This summer, the Chicago Zoological Society's Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) welcomed our partners from the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to educate us more about climate change and illustrate what teens can do to help spark change in their communities. Inspired by the "Do One Thing" program ACE staff presented (www.acespace/DOT), our YVC Interpretive Track members created a station at Brookfield Zoo to help inspire our guests to take action! Guests were engaged in conversations at our new Great Bear Wilderness exhibit, where the focus is commitment to conservation action. They were then asked to commit to "Do One Thing". Each action guests committed to were written on animal cutouts that are currently being used to create a visual display of guest commitments. We only ran the station for two weeks, but in that time inspired over 700 adults and children to take action! The most frequent commitment made: "Turning off lights and/or electronics".
This energetic group of youth was led by Nick Cothard, a third year youth volunteer with CZS. Acting as our ACE Ambassador, Nick was integral in creation of the station and motivating his peers to take part in the activity. The theme was that everyone can be a superhero to protect our Earth. In honor of this, Nick even created his very own "green" cape from reusable shopping bags. Though we are still busy entering in our DOTs, the YVC are proud to be on the ACE leaderboard already! His enthusiasm is contagious! Thanks to Nick for his help, as well as all of the ACE team for creating a program that truly inspires and motivates teens to take part in conservation action!
(Photo Credit: Kym Brown)