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Earth Day's 50th Anniversary: We're celebrating from home

Posted by Stephen Reed, Communications

Woodland Park Zoo is celebrating Earth Day from home this year. April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, an incredible milestone for a day dedicated to protecting the planet and celebrating nature. How are you planning to celebrate Earth Day this year? 

While we aren’t able to celebrate with all of you in person, we hope you will join us in some of the following activities that can help protect our planet and inspire a connection with the incredible animals who share our home. Happy Earth Day!

Uzumma and her newborn. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgre/ Woodland Park Zoo

Here are a few ways to get Earthy with us...

  • Join Woodland Park Zoo on April 22, for a virtual Town Hall presented by Amazon. 
    This Earth Day, chat live with zoo experts and hear inspiring stories of how we’ll do anything for animals, even while we’re closed. We want to connect you directly with zoo staff who, even during this unprecedented time, are continually dedicated to caring for our animals, saving wildlife and inspiring conservation. Get the details at and tune in at 6:30 p.m. on April 22!
  • Have you started spring cleaning yet? Maybe you’re like us and have a drawer full of old or broken cell phones, tablets, or charging cords. Those old electronics and parts can save wild gorillas through EcoCell. Woodland Park Zoo partners with EcoCell to refurbish, reuse, and recycle electronics. This reduces demand for the mineral coltan, which is mined where lowland gorillas live and is causing rapid environmental decay. Every charging cord and cell phone we give to EcoCell gets us a “finder’s fee” that we then donate to our wild gorilla conservation partners. You can clear out your electronics drawer (hold items in a box until you are able to safely drop them off at the zoo later this summer) AND save gorillas in the wild. Learn more at 📱
  • Spending a lot of time in your garden lately? Installing a rain garden reduces pollution and flooding and protects your home and wildlife! In Seattle, we know the importance of dealing with a lot of rain all at once. A rain garden allows water to soak in rapidly, limiting the amount of storm water (which gets contaminated when it washes oil and antifreeze and other pollutants after hitting the street) that reaches our streams and waterways. For more information, click here. If a rain garden won’t work for you, try adding native, drought-tolerant plants that attract pollinators to your garden beds. Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators will thank you! You can find a list of plants to consider here. 🌱
  • Renew your zoo membership, save wildlife and enjoy fantastic benefits! Current memberships and those purchased or renewed during the temporary closure will be extended for the length of closure. 🦋
  • Challenge yourself to go green and join a community working towards a healthy and sustainable environment by committing to your Next 5 Sustainable Actions. ♻️
  • One with nature? The City Nature Challenge is a collaborative, global event that invites everyone to (safely!) observe and document nature from April 24-27, which helps us learn more about the plants and animals that thrive in our cities. Learn more and register to join us for a web-based orientation on Friday, April 17th at! 🐾
  • Have you noticed the wildlife in your neighborhood? Whether it's raccoons, coyotes, or even bears and bobcats(!) our region is teeming with critters who call us neighbors. Become a sofa scientist and log your observations at our website to help Woodland Park Zoo field researchers understand the distribution of carnivores in our region and how we can best coexist with these animals that play a pivotal role in the health of our environment. 🦊

  • Take the palm oil challenge, dig through your cupboards (start with your kitchen and bathroom) and find out which products use sustainable palm oil or not: Supporting wildlife friendly products begins with understanding just how many household items contain palm oil. 🌴

  • Sign the Global Deal for Nature Petition: Join over 2 million people in over 92 countries and sign the petition calling on world leaders to support a Global Deal for Nature that protects and restores half of the Earth’s lands and oceans. 🌍
  • Help protect wildlife by becoming a ZooParent. A ZooParent purchase will fund conservation programs and the daily care and feeding of all zoo animals, like pregnant tapir, Ulan: 🦚
  • Take twenty. Nature is all around us, and connecting with and appreciating the details is good for human health too. Each morning (or evening, if you're more of a night owl) commit to just twenty minutes of listening, soaking up your environment and deep breathing. If you can, safely take a stroll around the block or find a quiet space in your yard. You'll be amazed at what twenty minutes watching a robin can do to connect you to another species and recharge your headspace. Who knows what you'll notice! 🌸
Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Just for kids, here are a few Earth Day ideas for animal lovers of all ages (adults too!)

  • Send a colorful wish for a baby gorilla. Show your love for Uzumma's baby by sending him a wish. Each milestone in the baby’s life is a symbol of hope for his cousins in the wild, for the forests they live in and for our planet. What are your wishes for the baby gorilla? What do you hope for the future of endangered gorillas? Once we collect all of your wishes for the baby, we’ll put them into a wish book for our dedicated team of gorilla keepers. Visit to get started on this coloring contest. 🦍
  • Check out our activity books on our new Zoo to You resource page, you'll find coloring sheets, word searches, mazes, mad libs, storytelling prompts and activities to help little ones connect to nature and wildlife. Whether you're a family looking for nature play activities and science lesson plans for home, or a zoo fan who misses your furry and feathered friends, this virtual resource is for you. 🎨
  • Get artsy! There is no better time to get creative with materials you might already have at home. What can you create with items in your recycle bin? How about turning your old MyZoo magazines into an Earth Day collage? Write a poem about your favorite place to connect with nature, then paint it onto an old t-shirt. When it comes to showing your love for the planet, there is really no limit (please check with your parents). 🖌️
  • Do you have sidewalk chalk? Leave a Happy Earth Day message on your sidewalk or driveway and inspire others to stop for a moment to remember the planet. 🌷
Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash
Have an idea for how to celebrate Earth Day you don’t see here? Let us know how you plan to celebrate, we'd love to see!

From everyone at Woodland Park Zoo, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Earth Day. We share our love of nature and all its creatures with you. 

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo