OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Utah’s Hogle Zoo hosting “Party for the Planet,” among other conservation efforts

Apr 21, 2023, 8:00 AM

Utah's Hogle Zoo posted a Twitter thread about its water conservation efforts after ranking as one ...

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is holding a "Party for the Planet" this Saturday to celebrate Earth Day. Conservationist Tori Bird with the Hogle Zoo shares details. (File photo)

(File photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Hogle Zoo is holding a “Party for the Planet” this Saturday to celebrate Earth Day. 

Conservationist Tori Bird with the Hogle Zoo joins KSL At Night hosts Leah Murray and Greg Skordas. They discuss the festivities being held at the zoo and how community members can get involved in saving the planet.

Bird says the celebration focuses on family-friendly educational activities. 

“We’ll be highlighting some of our conservation work that we do both locally and globally through our Zoomazing Race,” she says to Murray and Skordas.

The Zoomazing Race includes, according to Bird, six games spread throughout the zoo.

“If you participate in these games, you can win some prizes,” Bird says. “And, you’ll also be learning, if we’re doing it right.”

Hogle Zoo’s conservation efforts

She goes on to say the Hogle Zoo works on various conservation projects, including a Jordan River Restoration Program.

“We run two events a month, taking out volunteers from any walk of life,” she says. “They’re family-friendly and accessible events to do things like plant trees, install pollinator gardens, remove trash from the river and generally just restore that habit [of] that really unique urban river that we have here.”

Along with this, she says the zoo works “really hard” to reduce its water consumption.

“I know it’s hard to believe after this big snow year, but we are still a drought state,” Bird says. “So since 2002, we’ve actually made a lot of changes to reduce our own water usage by about 65% which we’re really proud of.”

However, conserving water is not the only change the zoo has worked towards. According to Bird, the zoo has reduced its use of single-use plastics.

“We have been single-use plastic straw free for 20 years. Single-use plastic bag free for five. And, plastic water bottle free for four,” she says. “You can bring your water bottles here. We have refilling stations throughout the zoo that you can use so you don’t have to use a plastic water bottle that you’re then just going to throw away.”

What to expect at the “Party for the Planet” and how you can get involved

Bird says the zoo will be “partying for the planet” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

During the “Party for the Planet,” a number of the zoo’s local conservation partners and sustainable organizations will be helping people understand the actions that they can take in their everyday life to live a more sustainable life.

However, Bird says individuals looking to participate in Earth Day events do not have to actually enter to the zoo.

“We will also be partnering with Utah Recycling Alliance for a collection of hard-to-recycle materials or charm events,” she says. “You can bring items like batteries, mattresses or packaging materials … this will be across the street from the zoo in our north lot. And, you can always bring your cell phones or similar small electronic devices to our guest services desk outside of the zoo and we recycle those in support of gorilla conservation to help protect the habitat and raise money for critically endangered gorillas by reducing the demand for coal pan.”

Listen to the full segment below.

KSL at Night can be heard most weekdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Utah’s Hogle Zoo hosting “Party for the Planet,” among other conservation efforts