Brookfield Zoo Celebrates Earth Day with a Party for the Planet

Brookfield Zoo Party for the Planet

Go green this Earth Day by joining Brookfield Zoo for its annual Party for the Planet celebration on Sunday, April 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The day of fun-filled environmentally-friendly activities, which are presented by energySMART, a Nicor Gas program, feature animal Zoo Chats, recycling and planting opportunities, and an Eco Expo, where guests can learn easy tips to help save the planet.

At 11:00 a.m., zoogoers can join the grounds staff in planting a tree on the south mall. Additionally, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. zoogoers can assist in planting pansies in containers outside Hamill Family Play Zoo. While there, be sure to pick up an oak sapling and acorn seeds (while supplies last) to take home and plant. The zoo, which features more than 100 species of trees, recently had its arboretum status renewed. Guests may download a tree guide from the zoo’s website at to help them identify trees they see along the walkways.

During informal Zoo Chats, experts will discuss how everyone can make a positive difference for the Earth and its animals. Head over to Great Bear Wilderness at 11:00 a.m. for a talk about bears. At 12:15 p.m., staff will share stories about the animals who reside at Pinniped Point. On the south side of the Carousel at 1:30 p.m., guests can meet one of the zoo’s animal ambassadors. Finally at 2:30 p.m., venture over to the north side of the Pachyderm Building to learn about the black rhino.

At the Eco Expo, located at the zoo’s North Mall, representatives from more than 20 organizations and companies will be on hand to chat with zoogoers about ways to be ecofriendly. Those attending include: Illinois Environmental Council; Citizens Utility Board; Friends of the Forest Preserves; Downers Grove Park District; Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens; Dunes Learning Center; The Anti-Cruelty Center; Harper College Biology Club; Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; Student Conservation Association; Campton Township Open Space; Illinois Green Alliance; and the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Also joining in the day’s festivities is Nature Cat from the popular PBS kids’ television program, who will be available to meet young guests from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. On the Carousel Plaza, which is just north of the Eco Expo, youngsters can take part in an etching art activity.

The zoo will also be offering free parking in its main north lot, located at 8400 31st Street (First Avenue and 31st Street) in Brookfield, to guests who bring in at least one approved item to recycle between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Items being collected for eWorks Electronic Services Inc. in Elk Grove Village are office equipment and products (telephones, answering machines, fax machines, copy machines, and postage machines), small home appliances (hair dryers, power tools, wire, toasters, blenders, and coffee makers), and home entertainment electronics (VCRs, DVD players, stereo equipment, camcorders, and video game players).

Textiles such as backpacks, bedspreads and quilts, sheets, blankets, belts, clothing items, curtains, handbags, hats, paired shoes, plush toys, sofa covers, tote bags, and towels and washcloths, will be donated to Chicago Textile Recycling in Hillside for recycling.

Additionally, the zoo will have a drop box for electronic items such as cell phones, cell phone accessories, pagers, hand-held electronic games, e-readers, laptops, iPods, iPads, tablets, and MP3 players, which will be sent to Eco-Cell for recycling.

For a complete list of approved items being collected go to the zoo’s website at Items not being accepted are televisions, CRT monitors, large appliances, hazardous and chemical waste, smoke detectors, and wooden speakers. Items should be delivered unboxed and free of excess packaging materials.

Party for the Planet activities (excluding activities inside Hamill Family Play Zoo) are free with general zoo admission of $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $14.00. For additional information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

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