Rosamond Gifford Zoo to host a weekend full of Earth Day events

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Rosamond Gifford Zoo and hundred of accredited zoos and aquariums are holding Spring into Action activities that invite the community to celebrate Planet Earth starting on Earth Day, April 22.

The zoo will hold four days of events showcasing different ways people can help clean up, create, and connect to local and global habitats through Sunday, April 25.

Zoo visitors will also receive a free sapling to plant a native tree species thanks to a grant from The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Disney Conservation Fund. This is only while supplies last.

“As an AZA accredited zoo, our zoo has a mission to inspire our community and our visitors to respect, value and conserve wildlife and nature,” said Zoo Director Ted Fox. “We invite everyone to join us at the zoo and online for these special programs to Celebrate Planet Earth.”

Last year, the pandemic caused the Zoo to cancel Earth Day events.

The events for the weekend are as follows:

  • Thursday, April 22 – Earth Day Community Cleanup

Join workers from Target and ACR Health by volunteering to help spruce up the zoo grounds on Earth Day. Help out with trash pickup, raking, mulching, and other projects at the zoo- or do a cleanup in your own neighborhood and share about it via To sign up to volunteer, please email Heidi Strong at

You can also help by bringing returnable bottles and cans to the zoo between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Earth Day to benefit the animals! Follow the signs to the Earth Day bottle and can drop-off in the zoo parking lot.

  • Friday, April 23 – Virtual Conservation Education Day

Take advantage of free virtual programs about conservation, recycling, endangered species, and how to create healthy habitats with online presentations from the zoo education team and our conservation partners. Meet threatened and endangered species and the people who care for them at the zoo, interact with educators, and learn how you can help wildlife and the planet with your everyday actions.

  • Saturday, April 24 – Party for the Planet

The zoo’s annual Party for the Planet is back on zoo grounds the Saturday after Earth Day. Come to the zoo for this fun and educational event highlighting conservation projects happening in CNY and around the world. Make the rounds to exhibitors like Greening USA, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the SUNY-ESF Snailblazers. Free with zoo membership or admission.

Party for the Planet is a collaborative education event held by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) member institutions in support of their shared missions of wildlife conservation and saving endangered species.

  • Sunday, April 25 — World Penguin Day

Join the zoo’s penguin team at the Penguin Coast exhibit to learn about Humboldt penguins, the threats they face in the wild, and what you can do to help. Stop by outdoor tables to play games and learn about sustainable fishing, what fish the zoo’s penguins like to eat, how the zoo cares for its penguin colony, and more. From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., paint a rock to take home or donate it to the penguins to use for their nests. There will also be a raffle of penguin paintings and other items to help support penguin conservation in the wild.

The zoo’s reservations system remains in effect along with wearing a mask and social distancing protocols. Reservations through Sunday, April 25 will open starting April 16. Find information on how to reserve your zoo visit at

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