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Binder Park Zoo is Wild About Moms!

May 8, 2011

Imagine taking mom to Africa to celebrate Mother’s Day for free. You can if you take her to Binder Park Zoo this Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Binder Park Zoo is hosting a Mother’s Day celebration this Sunday and moms are admitted free when accompanied by their children or grandchildren. So bring mom out to Binder Park Zoo and safari in Wild Africa this Mother’s Day!

Animal Play Day activities will also be in full swing at several animal exhibits highlighting the topic of “Training Day.” Training animals to cooperate in some of their day to day care can be fun for the animals as well as the zookeepers. Watch the keepers’ techniques in stimulating the minds & bodies of many monkeys, giraffes, and other busy animals. Check the posted schedule at the Zoo for a list of participating Training Day exhibits and times.

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.

About Binder Park Zoo Over 6,000,000 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 60,000 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.


The “Chase” is On at Binder Park Zoo!

April 18, 2011

The “Chase” is on this summer at Binder Park Zoo! Grab your running or walking shoes and head out to the Zoo on Saturday, June 25, 2011 for Binder Park Zoo’s 5th annual Cheetah Chase 5K Run/Walk. This one of a kind event will feature the Gazelle Gallop 5K Run and 5K Sloth Walk. The Lemur Lap kids fun run will now be featured during a brand new event, Kids FUNfari to occur on July 9th. To register for Cheetah Chase and to learn more about Kids FUNfari go online at www.binderparkzoo.org.

Day-of registration for all events will begin at 6:45 to 7:45am with the race starting at 8:00am. The gates to the zoo will close promptly at 7:30am to prep for the race so get there early to park in the zoo lot. Both the run and the walk will be chip timed using Great Lakes ChampionChip. Prizes for the Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk will be awarded to the top overall male, top overall female, top master male and female, and the top three males and females per age category. All Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk participants will receive a t-shirt, free admission to Binder Park Zoo on race day, and a reusable tote donated by Kellogg's. Participants will also enjoy post-race snacks and information from vendors from the health and wellness community.

The 5K course for both the Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk has a variety of surfaces including asphalt, brick, boardwalks, crushed rocks, and grass. There is a combination of up hills, down hills, tight turns, and flat stretches throughout the course. Native Michigan woodlands are in abundance along with a wide variety of zoo animals along the course path. Highlights of the Cheetah Chase include panoramic views of the African savannah with herds of giraffe, zebra, antelope, and more.

Proceeds from the Cheetah Chase will go a long way in supporting Binder Park Zoo’s cheetah conservation efforts. Cheetahs were once prevalent throughout much of Africa and Asia but are now facing great danger of becoming extinct. Their population at one time flourished, but due to loss of habitat and poaching, there are very few left in the wild today.

How would you like to get an up close look at a cheetah? Participants in this year’s Cheetah Chase have an opportunity to earn cool prizes like zoo passes, zoo gift cards, and even a behind the scenes tour of our cheetah exhibit by participating in this year’s pledge contest. “We’ve made it simple for people to fundraise for this event by setting up an account with Firstgiving.com,” says Carmen Lovett, Marketing Assistant at Binder Park Zoo. “Each individual can set up their own personal fundraising page where their friends and family can make a donation that goes directly to the zoo. We’ve also added some great incentives for hitting fundraising goals.”

For more information on this year’s pledge contest, visit http://www.firstgiving.com/binderparkzoo or call the zoo office at 269-979-1351 ext 153.

Zoo staff wishes to extend a special thank you to this year’s Cheetah Chase premiere sponsor, Meijer, as well as our other generous contributors: Eaton Corporation, Rice’s Shoes, Exceed Consulting, HUB International, Flash Sanitation, Peerless Midwest, Inc., Bandeen Orthodontics, Corners Limited, Kellogg Company, Panera Bread, Lowe’s, Best Buy and Battle Creek Sound.

Register online by 5:00pm EST on Thursday, June 23, 2011 or submit a mail in entry form postmarked by June 20, 2011. Pre-registration costs $25 and day-of registration is $30. Register as a team with 4 or more and receive $10 off one registration. For more information visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call (269) 979-1351.


Girl Scouts on Safari at Binder Park Zoo!

May 21, 2011

Binder Park Zoo is teaming up with the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan for a fun-filled day for Girl Scouts and their families. On Saturday, May, 21, 2011 Girl Scouts on Safari participants will receive a 30-45 minute education program with live animal presentations, a giraffe feeding at Twiga Overlook in Wild Africa, a ride on the Z.O.&O. Railroad or Binda Conservation Carousel and many other “Scouts Only” specials.

In addition, the participating Girl Scouts and their families will have the opportunity to hear critter encounters, keeper talks, and watch the Wildlife Discovery Theater Stage Show. Other Scout offers include a coupon for a free small ice cream cone and receive 10% off any t-shirt in either of the Zoo’s gift shops.

Participants must pre-register for this event by Friday, April 29th at www.gshom.com by clicking on programs, program calendar and finding the Binder Park Zoo event on May 21st.

By pre-registering participants will receive admission into Binder Park Zoo along with all of the “Scouts Only” specials for discounted rates; $10.50 for children 2-10 years of age, $13 for adults, and $6 for Binder Park Zoo members. Children under 2 are free. In addition, a fun patch may be purchased for only $2 more!

For more information please visit, www.gshom.com or call 269-343-1516.


Spring is definitely in the air! Binder Park Zoo opens on Earth Day!

April 22, 2011

It’s a sure sign of spring when opening day at Binder Park Zoo is just around the corner. April 22nd will mark Binder Park Zoo’s 35th season of being open and what better way to celebrate than with an Earth Day/Easter eggstravaganza!

“We are very excited for the coming season, says Stacey Lawson, Chief Operating Officer. We have some new events and programs coming up that are sure to please the whole family. The activities for Earth Day and Easter will be a great way to kick off our 2011 season. There’s going to be a lot taking place opening weekend, so it’s a great time to visit.”

Saturday, April 23rd will be chock full of Earth Day specials! Binder Park Zoo is giving you the opportunity to do your part for the environment and bring your unwanted cell phones with you to the Zoo on April 23rd to be recycled. In fact, everyone who brings in a cell phone to be recycled will receive a $1 off admission. MP3 players, handheld gaming systems, e-readers, digital still, video cameras, laptops, GPS and portable hard drives are also being accepted to recycle. This offer is limited to one per person. Luckily for guests, the early bird really does get the worm. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive at the gate and receive a sapling. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to plant a baby tree right in your own backyard! Don’t forget to pick up a reusable Binder Park Zoo Souvenir Mug in order and receive $1 refills!

In celebration of Earth Day, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is throwing a world-wide event called Party for the Planet! AZA is partnering up with Disney to highlight the new motion picture to be released on Earth Day, African Cats. Binder Park Zoo will also be in on the fun. Visit the Party for the Planet information table and receive a FREE African Cats Activity Book and reusable cup with a FREE drink coupon. Supplies are limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Guests will also have the opportunity to win an Easter basket full of Binder Park Zoo and Easter fun including a FREE one year membership to Binder Park Zoo, a reusable Binder Park Zoo water bottle, a plush bunny and more! Register to win from 9:00am to 2:00pm at the Party for the Planet booth.

“Being environmentally friendly is a key component to our overall mission here at the Zoo, says Jenny Barnett, Director of Wildlife, Conservation and Education. By raising awareness of how even the smallest gesture, such as recycling cell phones for instance, can make a difference with the environment is a huge step in the right direction.”

Zoo guests will also have the opportunity to meet Binder Park Zoo’s very own “Easter bunny,” Winston, the giant Flemish rabbit. On Saturday, April 23rd, Winston will be available for meet and greets at 11:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 3:30pm. On Sunday, April 24th the times are from 12:30pm to 1:30pm and 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

Nuts are many of the animals’ favorite treats! Come observe the animals dive into packages filled with nutty enrichment during “Animal Play Days – Goin’ Nuts!” In fact, some of the birds and monkeys can crack a hearty Brazil nut with one chomp. This program will be occurring throughout the day on April 23rd so keep your eyes and ears peeled for animals going nuts for nuts.

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 additional zoo information or a schedule of events visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


Early Bird Registration Available Now through April 30th

April 11, 2011

Governor Rick Snyder has declared April as “Michigan Wine Month” to honor Michigan’s wide selection of quality wines and the wine industry’s significant contribution to the economy. In celebration, Binder Park Zoo is offering discounted early bird registration for Corks for Conservation. Now until April 30th, take $5 off per person on your registration!

Register now and have the chance to be a part of Binder Park Zoo’s third annual Corks for Conservation wine tasting event on Friday, July 15th from 6:00pm to 10:00pm and sample some of the best wine Michigan has to offer! Enjoy the Zoo after-hours with live music, delicious hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction, live animal presentations, a complimentary Corks for Conservation wine glass and of course wine from over eight Michigan based wineries and beer from Arcadia Brewing Co., all while helping conserve endangered wildlife. With this early bird discount pay only $35 per person or $65 per couple now through April 30th!

Special VIP tickets are also available for a wine tasting class hosted by Mark Reinke from Mega-Bev in Battle Creek to be held at 5:30pm the day of the event for an additional $15 per person.

To register and for more information please call 269-979-1351 or visit http://www.binderparkzoo.org/corks/index.php


We Shovel a Lot of It! Zoo Doo Days Only at Binder Park Zoo

April 14, 2011

When you think of the Zoo, the first thought that pops into your mind isn’t normally poop but the reality is with such large animals, there ends up being a lot of it laying around. Binder Park Zoo came up with a solution for this stinky problem. Why not turn the zoo animal’s poop into compost?

Now Binder Park Zoo is willing to share their Zoo Doo with all of you. Come visit Binder Park Zoo on April 9th and 14th for your chance to pick up your very own truck load of Zoo Doo. This enriching opportunity is available from 9:00am to 1:00pm both days. It only cost $25 a truck load for non-members and $20 a truck load for members. We will even load it up for you!

You don’t want to miss this opportunity and there’s no doubt that your plants will definitely thank you. For more information please call 269-979-1351.


Binder Park Zoo is for the Birds….And Bird Lovers!

April 8, 2011

Binder Park Zoo is proud and excited to be hosting a native wildlife walk through Zoo grounds every Monday morning in April and May. Guests will meet Steve Belson, a well known bird expert, at Binder Park Zoo’s main office at 8:00am.

Steve Belson has been birding for over 25 years and has led many groups on guided nature tours for Kellogg Community College, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and Michigan Audubon along with his own birding groups in Michigan and Canada. If you have bird questions, Steve has the answer.

Be prepared to see a wide variety of bird species during this walk including but not limited to golden winged warblers, yellow throated vireos, Baltimore orioles, cuckoos, osprey, indigo buntings, red headed and pileated woodpeckers, wood duck, trumpeter swans, Cooper’s hawk, and even Binder Park Zoo’s resident Bald Eagles. In fact, this is the perfect time of year to see some of Michigan’s migratory waterfowl such as golden eyes and buffleheads.

So come out and join fellow nature lovers and enjoy the beauty of natural Michigan wildlife! For more information please call 269-979-1351.


Building Blue Bird Boxes with Bill and Pat Stovall

April 13, 2011

Have you been searching for something fun and enriching for you and your whole family. The answer is as easy as building a blue bird house. On April 13, 2011 at 7:00pm Binder Park Zoo and the Battle Creek Brigham Audubon Society will be hosting an event all about building blue bird boxes. Join Bill and Pat Stovall as they lend their expertise in this family friendly program.

Bill and Pat Stovall are long time conservationists and nest box monitors. Since 1989 Mr. and Mrs. Stovall have specialized in creating nest boxes and feeders designed to attract a variety of bird species. Due to the fact that these particular bird boxes are locally made, specifically designed and built very well makes them popular amongst bird lovers.

Building bluebird houses is an integral part of ensuring this amazing bird’s survival. As quoted by the Michigan Bluebird Society, “Because of habitat loss, environmental pollution, and competition of non-native bird species (House Sparrows and European Starlings), bluebirds have suffered large declines compared to their original numbers. However, bluebirds have been shown to thrive in areas where there is human-provided housing that is actively monitored. As a result, through the efforts of many people, bluebirds have increased in numbers in the last 10 years. Putting up a nest box is the easiest and most important thing you can do. Not only are you helping bluebirds to populate, but watching a pair of adults build a nest, lay eggs, and feed their young is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you will ever experience. Just ask any bluebird landlord - you'll be hooked and changed forever!”

The entire family will get a kick out of this one-of-a-kind event. Learn about nest box placement, the types of birds that frequent nest boxes, and what it takes to monitor your very own trail of boxes. In fact, guests will even have the opportunity to build their very own nest box during the event. In order to be in involved in building a bird house, participants must pre-register at bcbrighamaudubon@gmail.com and pay a small fee of $15 per person to pay for supplies. The lecture itself is still free. So come on out to Binder Park Zoo on April 13, 2011 for a fun activity the entire family can enjoy!

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.


BC Brigham Audubon Society and Binder Park Zoo present the snakes of Michigan

March 9, 2011

Do you have a keen interest in snakes and are interested in learning more about these reptiles? Now’s your chance! On March 9, 2011 at 7:00pm Binder Park Zoo and the Battle Creek Brigham Audubon Society will be hosting an event all about just that, Michigan snakes. Join Bill Flanagan as he discusses the various species of snakes that live in Michigan and shares some of his observations in the wild.

Bill Flanagan’s childhood fascination with snakes was fostered by an early association with the Dayton Museum of Natural History. Working with the museum’s live animal collection led to a career in zoos that has included positions with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Toledo Zoo, the Detroit Zoological Institute and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Ophidian highlights of his zoo career include working with National Geographic on a king cobra film and documenting parthenogenesis in Aruba island rattlesnakes. Currently he is involved with the eastern massasauga Species Survival Plan and an effort to develop husbandry standards for smooth green snakes.

Mr. Flanagan has worked on field projects throughout the eastern United States, South America and the Caribbean. Over the last decade he has enjoyed getting to know the snakes of Michigan through field work with Michigan Natural Features Inventory on surveys for rare reptiles and amphibians, and conducting his own master’s research on the lesser siren in southwest Michigan. In fact, Michigan is home to a surprisingly rich diversity of snakes, eighteen species in which Bill will discuss each and every one.

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.


Sketching wild animals, bring it on!!

February 19, 2011

Feeling a little creative? Binder Park Zoo has the perfect solution. On February 19, 2011 from 10:00am to 4:00pm Binder Park Zoo is hosting the first of its series of Art Workshops. This particular program will be focused on sketching live animals. The cost is $65 per person and is for participants 13 years of age and older.

They move, they wiggle, they turn their backs on you, they hide from you… and they exhibit personality just like people…drawing live animals can be a challenge! But it’s also a lot of fun and very rewarding when you finally get it just right.

The program will start with an overview of animal locomotion and drawing basics: overall shape, movement, skeletal and muscle structure, plus simple rendering techniques for fur, hair, feathers, and scales. Participants will then take a look at some small animals up close to get a different perspective. Lastly and maybe most exciting of all, participants will head to the barns to observe and draw some of the larger critters at the Zoo to further test their drawing skills.

Artists of all skill levels are welcome! Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

To register online or for more information please visit www.binderparkzoo.org or call 269-979-1351.


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