean Air Club Bus, a recycled 1980s-era school bus, where they can discover ways to help the environment and explore the best option for renewable fuel used to run vehicles.

Joining in the celebration is the band Green Thirteen, who will entertain guests of all ages with its “recycled” music during performances in The Pavilions from12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Guests will also have a chance to meet and greet with Fisher-Price® Little People® Sonya Lee and Eddie from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Zoogoers can fly by the zoo’s West Mall to watch professionals from Chicago Kite demonstrate their kite-flying skills with two-line and four-line stunt kites that, through a steering technique, can be maneuvered to do various tricks. The kites being highlighted come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including a 10-foot-tall bee-shaped kite, in celebration of the zoo’s May 19 opening of its Xtreme Bugs summer-long exhibit.

In Hamill Family Play Zoo (separate admission applies), youngsters can participate in a variety of green-themed crafts and activities. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the exhibit’s workshop, kids can create and take home their own clay bugs courtesy of Polyform Products Company, creators of Sculpey® oven-bake clays. Outdoors in the family gardens area, children can plant seeds in newspaper pots, provided by The Goddard Schools (while supplies last) to take home and plant in their own yards. Additionally, acorns will be available to plant in take-home cups, or kids can pick up an oak sapling for planting at home. At 11:00 a.m., guests can also join groundskeepers in planting a tree just east of the zoo’s kangaroo yard.

The zoo’s animal keepers will give Zoo Chats that inspire conservation leadership by sharing insights on how our actions at home impact animals across the globe. Chats take place at various times and animal exhibits during the event, including orangutans in Tropic World at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., bears at Great Bear Wilderness at 11:30 a.m., and Humboldt penguins at The Living Coast at 3:15 p.m. A complete schedule of Zoo Chats will be posted at the zoo’s entrances.

Party for the Planet is sponsored by Fisher-Price®, Polyform Products Company, The Goddard Schools, and American Airlines. For further information, visit www.CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.

General admission to Brookfield Zoo is $15.00 for adults and $10.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, 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 Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue 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.

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