Virtual Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet is the Zoo’s celebration of Earth Day where we bring eco-conscious members of the community together to help share the message of conservation.  This year, our event will be virtual.  The Zoo will spotlight conservation with fun activities, crafts, and virtual animal encounters. Local organizations will also be part of the virtual presentation to discuss the importance of going green and how visitors can help preserve the Earth’s resources for a better environment.

Who Wants A Free Tree?

On Earth Day, April 22nd, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., we’ll be giving away trees to 50 random families who drive thru to pick up their Pollinator Rescue Kits, which will be used during our virtual Party for the Planet event that will go live on Saturday, April 24th at 10:00 a.m.  The five-gallon, native trees are courtesy of a grant provided by the Wildlife Conservation and Education Society of South Texas and Apache Corportation.

Download a free Who Uses Native Trees Coloring book by local wildlife artist, Carol DeMoss. Who Uses Native Trees Coloring Book

Need tips on how to plant and care for a tree? Download a handout from the Forestry Service. Forest Service TexasTree Planting and Watering Handout

Free Pollinator Rescue Ranger Kits

Pollinators like butterflies, bees, bats and moths need our help!  A study by the National Academy of Sciences found that pollinators are declining because of habitat loss.  Without the help of pollinators 75% of crops wouldn’t produce berries, seeds, fruits and vegetables.  Plus, the Rio Grande Valley is located in the migratory flyway for millions of monarch butterflies that need places to rest and refuel during their 3,000 mile migration.   Each kit will contain some of the supplies needed to participate in the activities presented during the virtual event. Our goal is to distribute 1,000 kits.

 

Virtual Party for the Planet

On Saturday, everyone is invited to join us on Facebook or YouTube to watch our virtual Party for the Planet presentation to learn more about pollinators and how you can help!  Party for the Planet is the Zoo’s annual event to celebrate Earth Day and to teach the public about the many ways they can take action to protect the Earth.  Tune in live on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

DIY Tutorials

There are helpful DIY tutorials on seed bombs, recycled shrink art, Earth Day pledge yard sign and Bee the Change seed planting.

Seed Bombs

Using the Hummingbird and Butterfly Wildflower seeds enclosed in the Pollinator Rescue Ranger kit, you can make seed bombs to plant in your backyard.  The pack includes nectar-rich blooms,16 annual and perennial wildflowers like Wild Cosmos, Rocket Larkspur, Echinacea, Catchfly, and Milkweed.  This diverse blend delivers stunning colors throughout the season.

Pledge to the Earth Yard Sign

Get creative and announce that your family is doing their part to help the Earth!  Using recycled cardboard, crayons, paint or colored pencils and a sign stake design a sign for your yard.  Get inspired by our design featured during the virtual Party for the Planet video.

 

Bee the Change Wildflower Seed Planting

Bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants including 90 different food crops, such as watermelon, orange, cucumber, tamarindo and so much more!  Do your part to help bees by planting the Bee the Change wildflower seed packet included in the Pollinator Rescue Ranger Kit.  The packet is specifically formulated to support honey bees and native bees. It is also non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and 100% pure seed. The packet is printed on 70% post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink so once you are done planting add it to your compost pile.

 

Recycled Shrink Art

Don’t throw away your plastic #6 take-out container. Make it into shrink art!  Watch our tutorial to learn how to make a keychain out of a plastic take-out container.  Once you learn the basics, you can make a custom pendant, earrings or charms for your friends and family and keep plastic out of the landfill.

Keeper Chats

Zoo keepers will chat about nurse sharks, lemurs and vinegaroons.  Our Reptile Curator, Clint Guadiana, will introduce you to the vinegaroon, an unusual looking arachnid.  If you want to learn more about bugs, take Clint’s virtual bug tour.  It is a separate bug tour that you can check out on our YouTube channel.  Clint’s virtual bug tour will be posted during Party for the Planet.  Next, zookeeper, Ashley Grady, will tell you all about the worlds largest pollinator, the lemur.  And finally, Aquarist, Elizabeth Sosa will chat about the newest addition to the Russell Aquatic Ecology Center, nurse sharks, Oscar and Fred.

Meet the Eco-Conscious Experts

Experts share their knowledge on recycling, composting, ocean debris and pollinators.  Rose Timmer from Healthy Communities of Brownsville will talk about the importance of recycling, reducing, reusing and refusing.  Composting and planting expert, Oscar Zertuche from Magic Valley Urban Farms a partner of the Brownsville Wellness Coalition will teach you some planting basics and how to start composting.  Beekeeper, Glenn Simpson from Bay Bees will tell you everything you need to know about bees.  Ocean champion, Aarin Hartwell from Gulf Guardians will share some fascinating information about the plastic debris problem in our oceans.

Scout Activities

Again this year, although we won’t be in person, we will have activities for Girl Scouts to help them accomplish 90 to 100% of their badge requirements.  And new this year, we have activities for Boy Scouts.  Girl Scouts can work on Daisy – Outdoor Art Badge, Brownies – Bug Badge, Junior – Gardener Badge, Cadettes – Outdoor Art Apprentice.  Each scout that registers to participate gets a kit with supplies.  Registration has closed for scout participants.

Scouts that missed the registration deadline can still watch the virtual Party for the Planet event to fulfill the requirements using their own supplies.  Check it out at YouTube.com/gladysporterzoo.

Thank You to Our Partners and Guest Presenters!

City of Brownsville

Wildlife Conservation and Education Society of South Texas

Apache Corporation

Gulf Coast Paper

Rose Timmer, Healthy Communities of Brownsville

Oscar Zertuche, Magic Valley Urban Farms a partner of the Brownsville Wellness Coalition

Glenn Simpson, Bay Bees

Aarin Hartwell, Gulf Guardians

Dinah Garcia, Girl Scout Troop 457

GPZ Animal Care Staff:

Jorge Moya, Clint Guadiana, Elizabeth Sosa, & Ashley Grady

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel

If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel and turned on notifications, make sure you do so you don’t miss out when we go live.  Youtube.com/gladysporterzoo

About Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet is the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America. “Party For the Planet™ offers the perfect reason for families to visit their local AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium to honor wildlife this Earth Day,” said Former AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “We know the 180 million annual visitors to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have a strong interest in taking action to help protect the future of our planet and its inhabitants.

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