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Better Coffee Can Make You A Better Birder

November 9, 2011

Coffee. This caffeine enriched drink is something that people all over the world enjoy on a daily basis. But the real question is; How much do these people know about how that cup of Joe they enjoy every morning? Join Binder Park Zoo and the BC Brigham Audubon on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00pm to learn all there is to know about coffee. Paul Cypher, a self-proclaimed coffee snob and environmental educator will be discussing the centuries-long history of coffee and its effect on the environment. Guests of the event will also have the opportunity to sample Birds and Beans® coffee, a truly bird friendly brew.

Today, Paul Cypher is an interpreter at Lake Erie Metropark. As a passionate birder and a 15-year intravenous coffee user, his hope is that more people become aware of the environmental and social issues surrounding the process by which coffee is produced. As a result, it is his hope that consumers all over the world will begin making better decisions regarding sustainability starting with the checkout line. His sponsor, Birds and Beans® coffee, is a leader in bird-friendly and sustainable coffees.

Birds and Beans® coffee is an organic coffee company that prides itself on being bird friendly and environmentally sustainable.

Birds and Beans® coffee Mission

“Make it easy for everyone in the USA to drink 'Bird Friendly®' Coffee – a real way to support sustainability.”

“The Birds & Beans mission is about making it easier for everyday tasks, like your morning cup of coffee, to make a real difference in the world live in.”

”Drinking 'Bird Friendly®' Coffee does far more than save birds; it is a practical and delicious way to support true sustainability.” “We want to make sure that people who enjoy coffee and care about sustainability can get great coffee that they know is good for bird conservation, family farmers and workers and the environment we all share. Our commitment to quality and service ensures that fresh roasted, great tasting ‘Birds & Beans - the good coffee’™ flies straight to your door and into your cup.”

The company began in Toronto in 1998 when Madeleine and David Pritchard opened up their own Café and Roastery where Bird Friendly’® coffee was served. In cooperation with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Mr. and Mrs. Pritchard were given a Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) ‘Bird Friendly’® independent certification. This means that Birds & Beans® coffee is 100%-organic shade-grown, ensuring the conservation of migratory bird habitat in Latin America. Ten years later, with the help of Bill Wilson and Scott Weidensaul, Birds and Beans® coffee began changing the way coffee was perceived by coffee drinkers and bird lovers alike all over the United States.

To learn more about Birds and Beans® coffee, please visit http://www.birdsandbeans.com/.

A short BC Brigham Audubon business meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm, with the presentation beginning immediately afterwards at 7:15 pm. The meeting will take place in the Cross Administration Building (Zoo Office). The event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Binder Park Zoo: 269-979-1351.


Animal Artists to Shine at Fall Into the Arts! Art Walk

October 14, 2011

Artwork created by some of Binder Park Zoo’s most talented artists will be on display at this year’s Fall Into the Arts! Art Walk in Downtown Battle Creek on October 14, 2011 from 5-9:00pm. All of the artwork is hand, or paw-made, and is extremely unique to the artist. Each framed masterpiece comes with a color photograph and bio of the animal artist. Whether the one-of-a-kind piece was created by one of Binder Park Zoo’s resident cheetahs, snow leopards, lemurs or even snakes, patrons of the Art Walk will not be disappointed.

“Creating these exceptional pieces of art is actually a great form of enrichment for the animals,” said Jenny Barnett, Binder Park Zoo’s Director of Wildlife Management, Conservation and Education. “These activities break up their normal routine and give the animals a way to stay active and engaged. In addition, we are lucky enough to have some amazing and beautiful pieces of art as a result.”

Binder Park Zoo’s animal artwork will be on display on the first floor of the Battle Creek Tower and all artwork is available for purchase. Following the event, the artwork will be available for purchase at Binder Park Zoo’s main office.

In addition to the artwork featured by Binder Park Zoo, visitors will have the opportunity to experience live musical and theatrical performances throughout the evening. Horse and carriage rides and a Trolley Service will also be available to allow guests the opportunity to view all exhibits with ease. Wondering what you will do for food doing this amazing event? Explore Michigan Avenue and nearby streets for local faire presented by downtown restaurants. Make sure to watch out for kiosks which can direct you to restaurant listings.

Fall into the Arts is brought to you by the Battle Creek Downtown Partnership, establishing downtown Battle Creek as a vibrant, livable urban center.

For more information about this year’s Fall Into the Arts! Art Walk or Binder Park Zoo please visit www.downtownbattlecreek.com or call Binder Park Zoo’s main office at 269-979-1351.


Help Binder Park Zoo Name Its Newest Addition

September 23, 2011

Now through October 30th Binder Park Zoo is asking for the community’s help to name its newest furry addition, a male red panda cub. Binder Park Zoo’s animal care staff has come up with a list of five possible names for the cub. The choices and their translations are: Dagan, meaning grain of rice in Hebrew; Connolly meaning fierce in Gaelic; Reid meaning red-haired in Gaelic; Xu (pronounced “shoe”) meaning to snort in Chinese; and Di meaning younger brother in Chinese.

This red panda birth is another success for red panda conservation. Red pandas are listed as an endangered species and Binder Park Zoo works with the red panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure the captive population remains genetically strong. Delilah is 5 years old and on loan to Binder Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo as she was genetically matched to breed with Binder’s 8 year old male, Fagen. Currently, Flynn, Delilah’s male cub that was born at Binder Park Zoo in June of 2010, is on exhibit while Delilah and her new cub get better acquainted.

Red Pandas are found in the mountainous regions of China, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and into Tibet. The main threats to their survival are habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture and livestock and poaching as the red panda’s fur is still highly prized, especially for warm winter hats. They eat a diet of bamboo leaves supplemented by fruit, but they will occasionally eat eggs and insects as well. They are also known to invade rice farms which put them at risk for retaliation from the farmers.

Through October 30th, supporters and animal lovers alike can visit www.binderparkzoo.org and place their vote for a donation of just $1. Vote as often as you’d like! The chosen name will be announced on November 2nd on Binder Park Zoo’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/binderparkzoo, and website at www.binderparkzoo.org.

Currently, this cub is off of exhibit, getting better acquainted with his surroundings. It is unknown if he will make an appearance before the end of the season, but Binder Park Zoo staff is hopeful guests might see him during one of the many special events planned throughout the Autumn and Winter months.

For more information and to vote for your favorite name, please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Let Binder Park Zoo Bring Out The Wolf In You!

October 1, 2011

After 20 years of participation in wolf conservation Binder Park Zoo is once again hosting the Howl-A-Palooza, a celebration of everything Wolf, on October 1, 2011. In partnership with National Wolf Awareness Week, Binder Park Zoo will be offering special activities throughout the day for guests and wolves alike. In addition, while supplies last, all guests will also receive a free Wolf Awareness Week poster provided by the Timber Wolf Alliance.

For starters, Binder Park Zoo will present Mexican wolf keeper tails at 12:00pm, 2:00pm and 4:00pm all at the Mexican wolf exhibit. Learn about their diet, native habitat and how important the survival of this endangered species truly is.

Do you think you have what it takes to out-howl one of the best known howlers in the United States? Try your luck at the howling contest at 3:00pm to win cool prizes.

In addition to their howl, wolves are known for having highly acute senses, much more so than humans. Visit the Wolf Senses Discovery Center on the Smith Snow Leopard Lawn to learn just how amazing a wolf’s sense of sight, hearing and smell really are.

In addition to these fun and educational activities, guests always have the opportunity to “Mark Their Territory” at Binder Park Zoo by purchasing an engraved brick along the Avenue of Flags. Forever memorialize a loved one, show your company’s support or simply show your family how much you really care.

For a limited time, guests can even ADOPT one of the Mexican wolves currently residing at Binder Park Zoo for only $40. Each ADOPT parent will receive an official ADOPT certificate, an informational fact sheet about Mexican wolves, a color photograph of the ADOPTed wolf and a Mexican wolf plush.

As mentioned previously, the Timber Wolf Alliance plays a key role in Wolf Awareness Week. The Timber Wolf Alliance (TWA) is an organization that is helping to promote and assist in achieving a sustainable population of wolves by raising awareness through public education. Through groups like TWA, and others involved locally and nationally, the message of the wolves is being heard. The many individuals supporting these organizations are the ones making the difference through donations, teaching their children to respect nature, and sharing this message with those around them.

Howl-a-Palooza offers guests the perfect opportunity to learn about wolves, their conservation status and to hear from Binder Park Zoo’s very own Mexican wolf Zookeepers. "This weekend is a great time to learn about these fascinating animals," remarks Jenny Barnett, Director of Wildlife Conservation and Education at Binder Park Zoo. "The enrichment activities are especially interesting as it gives everyone a chance to see the wolves display some of the natural behaviors that they would in the wild."

Since 1991, Binder Park Zoo has been home to one of the most endangered wolf species, the Mexican gray wolf. Once common in the southwest United States and northern Mexico, they were nearly eliminated in the first half of this century by ranchers who feared that the wolves were a threat to cattle. The extermination effort nearly succeeded, but a few Mexican wolves survived in captivity and in remote areas of Mexico. From these few survivors, a captive breeding program began in 1979 with the eventual goal of reestablishing Mexican wolves in the wild. Amazingly, the first release in an effort to repopulate this species occurred on March 29, 1998, and included a female Mexican wolf born at Binder Park Zoo.

To learn more about Binder Park Zoo and Howl-A-Palooza, please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


What’s Red, Black and Furry All Over?

September, 12, 2011

Once again Binder Park Zoo is hearing the pitter patter of little feet. On June 18, 2011, Binder Park Zoo’s Red Panda, Delilah, gave birth to a single male cub. This cub has yet to be named but is doing well and spending a lot of quality time with mom behind the scenes.

The cub received his first physical exam and vaccinations at 8 weeks old and is doing very well. The cub will have another exam and set of vaccinations at 12 weeks of age.

This is a big step forward for red panda conservation. Red pandas are listed as an endangered species and with this in mind, Binder Park Zoo works with the red panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure the captive population remains genetically strong. Delilah is 5 years old and is on loan to Binder Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo as she was genetically matched to breed with Binder’s 8 year old male, Fagen. Currently, Flynn, Delilah’s male cub that was born at Binder Park Zoo in June of 2010, is on exhibit while Delilah and her new cub get better acquainted.

Red Pandas are found in the mountainous regions of China, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and into Tibet. The main threats to their survival are habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture and livestock and poaching as the red panda’s fur is still highly prized, especially for warm winter hats. They eat a diet of bamboo leaves supplemented by fruit, but they will occasionally eat eggs and insects as well. They are also known to invade rice farms which put them at risk for retaliation from the farmers.

Binder Park Zoo will keep the public up-to-date on whether the little guy will be able to make an appearance before October 2nd, the last day of the season, or during any upcoming events.

“It’s always exciting when a new animal is born here at Binder Park Zoo,” said Jenny Barnett, the Director of Wildlife Management, Conservation and Education. “When one of our SSP animals experience a birth, it’s just that much more exciting. Helping to ensure the survival of species like the Chinese red panda is exactly what our mission is about and we hope to continue such programs for years to come.”

In addition to the joyous birth of this adorable little red panda cub, Binder Park Zoo has added another new resident. Kayin meaning “celebrated child” in a Western Africa dialect called Yoruba, is a female giraffe on loan to Binder Park Zoo from the Sedgwick County Zoo. Kayin was born on November 29, 2008 making her 2 ½ years old. Her absolute favorite thing to eat is browse and hay from the puzzle feeders inside the overnight enclosures. Kayin is being slowly introduced to the Savanna exhibit and may be seen at Twiga Overlook before the end of the season.

To learn more about Binder Park Zoo please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Saving One Endangered Bird Species at a Time

September 14, 2011

What is so important about Michigan’s Jack Pine forests? Well for one specific species of bird, the existence of these beautiful forests is a matter of survival. The Kirtland Warbler is a very rare and endangered species of bird that needs our help to ensure its survival. Join Binder Park Zoo and BC Brigham Audubon on Wednesday, September 14th at 7:00pm for a presentation on the ongoing efforts to save its existence for generations to come. Kaylee Kernstock, one of Binder Park Zoo’s very own zookeepers, will share her experiences of participating in a Kirtland Warbler Survey and what that can mean for the conservation of these animals.

Kaylee Kernstock began her career working with animals at Binder Park Zoo as an animal care intern during the summer of 2009 until she completed her BS in Biology at Ferris State University in 2010. Not soon after graduation Kaylee was hired into Binder Park Zoo as a zookeeper. She quickly began working with various species of animals. Currently Kaylee works with cockatoos, lemurs, wallaby, an Aldabra tortoise, vultures, an emu, prairie dogs and Mexian wolves.

During the summer of 2011, Kaylee spent one week training with the Michigan USDA Forest Service on how to properly and most effectively perform surveys for the endangered Kirtland’s warbler in the Huron National Forest. She worked alongside representatives from Potter Park Zoo, Saginaw Zoo and John Ball Zoo. Interestingly enough, a record number of singing male Kirtland’s warblers were heard during this particular survey. In the upcoming years, Kaylee will be participating in these surveys on her own, helping to conserve this rare species that truly depends on Michigan’s jack pine forests for survival.

A short BC Brigham Audubon business meeting will start promptly at 7:00 pm, with the presentation beginning immediately afterwards at 7:15 pm. The meeting will take place in the Cross Administration Building (Zoo Office). The event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Binder Park Zoo: 269-979-1351.


Chase Bank Presents Binder Park Zoo with $25,000 Check!

August 9, 2011

During the last few weeks of April 2011, Facebook users from all over the country logged on and voted for their favorite and most deserving charities. These organizations were part of the Chase Community Giving contest. To be in the running for the Top 100 Charities in the country all charities had to meet specific criteria and those finishing in the Top 100 would receive $25,000 each. Since its inception in 2009; Chase Community Giving has engaged over 2.8 million Facebook users and allocated $15.5 million in Chase grants to 400 charities from 39 states, Washington D.C and Puerto Rico. For the first time Binder Park Zoo was chosen to be one of those charities in the running.

JPMorgan Chase donates a total of more than $150 million annually to thousands of non-profit organizations in local communities; nationally and abroad. This $5.5 million effort on Facebook is in addition to the bank's traditional philanthropic giving.

Voting came to a close on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. With overwhelming support from Binder Park Zoo’s members, employees, volunteers and loyal guests, Binder Park Zoo placed 61st in the Top 100!

The $25,000 check presentation took place on August 5, 2011 at 9:30 am. Representatives from the Chase Community Giving Team, Chase Commercial Banking of the Southwest Michigan Region and Binder Park Zoo were present. Deb Spooner, the Branch Manager of the Fort Custer Chase Office and Darren Timmeney , the SVP-Market Manager/Community President presented the $25,000 check to Greg Geise, Binder Park Zoo’s CEO/President.

“Facebook users have spoken and voted for some truly incredible and deserving charities. We are delighted that Chase will make a contribution to each of these worthy causes,” Kimberly Davis, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, said. “We continue to be inspired by the number of outstanding charities that choose to participate in the Chase program and the millions of fans who visit our Facebook page and vote for them. The dedication and enthusiasm of the charities and their supporters is one reason why Chase has committed $25 million for Chase Community Giving to distribute to even more charities over the next two years.”

“All of us here at Binder Park Zoo would like to thank each and every one who voted during the Chase Community Giving contest,” stated Greg Geise. “It’s due to the overwhelming support from our members, donors and community that have made Binder Park Zoo what it is today. In addition, the generosity of the Chase Community Giving program cannot be overlooked. Their support is a true testament to how nationally recognized companies are doing their part and giving back to the community.”

For more information about the conservation efforts and programs offered at Binder Park Zoo please call 269-979-1351 or visit www.binderparkzoo.org.


Go Behind the Scenes and Get in Touch With Your Wild Side

August 3, 2011

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Binder Park Zoo? Ever wonder how the zookeepers take care of all of the Savanna animals on a day-to-day basis? Now is your opportunity to find out!

On August 13th at 8:00am come spend some time with a zookeeper learning about the animals of the African Savanna during one of Binder Park Zoo’s Savanna Management Tours. See where the giraffes, zebra, and antelope live when they are off exhibit and learn how the staff get the animals on and off exhibit every day. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close and personal! Some areas may not be wheelchair accessible. Private parties of 4-10 participants can be booked upon request. Maximum of 16 guests, no children under 6 please! This program cost $12 for members and $20 for non-members.

In addition to the Savanna Management Tour, Binder Park Zoo is hosting two Animal Play Days this month. On August 13th, the Animal Play Day: Bagels, Bagels, Bagels will take place. Bagels aren’t just for breakfast anymore….enjoy observing these animals tear into a few fluffy bagels-minus the cream cheese of course!

August 21st brings about another animal enrichment day, Animal Play Day: Chillin on a Summer Daze. Come learn as zookeepers keep the animals cool on the hot Michigan summer days in many ways. Watch the animals escape the scorchers by licking and chewing ice with treats frozen right inside!

Behind the scenes tours, overnights and many other programs occur all throughout the season. For more information and to register for one of these fun-filled adventures please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269 -979-1351.


A Potluck and Presentation for the Birds!

August 10, 2011

The month of August is one for the birds! Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity the whole family will enjoy? Come on out to Binder Park Zoo on Wednesday, August 10th for a Potluck dinner and tour of our African Aviaries. Festivities will begin at 6:00pm with a Potluck dinner at the Pine Picnic Pavilion on Binder Park Zoo’s grounds. Guests of all ages are welcome to join in on the fun. In fact, BC Brigham Audubon will even provide the beverages.

Binder Park Zoo and the BC Brigham Audubon only ask that anyone coming to the Potluck bring a dish to pass and their own table service.

The tour of African Aviaries will include the Forest Aviary and the Walk-through Aviary. The Wilderness Tram will depart the USA and take visitors up to Africa at 7:15pm. Guests will be guided by Chris Gertiser, one of Binder Park Zoo’s very own zookeepers. Chris has been a zookeeper at Binder Park Zoo for over three years specializing in reptiles and amphibians but started working with the African birds this past year.

“These fascinating birds exhibit very unique behaviors even in captivity,” stated Chris Gertiser. “Our weavers build elaborate nests and put on intricate courtship displays in order to attract mates. The best part is they go about all of this activity despite people wandering through their ‘forest’ constantly. It really is a great way to get close to African nature right here in Michigan!”

Wondering what types of birds you might see on this one-of-a-kind tour? In the Forest Aviary guests will have the chance of seeing black storks, blue belly rollers, starlings, turacos, and hornbills. During the Walk-through Aviary tour, Taveta golden weavers, mousebirds, pintail whydahs, red bishops, and a Namaqua dove will all be flying around your heads as they go about building their intricate nests and foraging for food. Finally, the tour will swing through the Forest Farm to take a look at some of Binder Park Zoo’s peach faced and black masked lovebirds, guinea and jungle fowl. In addition, guests will have the chance of seeing ostrich, marabou storks and African crowned cranes on the Savannah Exhibit.

The event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Binder Park Zoo at 269-979-1351.


BINDER PARK ZOO SUPPORTS REGIONAL AND NATIONAL ECONOMY

July 20, 2011

Binder Park Zoo generates significant economic benefits locally, regionally and nationally, according to a new analysis conducted on behalf of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

“Binder Park Zoo supports the community in more ways than one,” said Jim Maddy, President and CEO of AZA. “Not only does Binder Park Zoo have a deep commitment to science education and wildlife conservation, but it also generates valuable economic benefits to the region.”

AZA has commissioned a state-by-state economic impact analysis conducted by nationally recognized economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums generated the following impacts for the state of Michigan:

• $102 million in economic activity (contribution to national GDP); • $37.3 million in personal earnings (salaries and wages); and • 1,190 jobs.

“Zoos and aquariums, including Binder Park Zoo play a significant role in the economy of Michigan,” added Maddy.

Binder Park Zoo is a valuable community resource, including visits by 30,000 school children every year, and a vital role in wildlife conservation. Beyond these important community benefits, Binder Park Zoo has the following economic impact:

• Binder Park Zoo employs over 200 people; • Binder Park Zoo spends $5 million each year on goods and services; • Binder Park Zoo serves 250,000 visitors each year.

Dr. Fuller writes in his report: “Annual spending by zoos and aquariums for operations and capital projects generate significant economic benefits for their host jurisdictions. These benefits build from the initial outlays, as they are re-spent across the breadth of the economy. These benefits accumulate and expand the economy’s total output as measured by their contributions to Gross Domestic Product and respective Gross State Products. These benefits also generate new personal earnings to the benefit of workers residing in the host jurisdictions and support job growth locally, regionally ands nationally.”

The cumulative economic impact of 212 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums as they serve more than 179 million annual visitors is as follows:

• $16.0 billion in economic activity (contribution to national GDP); • $ 4.7 billion in personal earnings (salaries and wages); • 142,000 jobs.

A copy of the report can be found at http://www.aza.org/PressRoom/NationalEconomicImpact/

Over 7,000,000 people have visited Binder Park Zoo and an additional 500,000 have been served through outreach programs since it first opened in 1977. It is located outside of Battle Creek, Michigan, on 433 acres of natural forests and wetlands. In the past 35 years, the Zoo has grown to be one of the leading cultural attractions in the region. It was created on the model of an entrepreneurial self-supporting nonprofit organization, and is managed by a zoological society board of directors to "nurture empathy, understanding, and conservation of nature." In the last several years a conservation education center, a 40-acre natural wetlands exhibit, and the 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit and conservation carousel have been added to the original 80-acre zoo. Binder Park Zoo serves over 40,000 people annually in 30 different types of formal education programs and is heavily involved in conservation of wildlife and natural habitats on five continents. In cooperation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and others, Binder Park Zoo is actively working to conserve a wide array of endangered species both at the Zoo and worldwide. www.binderparkzoo.org

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit www.aza.org.


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