Detroit Zoo, Belle Isle Nature Center to Launch Party for the Planet Event Series

April 13, 2022

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

Things are looking green this spring at the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).

Across the globe, organizations and individuals recognize April as Earth Month, and the DZS is taking part by kicking off its Party for the Planet series. From April to June, the DZS will host not one, but four celebrations to honor the earth, promote sustainable living and encourage guests to make their community a greener place.

Hosted in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and other AZA-accredited zoos, Party for the Planet aims to connect families to nature through activities and volunteer opportunities that improve the planet. With more than 120 participating zoos and aquariums, Party for the Planet is poised to be the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America.

“We are pleased to celebrate green initiatives here at the Detroit Zoo,” said Stephen Vrla, curator of humane education. “It is important to not only celebrate the good we are doing in sustainability but to also raise awareness about the need to take care of our planet. We must act quickly for the welfare of ourselves, the environment and the animals.”

With so much excitement surrounding green education, the DZS not only split the celebration into multiple days but is also spreading Party for the Planet across multiple campuses. There will be events taking place at both the Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, and the Belle Isle Nature Center, 176 Lakeside Dr., Detroit.

Upcoming Party for the Planet celebrations at DZS campuses include:

• Earth Day — April 22, virtual celebration

The DZS is launching its Party for the Planet series on Earth Day, which historically focuses on education surrounding environmental issues and sustainability.

Community members can tune into Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center social media channels for a day of virtual learning. DZS education staff will be posting throughout the day about what individuals and families can do to take care of the earth and local wildlife.

• Green Day at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 23

The festivities will continue in person April 23 at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.

At the Detroit Zoo, learn from Zoo education and animal care staff at specialized “ed-zoo-cation” stations about how blocked storm drains lead to water pollution, participate in a citizen BioBlitz to identify as many species as possible in the Zoo gardens and make wildflower seed balls to create wildlife habitats.

Across the bridge at the Belle Isle Nature Center, outdoor activities will abound, including earth-friendly crafts, nature hikes and opportunities to participate in citizen science initiatives that support clean waterways. Green Day at the Belle Isle Nature Center will also feature local conservation specialists, who will illustrate the benefits of green initiatives through an assortment of artistic and educational demonstrations.

• Endangered Species Day at the Detroit Zoo — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 20

For Endangered Species Day, Detroit Zoo staff have put together a day full of education to engage the public as the DZS and AZA work to save animals from extinction. Guests can participate to learn what they can do to help save their favorite animals, from cleaning the environment to building sustainable habitats.

• World Oceans Day at the Detroit Zoo — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8

Celebrate the waters that cover 71 percent of the earth this June on World Oceans Day. The Detroit Zoo will highlight ocean and water conservation at specially developed education stations. Zoo staff will encourage guests to keep waterways clean and connect with nature.

All Party for the Planet events at the Detroit Zoo are free with Zoo admission and free to members. Green Day at the Belle Isle Nature Center is free and open to the general public.

After Party for the Planet concludes, the celebrations don’t have to stop. Guests can continue the event series’ important work from the comfort of their homes. The AZA and DZS encourage individuals and families to #springintoaction by cleaning up litter and plastics from around their neighborhoods, connecting with nature through community science, planting native flowering plants and creating healthy habitats for local wildlife.

“It’s important we all remain good stewards of the environment 365 days of the year,” Vrla said. “We should always make an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle. Every little bit helps.”

Visit the DZS website to learn more about the DZS’s Green Journey and read the latest news of how two Detroit Zoo restaurants have been recognized for eco-friendly and sustainable practices.