This year, the Bergen County Zoo is taking its Earth Day celebrations to the next level with an extended version of its annual Party for the Planet. The 15th edition of this popular event will now span an entire weekend, featuring a range of conservation-focused activities, organizations, and exhibits.
Scheduled for April 22nd and 23rd, the Party for the Planet will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bergen County Zoo, located within the scenic Van Saun County Park.
Traditionally a one-day affair, the event has consistently attracted around 1,000 visitors each year. In 2023, the festivities are expanding to align with the Zoo's ongoing Change for the Climate initiative, aiming to raise greater awareness and support for local conservation projects in Bergen County.
County Executive Jim Tedesco highlights the importance of the event, saying, "Party for the Planet serves as a hub for conservation education, giving residents the resources and inspiration to contribute to local initiatives right here in our community."
The weekend-long celebration will include a variety of activities, prizes, and interactive learning experiences, with local conservation organizations setting up booths to inform and engage the public. On April 23rd, the spotlight will shift to the Bergen County Zoo itself, showcasing the institution's significant contributions to conservation through a series of themed activities.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the expansion, Commissioner Steve Tanelli says, "It's exciting to witness the transformation of the Party for the Planet from a single-day event to a weekend-long family adventure. Our parks are the pride of Bergen County, and this celebration is yet another way to encourage outdoor recreation for our residents."
Marianne Vella, the Zoo's director, emphasizes the institution's year-round commitment to supporting global conservation efforts. The Party for the Planet offers a unique platform for the Zoo to raise awareness and highlight the achievements of local organizations working tirelessly to protect the environment.
One recent success story from the Bergen County Zoo is the introduction of two critically endangered red wolves, Rich and Shane, who now reside in a newly constructed exhibit. The 10,000-square-foot habitat, which opened in 2021, was made possible through a $1.1 million investment from the Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund and Bergen County Capital Improvement funds.
Vella shares her excitement for the upcoming event, stating, "Party for the Planet is the highlight of our year. It enables our visitors to discover tangible ways to make a difference for the environment, fostering connections within our community that are crucial to our mission of understanding and preserving our planet."