The zoo is having a Party for the Planet and you are invited! Get a jumpstart on celebrating Earth Day by exploring the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the wonder of wildlife. Visit with the animals, chat with the zookeepers, and learn about fun ways we can all enjoy nature. The day includes children’s crafts, animal training sessions, animal encounters, and informational displays.
At this special event, guests will have the freedom to wander around the zoo at their leisure rather than touring with a group. Zookeepers will be stationed at each exhibit to answer questions and point out interesting facts about the animals.
In addition to touring the zoo, there are plenty of other fun family activities.
“Kids can learn about choosing a pet,” said Zoo Education Specialist Tarah Jacobs. “They’ll learn what makes a good pet and what does not. Kids can also learn about metamorphosis, especially how it relates to frogs and the challenges they face.”
In animal encounters, kids can get up close and personal with a variety of reptiles, including a baby alligator, snakes and lizards.
Zookeepers will demonstrate animal training sessions throughout the day with the Asian small-clawed otters, prehensile tail porcupines, guanacos (a wild relative of the llama), red-billed hornbills (a small African bird), and rheas (the third-largest flightless bird in the world).
Kids can pick up freebies such as temporary animal tattoos and make an origami frog and a conservation catcher. (Remember those paper squares you folded and manipulated with your friends when you were a kid? These have conservation messages inside). Coloring projects include pre-printed Disney animal masks such as Flounder from “The Little Mermaid,” Simba from “The Lion King,” and Chip of “Chip ‘n’ Dale.”
Party for the Planet is a national event being held at zoos across the country. It’s sponsored by the AZA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The party is on all weekend, April 10 and 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Zoo admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children, and free for ages 3 and under. (As always, any Santa Fe College student or staff member with ID is free.) For more information visit www.sfcollege.edu/zoo or call 352-395-5601.
Make a weekend of it and combine the Party for the Planet with the Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival in downtown Gainesville — www.sfcollege.edu/springarts — both produced by Santa Fe College!
- Tarah Jacobs, at the Zoo, 352-395-7358 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Julie Garrett, for help facilitating your story, 352-395-5430 or 352-870-2924 (cell) or email@example.com