Earth Day was established more than forty years ago as an environmental "teach-in" designed to raise awareness about ecology and the preservation of our precious ecosystem. Since then, and thanks to its official sanction by the UN, it has been celebrated every year in more than 175 countries around the world, and has energized whole populations to create lasting policies that protect our planet's future. But the Louisville Zoo plans not only to honor Earth Day itself on April 22 with festivities, but has also prepared a month's worth of bright green events and activities for environmentalists of all ages and backgrounds.
"Party for the Planet: A Month-long Celebration of the Earth" is being hosted every single day in April at the Zoo, thanks to the efforts of Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E-KU). Our ecosystem will be investigated from every possible angle and visitors will be offered the chance to explore a range of environmental aspects, from compost creation to the intricacies of growing orchids. Each weekday will feature live animal encounters that bring you closer than you ever imagined to the Zoo's residents, and each weekend is jam-packed with character visits, tree seedling give-aways, display booths, and other special events.
Listed here are just a few of the exclusive programs you can expect to see in the course of the month:
- The Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., The Louisville Science Center will collaborate with the Zoo to provide an Eco-Partner Exhibition, which will explore the effects of climate change on our living planet. You will be able to see just how fast a glacier melts and learn the steps you can take to keep our ever-changing elements in balance.
- The next day, on Easter Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Easter Bunny himself will make an appearance at the Zoo! Join him and all of the Zoo's egg-laying critters on a scavenger hunt during this exciting "Eggstravaganza."
- Two more Eco-Partners -- the Louisville Water Company and Polar Bears International -- will be giving their own presentations, both held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Educators from the Louisville Water Company will be on site on Saturday, April 14, to inform visitors of the myriad different ways one of our most vital and precious resources is used. On Saturday, April 21, be present when the Zoo's Arctic Ambassadors distribute free tree seedlings to the first 100 visitors! Stick around for Polar Bears International, who will be giving a compelling seminar in the Gheens Room on the threat these great arctic mammals face from global warming.
- On Saturday, April 29, brave budding entomologists will have the chance to interact with the creepiest, crawliest, and most unique insects in Louisville from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The experience will be capped off by a visit from everyone's favorite storybook ambassador, the Very Hungry Caterpillar!
On Earth Day, admission will be only $2 per person all day, courtesy of LG&E-KU. The Zoo will have in-depth displays on hand which highlight its conservation efforts throughout the year and the good work the Zoo's Eco-Partners are doing across the globe.
Is a thirty-day observance of this eco-holiday going a bit overboard? Just ask Laura Douglas, vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs for LG&E-KU. "A celebration about the Earth deserves not just a single day, but an entire month's worth of activities with something for everyone, from children to adults," she says. And with your help and the efforts of the Louisville Zoo to raise awareness and protect our one and only Mother Nature, we can ensure this celebration lasts well into the future.
Photo courtesy of the Louisville Zoo.