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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Perfect plants for a pollinator-friendly garden

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications

It’s almost butterfly time at Woodland Park Zoo!

Molbak’s Butterfly Garden will open for the season on May 25, 2018. You’ll be able to walk among nearly 500 free-flying butterflies representing at least 15 species native to North America. An arching tent structure will enclose a landscape of approximately 3,000 square feet filled with flowering plants provided by Molbak’s Garden + Home store in Woodinville. Behind the garden is the year-round Microsoft Pollinator Patio, where guests can enjoy a beautiful stroll among pollinator-friendly plants.

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo https://www.zoo.org/butterflygarden 
We asked our friends at Molbak’s to suggest their favorite flowering plants that provide lots of good food for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Here are five flowers to make your backyard a pollinator-perfect destination. 

Agastache (Hyssop)

Slender and stylish, the fragrant hyssop blossoms are hummingbird magnets! Flower-filled spikes of red, pink, violet, peach or blue cover these hardy perennials, luring winged visitors all the way through summer and into autumn. 

Photo by Bart Souverijns via Flickr @poepoei 
Gaillardia hybrids (Blanket Flower)

You can create a quilt of fiery color in your yard with blanket flowers! These drought-tolerant perennials bloom non-stop from summer through the first frost – and pollinators find it hard to resist their sunset shades of red, orange and yellow. 

Photo by Pauline Rosenberg via Flickr @auntiepauline 
Monarda (Bee Balm)

Adding bee balm to your garden is like adding floral fireworks bursting with reds, pinks, whites or purple. These perennial blossoms will explode in colorful petals and they also give off a pleasing minty-basil fragrance. The hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are big fans of this summer flower, too!

Photo by @littlehonda_350 via Flickr
Salvia elegans (Pineapple Sage)

Pineapple sage is a fragrant annual that grows dramatic spikes bursting with bright red blossoms – perfect for luring hummingbirds and butterflies. BONUS: They’re also a great add-in for teas and infusions, cooking, sachets and potpourris. Anyone up for a banana, pineapple sage smoothie?

Photo by Sean Hoyer via Flickr @seanhoyer 
Salvia splendens (Salvia)

Want to add some zing to your garden? Salvias are like a flower-filled exclamation points of color!
These easy-to-grow annuals will be covered in red, purple or yellow blossoms all summer … and they’re a menu favorite for many species of hungry pollinators.

Photo by Himanshu Sarpotdar via Flickr
Most of these flowering beauties, and many more are available at Molbak’s Garden + Home store in Woodinville and at other local gardening or nursery retailers. You can also find more information about attracting pollinators to your yard at Woodland Park Zoo in the Molbak’s Butterfly Garden and Microsoft Pollinator Patio.

Guests enjoy the Molbak's Butterfly Garden at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

A Julia butterfly says hello to the camera. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Celebrate Endangered Species Day, May 18

Every single day, we work to protect wild animals and wild places. 

This week, and on Endangered Species Day, May 18, we can celebrate many conservation success stories, but there is more work to do.

Taj wading into Assam Rhino Reserve. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and the hard work of conservationists and activists, the bald eagle, green sea turtle, American alligator, peregrine falcon, and many other species were kept from disappearing forever. Your zoo has given Western pond turtles a head start and helped protect thousands of acres of pristine cloud forests. We would do anything for animals, and with your support, we can.

Getting ready to release a pond turtle into a protected Washington wetland. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Working with conservationists and researchers, Woodland Park Zoo focuses on a conservation strategy that includes: habitat and species conservation, research, education, local capacity building and community support. These effective collaborations are divided among three field conservation programs at the zoo:

Living Northwest
The zoo supports projects in the Pacific Northwest through our Living Northwest, including projects focused on native raptors, turtles, butterflies and carnivores, and the shrub-steppe, wetlands and forest habitats they depend on to survive.

Partners for Wildlife
Our Partners for Wildlife international projects focus on Pacific Rim, Central Asia and Africa. Conservation priorities include efforts as far ranging as tree kangaroo conservation in Papua New Guinea to migratory crane conservation in Far East Russia.

Wildlife Survival Fund
We invest in endangered species before it’s too late. Our Wildlife Survival Fund supports field projects and initiatives recommended by zoo curators and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan programs.

Celebrate conservation successes this Endangered Species Day while doing your part to stop extinction. Here are 5 ways you can celebrate #savingspecies.

Enjoying Molbak's Butterfly Garden. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Become more than a member. Receive unlimited zoo admission for your family and help endangered species with the Conservation Partner membership. https://www.zoo.org/membership

A Fiji Island banded iguana, Brachylophus fasciatus, at the Los Angeles Zoo. © Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark

Look. Visit the zoo April 20 – October 7, 2018 to see the National Geographic Photo Ark project, led by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore which aims to document every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. Open your eyes to the beauty and wonder we can #SaveTogether as you take in 56 stunning animal portraits displayed across Woodland Park Zoo. Free with zoo admission or membership.

Adopt Taj and Glenn! Photo by John Loughlin/Woodland Park Zoo.

Adopt a ZooParent. Help fund the care of all the amazing animals at Woodland Park Zoo and make a difference for wildlife by becoming a ZooParent. Your gift helps support conservation programs in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Plus, you'll receive a personalized adoption certificate, color photo of your animal, fun facts and more! Adopt an animal for yourself or give as a gift to the animal lover in your life.

Zoo staff celebrate with a new filling station. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.

Ditch the plastic! Join us in going plastic free this summer. As plastic waste in our environment becomes an increasingly important global topic, Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating a milestone in our own resource conservation journey with the announcement that we are no longer selling beverages in single-use plastic bottles or plastic straws. Learn more about how we made the switch and ways you can do the same at home. http://blog.zoo.org/2018/04/woodland-park-zoo-goes-plastic-bottle.html

Shop to save animals!
Shop glassy baby on May 18! On May 18th, Endangered Species Day, glassybaby will donate 10% of all sales in their Bellevue, Madrona and University Village stores to Woodland Park Zoo’s conservation programs. Proceeds will benefit species like Malayan tigers, rhinos and Western pond turtles.

Malayan tiger at Banyan Wilds. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.
Thank you for loving animals as much as we do.