Cleveland Metroparks Zoo celebrates Earth Day with Party for the Planet!

Snow Leopard cubs on exhibit at Asian Highlands for the first time on July 24, 2018. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

Sat 4/20 @ 10AM-5PM

Exactly a year after the Cuyahoga River famously caught on fire, the world celebrated its first Earth Day in 1970. Today, the conservation holiday continues with various Northeast Ohio events aimed at keeping the environment front and center.

One of the more popular affairs for families is the annual “Party for the Planet!,” which takes place Sat 4/20 @ 10am-5pm at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

“This event is all about encouraging people to participate in conservation efforts and secure a future for wildlife at the Zoo,” says Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Communications Coordinator Jeff Tolman.

“This year we’re going to have an opportunity for people to meet animal keepers and view animal enrichment demonstrations. Also, there’s a dance party, as well as hands-on activities for guests to participate in and connect with the natural world.”

In addition, the 2019 event features an electric vehicle display and vendor village, which were both present at last year’s affair.

The former includes several different electric vehicle model cars, while the latter boasts a dozen vendors such as the city of Cleveland Office of Sustainability and Division of Air Quality, St. Edward’s Trash Talkers, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association and the NEORSD sewer simulator.

“It’s just more opportunity for people to come out and see different things,” Tolman said. “With an electric vehicle display, obviously there’s a tie there with the (energy) conservation message.”

Considering Party for the Planet! takes place at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, animals are naturally a key attraction with the baby snow leopard cubs, born exactly a year ago, taking center stage during a special program.

“There will be special animal enrichment for them at 10am in our new exhibit — Asian Highlands,” Tolman said. “That’s a great opportunity for the people to come out see them on their birthday.

“Animal enrichment is training or activities set by our animal care team that encourages the natural behavior of the animals.”

Additional animal enrichment programs are scheduled for lions, elephants and koala bears. Overall, Cleveland Metroparks officials have created an Earth Day affair that caters to everyone.

“The Cleveland Metroparks is an organization that’s committed to conserving natural resources and connecting people with the natural world,” Tolman said. “This is a great event for families to come out and connect with our animals, as well as participate in that conservation effort securing a future for wildlife at the Zoo.”

[Written by John Benson]

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