News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
March 31, 2016
Note: Images of Party for the Planet activities at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below.
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Celebrate Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo’s Party for the Planet
April 24 Event Highlights Planet, Inspires Earth-Friendly Activities

Brookfield, Ill. – Every day is Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo, but the zoo’s annual Party for the Planet celebration on Sunday, April 24, will showcase how guests can take small steps to make a big impact for animals around the world. The day-long extravaganza, presented by energySMART, a Nicor Gas Program, will feature fun and environmentally friendly activities for the entire family. Highlights of the event include a tree planting, recycling opportunity, crafts, live entertainment, and an Eco Expo, where Nicor Gas customers can pick up a free energy-saving kit at the energySMART table.

In the Bison Pavilion, local Chicago band Green Thirteen will provide live entertainment with two 70-minute performances at noon and 1:30 p.m. Nearby in the Swan Pavilion, the Eco Expo will feature representatives from more than 40 companies and organizations, including energySMART, a Nicor Gas Program, ComEd, Pepsi, JULIE, Inc. the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Tall Grass Beef, Illinois Solar Energy Association, Eco Cell, Illinois Partners for Clean Air, Harvest Land, Dunes National Lakeshore, and many others, who will share how they are dedicated to the conservation of Planet Earth. Youngsters can also meet Nature Cat, the costumed character from WTTW’s new animated series, which encourages children ages 3 to 8 to explore and develop connections with the natural world. Nature Cat will be at the WTTW booth from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There, kids can also partake in a recycled sailboat craft activity reusing household materials.

At Hamill Family Play Zoo, families can participate in a variety of conservation and craft activities at Hamill Family Play Zoo such as assisting staff in planting flowers, creating a beautiful monarch butterfly, planting an acorn to take home, and participating in a milkweed seed giveaway—a great opportunity for visitors to take what they learn at the zoo and put it into action at home.

Partygoers can also learn about the zoo’s giraffes, this year’s featured animal, during Zoo Chats at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Animal care staff will be on hand to provide fun facts and talk about what people can do to make a positive difference for these animals in the wild.

“Even the smallest changes can have an impact, and we encourage our guests to start making a difference at our Party for the Planet celebration, from bringing in recyclable items to participating in fun learning opportunities at the zoo,” said Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “This day is part of our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and the animals that inhabit it and to inspiring future leaders in conservation.”

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 11:00 a.m., guests can join the zoo’s groundskeepers in planting a tree next to the butterfly habitat.

On April 24, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the zoo will also offer free parking in its main parking lot, located at First Avenue and 31st Street, to guests who bring in an approved item to recycle. Items being accepted are cell phones, cell phone accessories, pagers, hand-held electronic games, e-readers, laptops, iPods, iPads, tablets, MP3 players, bicycles, bike accessories and attire, shoes, soccer  balls, basketballs, and coats. 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 $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $11.00. For additional information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.


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


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