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Corks for Conservation online Ticket Sales are now CLOSED!

July 15, 2011

Hi everyone, Online ticket sales for our Corks for Conservation wine tasting event is officially closed. You can purchase tickets at the gate tonight starting at 6:00pm. If you have any questions, please call 269-979-1351. Hope to see everyone out tonight, its absolutely gorgeous!


B Nektar Meadery Joins Corks for Conservation

July 15, 2011

This year, Binder Park Zoo is adding something new to the line-up of well known Michigan spirits at the 3rd annual Corks for Conservation wine tasting event. B Nektar Meadery out of the Detroit area will be joining nine other wineries and a local brewery for the July 15th event.

B. Nektar Meadery was founded in 2006 by Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer, with the help of their good friend Paul Zimmerman. Brad has been an avid homebrewer since 1998, making beers, meads, ciders and wine for his own enjoyment. When Brad and Kerri got married in 2005, he made a mead to toast with at their wedding and received great reviews from the guests. Jokingly, he said that he’d someday open a meadery. Paul, a long-time friend and fellow homebrewer, soon began making meads along with Brad in the Dahlhofers’ basement. Their meads quickly began winning awards at homebrewing competitions.

In the Spring of 2008, Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer and Paul Zimmerman decided it was time to take their mead making to the next level. It was at this time that they began to prepare to open full scale production of their product. Nearly two years after its inception, B Nektar Meadery finally opened its doors on August 2, 2008.

Since this time, B. Nektar has been featured in the media by big names such as Hour Magazine (Detroit), The Detroit News, Metro Times, Channel 4 News, WJR Radio, and many others.

Binder Park Zoo sought out B Nektar Meadery not only due to their unique product but because B Nektar and Binder Park Zoo share the common goal to conserve native species, such as honey bees. This year’s event will feature education on bee conservation and who better to explain the importance of bees than B. Nektar, a meadery whose livelihood depends on the well-being of these tiny insects.

“We want people to know our product and to know where it comes from,” stated Brad Dahlhofer, Co-owner of B Nektar Meadery. “What better place to showcase this then an event that is highlighting bee conservation. B. Nektar has only been around for a short amount of time but we have already launched our product in several states (Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin) with New York and Illinois coming this summer. We are excited to introduce ourselves to people who have never had mead before and to reintroduce ourselves to our friends in the area.”

In addition to B Nektar, guests will have the opportunity to sample wine from Fenn Valley Winery, Black Star Farms, Hickory Creek Winery, Warner Winery, Lawton Ridge Winery, Sandhill Crane Vineyards, Sleeping Bear/Cherry Creek Winery, DeAngelis Cantina, and Tempo Vino Winery. Joining the event again this year will also be a selection of Ales from Battle Creek's own Arcadia Brewing Company. Guests will also enjoy live music by the band Montage, delicious hors d' oeuvres from Panera Bread, a silent auction, live animal presentations, a complimentary Corks for Conservation wine glass and of course, some of the best wine Michigan has to offer.

Event Tickets are $40 for individuals and $75 for couples. Special VIP tickets are available for a wine tasting class hosted by Mark Reincke of Mega-Bev and a representative from B Nektar Meadery to be held just prior to the event at 5:30 for an additional $15 per person.

“Corks for Conservation is a highly anticipated event. Guests look forward to experiencing the Zoo in a way that few get to see” stated Amy Riegel, Binder Park Zoo’s Director of Business & Finance and Chair of the event. "It's a night out for all the animals!"

Proceeds from this event will go to support the many conservation efforts that the Zoo is involved in including 16 different American Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans, piping plover conservation, Karner blue butterfly conservation, and partnerships with the International Snow Leopard Trust and the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Participants must be over the age of 21 and able to present a valid ID upon entry. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available online at www.binderparkzoo.org and at the zoo office. For more information visit the Zoo’s website or call 269-979-1351.


Cougars in Michigan: Fact or Fiction?

July 13, 2011

For many years there has been a long standing debate about the existence of cougars living in Michigan. Recent evidence provides some proof that the myth may indeed be a fact, but where these animals came from and how many there are in Michigan is still a mystery. Join Binder Park Zoo and the BC Brigham Audubon Society for an informative presentation to shed a little light on these fascinating animals. Steve Chadwick, a Wildlife Biologist at the Crane Pond Field Office, will provide his expertise on this topic Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 7:00pm.

Steve Chadwick has been with the Michigan DNR for 10 years starting as a Wildlife Technician in Lansing. Currently, Mr. Chadwick is the Wildlife Biologist at the Crane Pond Field Office. Steve’s responsibilities include wildlife management recommendations in southwest Michigan, state game area planning, and habitat mapping. Prior to working in Michigan, he held positions in Missouri and Alaska working on various field projects. In addition, Steve holds a bachelors degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University.

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.


ATTENTION ALL CHEETAH CHASERS

June 22, 2011

Binder Park Zoo’s Cheetah Chase is a popular event. Online registration will continue until 5:00pm on Thursday, June 23rd and day-of registration is available from 6:45am to 7:45am Saturday, June 25th. Binder Park Zoo is expecting record breaking crowds this year and needs racers’ help to make the parking plan go smoothly. This year more vehicles will be parked in the upper lots behind the start/finish line and runners will also be shuttled from the Harper Creek High School parking lot.

Zoo staff are asking that Chase participants planning on being at the event until at least 9:30am to please visit www.binderparkzoo.org to print off the “Upper Lot” flyer to place on your dashboard as you enter the zoo. In past years these upper lots have been largely unused due to having the start/finish line across the road and the Zoo now needs to use these spaces.

Binder Park Zoo is encouraging participants to be at the zoo by 7am to park in the zoo lots but once those are full, participants will be directed to the Harper Creek High School parking lot. Shuttles will run from the high school parking lot continuously until 7:30am when the last shuttle will depart the lot. Binder Park gates will also be closed at 7:30 am to prepare for the start of the race. Post-race shuttles will run continuously until 11am and depart from the circle drive at the zoo entrance booths. The first shuttle will be able to depart the zoo as soon the last 5K participant has cleared the course at the entrance booths.

Binder Park Zoo staff appreciates your help in making this a great event and making sure everyone gets a chance to participate. For more information please call 269-979-1351.


Binder Park Zoo’s Animal Fountains Get a Facelift

June 15, 2011

If you have visited Binder Park Zoo over the years, you may have noticed the animal shaped drinking fountains. The iconic Lion outside of Beulah’s Restaurant and the Hippopotamus in the Miller Children’s Zoo have called Binder Park Zoo home for the past 25 years. Being exposed to the elements for over two decades had definitely proven to be harsh on those fiberglass friends and the time had come for a facelift.

Recently local businessman Steve Smead of Phil Smead’s Auto Body generously offered his time and service to completely repair and refurbish these kid-favorite fountains. Mr. Smead and a couple of his best employees took hundreds of painstaking hours to re-fiberglass, paint and clear coat both animals.

“I have two kids that absolutely love Binder Park Zoo,” stated Steve Smead. “In my mind, there is no reason why the zoo should have to pay for repairs like these. The Zoo brings enjoyment to so many people, it’s the least I could do to donate my time and service.”

“All of us here at Binder Park Zoo can’t thank Mr. Smead and Phil Smead’s Auto Body enough for their generosity,” stated Michelle Walbeck the Director of Graphics, Facilities and Construction. “The fountains look even better than they did 25 years ago. The craftsmanship and hard work that went into each fountain is simply amazing. We honestly can’t thank him enough!”

When guests visit Binder Park Zoo they will be greeted not only by friendly staff and exotic wild animals but by a smiling Lion and Hippopotamus water fountain that will be sure to delight guests for years to come all thanks to generosity of one local man and his business.


It’s Time to Go Wild on Father’s Day!

June 19, 2011

Picture walking through Wild Africa and hand feeding giraffes with your father on Father’s Day for FREE. You can if you take him to Binder Park Zoo this Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Binder Park Zoo is hosting a Father’s Day celebration this Sunday, June 19th and dads are admitted free when accompanied by their children or grandchildren. So bring dad out to Binder Park Zoo and safari in Wild Africa this Father’s Day!

In addition, Binder Park Zoo’s Education staff will be putting on a special Father’s Day themed critter encounter program in the Conservation Discovery Center at 3:00pm and 5:00pm. These talks will be based on male animals that have some pretty interesting father facts. Don’t forget to check out the keeper talks that will also discuss fathers in the animal world.

Need the perfect Father’s Day gift idea? How about a family portrait at Binder Park Zoo Zoo? Craft Photography of Marshall, MI will be at Binder Park Zoo all day long offering special “Father’s Day at the Zoo” portraits. Each 5x7 or 8x10 portrait will come with a special Binder Park Zoo border and with every purchase, $10 will be donated directly back to the Zoo. The photographer will be located on the Snow Leopard Lawn in front of the Smith Snow Leopard Exhibit. In case of inclement weather, the photographer will be located in the Conservation Discovery Center. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted as forms of payment. This is the perfect opportunity to not only get a complete family portrait but to spoil dad with a fun and exciting day at Binder Park Zoo, too. You don’t want to miss out!

Binder Park Zoo is open Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information about upcoming events or Binder Park Zoo general information go to www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Binder Park Zoo is open!

6/1/2011

Binder Park Zoo has full power back and is ready for your visit! So bring out the entire family and enjoy this beautiful weather!


Native Plantings and Their Ecological Significance

June 8, 2011

Native plants and animals play a crucial role in the health and continued success of an ecosystem. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can help to ensure that local habitats and landscapes are around for many years to come. Join Binder Park Zoo and the BC Audubon Society for a presentation about Native Plantings and how they can positively affect surrounding habitats. Anna Kornoelje, the Director of Ecological Services at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, will discuss these topics on Wednesday, June 8th starting at 7:00pm.

Anna Kornoelje spends her career working with landowners to create native landscapes that benefit birds and butterflies, as well as people. In fact, she is currently managing an 80 acre prairie restoration and is working with local partners of the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s GLEM (Great Lakes Ecological Management) crew to restore 1500 acres of wetland in southwest Michigan. Ms. Kornoelje also performs biological inventories and water quality testing.

Anna Kornoelje recently earned a Masters degree in Biology from Grand Valley State University where she focused her research on endangered shorebirds. In addition, before completing her graduate degree, she worked as a field biologist throughout North and Central America.

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.


Help Binder Park Zoo Win $500,000 Through Facebook Challenge!!!

May 23, 2011

Binder Park Zoo is competing with charities nationwide for donations ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 through the Chase Community Giving program through Facebook. The great part about this challenge is that Facebook fans like you decide which charities are deserving of the prize money. On May 4, 2011 the Top 100 Charities were decided through these votes. Through an overwhelming show of support from Binder Park Zoo’s members, employees, volunteers and loyal guests, Binder Park Zoo was named as one of the Top 100 charities and became the recipient of a $25,000 grant.

As a result, Binder Park Zoo has been automatically entered in Round 2 where the Top 100 Charities are fighting for your votes and the grand prize of $500,000. Voting is officially open and will close on May 25, 2011 at 11:59pm. The concept behind Round 2 is very simple. Each of the 100 charities submitted a 30 second video, 5 photos and a 150 word description of their “Big Idea.” The “Big Idea” explains how each organization would utilize the $500,000 prize. This information is available on each charity’s Chase Community Giving web page via Facebook.

Binder Park Zoo is the only Zoo competing and the only organization Southwest/South central Michigan to make the Top 100 and could really use your support!

Binder Park Zoo’s “Big Idea” is a concept that zoo staff have been discussing for years: the Safari Tented Camp in Wild Africa! The new Tented Camp in Wild Africa would expand the overnight programs to engage more children to help conserve nature and animals and generate additional revenue to support the Zoo’s mission to nurture empathy, understanding and conservation of nature. The Tented Camp would be located along the forested edge of the Savanna exhibit in Wild Africa. It would be comprised of 10 tents, a dining/education hall, campfire pit, and shower facilities sitting atop a large deck made of recycled material. Combined with the authentic design and ambiance of Wild Africa, the Tented Camp would give overnighters the feel that they are truly on safari in Africa. Waking to the sights and sounds of a savanna full of exotic animals would be an unforgettable experience.

“Finally being able to implement our Tented Camp Program would bring family and scout overnights to a whole other level,” stated Stacey Lawson, the Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer. “Adults and Children alike will have the opportunity to experience the African Savanna right here in Southwest Michigan. We’re really excited about our “Big Idea” and we hope everyone will stay involved during Round 2 and help spread the word to vote for Binder Park Zoo.”

For more information about Chase Community Giving and the contest please visit www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving/ or call 269-979-1351 ext. 153. To learn more about Binder Park Zoo and their “Big Idea” please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Binder Park Zoo Wins $25,000 in Facebook Challenge!

May 10, 2011

For the past few weeks 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 must meet specific criteria to be included in this program, and those finishing in the Top 100 received $25,000 each.

Voting came to a close on Wednesday, May 4th. With overwhelming support from Binder Park Zoo’s members, employees, volunteers and loyal guests, Binder Park Zoo was able to place in the Top 100!

However, the generosity has just begun. Now that the Round 1 winners have been chosen, Binder Park Zoo is automatically entered into Round 2 where all 100 charities have the chance to win $500,000! In Round 2 each Charity must submit a 150 word explanation of a project or program that they feel is worth the $500,000 Grand Prize called their “Big Idea.” A 30 second video and 5 photos with captions can also be submitted. Facebook users will once again have the power to decide which Charities are deserving of the cash prizes. The Top 100 Charities will be narrowed down to the Top 25 who will ultimately split up an additional $2.5 million. The top overall Charity will receive $500,000!

Binder Park Zoo is the only organization in Southwest Michigan to make the Top 100 and could really use your support. Round 2 voting begins on May 19th and every vote really does make a difference. More information on Binder Park Zoo’s “Big Idea” will be coming shortly so keep a close eye on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/binderparkzoo for details. Voting is extremely easy and takes less than 2 minutes.

Step 1: Login to Facebook and search Chase Community Giving Step 2: “Like” Chase Community Giving’s Facebook page Step 3: Click on the Chase Giving tab on the far left hand side of the page Step 4: Search Binder Park Zoo Step 5: VOTE and share with all of your Facebook friends!

“All of us here at Binder Park Zoo would like to thank each and every person who voted over the past several days,” stated Stacey Lawson, the Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s due to the overwhelming support from our members, donors and community that have made Binder Park Zoo what it is today. We’re really excited about our “Big Idea” and we hope everyone will get involved again during Round 2 and help spread the word to vote for Binder Park Zoo.”

For more information about Chase Community Giving and the contest please visit www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving/ or call 269-979-1351 ext. 153. To learn more about Binder Park Zoo please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


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