Archive: It’s a Dung Deal: Free Detroit Zoo Poo April 14 to First 1,000 GreenFest Guests

Earth Day celebration features sustainability tour, environmental education

April 3, 2018

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) will be number one at giving away number two when it hosts its sixth annual GreenFest at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event is dedicated to celebrating Earth Day (observed this year on April 22) and engaging the community in environmental stewardship.

The first 1,000 guests to visit the anaerobic digester educational display will receive a token for a 5-gallon bucket, courtesy of The Home Depot Foundation, to be filled with free Detroit Zoo Poo – an herbivore compost processed in the DZS’s anaerobic digester and produced in partnership with Detroit Dirt.

The anaerobic digester, located behind the scenes at the Detroit Zoo, annually converts 500 tons of animal manure and other organic waste into methane-rich gas to help power the Zoo’s animal hospital, leaving a nutrient-rich fertilizer as a byproduct.

GreenFest will feature a sustainability tour highlighting the anaerobic digester – the first in Michigan and the only zoo-based system of its kind in the country – and other DZS sustainability initiatives.  These include diverting 60,000 plastic bottles from of the waste stream annually by discontinuing the sale of bottled water on Detroit Zoo grounds and using permeable pavement in visitor pathways and a parking lot.  Guests will also learn about the DZS’s cricket-breeding program, rain gardens and solar energy system, among other green efforts.

GreenFest guests can also explore farm-to-table food options, expand their science knowledge during chemistry demonstrations, make window decals to prevent bird strikes and take a green pledge to join the DZS on its Green Journey.

Detroit Dirt will be on hand to talk about composting, and the Oakland County Board of Commissioners will provide information on conservation programs and green initiatives in Oakland County.  All GreenFest activities are free with Detroit Zoo admission.  The event is supported by DTE Energy’s MiGreenPower, Kroger and Pure Oakland Water.

GreenFest is an initiative of the DZS Greenprint, a strategic plan to refine and improve green practices and facilities at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center, incorporate sustainability in all policies and programs, and improve green literacy and action in the community.