News Release

April 14, 2015

Photo Download: serval.jpg, acorn.jpg, flowers.jpg

Celebrate Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet on April 19

Event Highlights Earth-Friendly Tips and Endangered Animals

Brookfield, Ill.—Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet commemorates Earth Day with one big extravaganza celebrating our ecosystem. The festivities start at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 19, and will feature educational and fun activities for the entire family, displays from eco-friendly companies, performances by Kidworks Touring Theater Co., animal Zoo Chats, and more.

Partygoers will learn how they can make a difference and keep the planet green and clean for everyone. Additionally, zoo staff will share steps to take and commitments to make to protect animals like the celebration’s featured animal: the serval, a medium-sized cat that is native to Africa. Guests can get an up-close view of the serval and learn more about the species during special Zoo Chats at 10:00 a.m., noon, and 2:00 p.m. in the Bison Pavilion.

On the North Mall, guests can join in and show off their artistic skills on a sidewalk chalk mural, sharing their conservation-inspired creativity by drawing or writing their wishes and personal resolutions on how to adopt a greener lifestyle. While there, zoogoers can climb aboard the brightly decorated Clean Air Club Bus, a recycled 1980s-era school bus, where they can explore ways to help the environment and learn about renewable fuel for vehicles. In addition, at 12:30 p.m., guests can join the zoo’s groundskeepers in planting a maple tree on the North Mall.

On the zoo’s South Mall, youngsters can plant an acorn in a cup and receive a tree sapling (while supplies last), both to take home. Also, staff will be giving away milkweed seeds for guests to take home and plant as well. Milkweed is an essential plant for the survival of monarch butterflies, a species whose population has been declining.

Indoors at Hamill Family Play Zoo (admission fee applies), kids can build a bird’s nest and monarch butterfly puppets. While outside in the exhibit’s Animal Homes Adventure Play area, they can have fun helping build a polar bear den and then pretend to be a bear. Activities at the Hamill Family Play Zoo are sponsored by energySMART, a Nicor Gas program. 
The Eco Expo at the zoo’s Swan Pavilion will feature representatives from eco-friendly companies, who will share the latest environmentally friendly products in their fields and discuss tips on how to use them from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Be sure to stop by the Carousel Plaza to pick up energy saving tips from ComEd and energySMART.

Nearby in the Bison Pavilion, guests can enjoy Kidworks Touring Theater Co.’s performance of Endangered Animals! What's a kid to do? at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., or 3:00 p.m. The whole family can partake in a "hands-on" adventure as Kidworks actors portray TV newscasters uncovering the scoop on animal wildlife in the Arctic, the Amazon, Africa, Costa Rica, and California. Youngsters in the audience can role play a variety of characters, from different endangered animals to the scientists and marine biologists who help save them.

On April 19 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the zoo will also offer free parking in the north lot, located at First Avenue and 31st Street, to guests who bring in an approved item to recycle. A complete list of approved items is available at Representatives from Soles for Kids, Working Bikes, and Vintage Tech will be onsite collecting recyclables.

“We encourage our guests to play an active role in safeguarding the earth and its animal inhabitants at our Party for the Planet celebration by recycling their unwanted electronics, bicycles, wheelchairs, crutches, sewing machines, and more. This is part of our ongoing commitment to inspire future conservation leaders.” said Stuart D. 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 can get into ground water and pose an environmental risk.

Party for the Planet activities are free (excluding admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo) with general zoo admission of $16.95 for adults, $11.95 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10. For further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

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. For further information, visit



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


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