PORTLAND, Ore. (June 20, 2019) — Forest Service employees from Portland, Ore. were at the Oregon Zoo’s first Twilight Tuesday event of the season, June 18.
Twilight Tuesday events feature reduced-price evening admission to the zoo, as well as live music, expanded food options, and a variety of education stations staged around the zoo’s performance lawn.
“Zoo visitors are a perfect audience to learn about what the Forest Service is doing with habitat restoration. There are lots of families, lots of young, enthusiastic kids who are interested in learning about the natural world,” Gala Miller, acting conservation education program manager for the agency’s Pacific Northwest Regional office, said. “It’s also allows us to share important information, like white nose syndrome in bats, endangered species protection and preservation… and its about being in community, introducing a non-traditional audiences to the Forest Service and what we do.”
Zoos are often associated with the opportunities they offer view exotic animals, but modern zoos also provide a wealth of research and conservation resources that benefit local, native wildlife.
For example, Staff from the Oregon Zoo’s Butterfly Lab help supervise the raising of threatened and endangered butterflies which are used to repopulate fragmented wild habitat in places like western Washington and Oregon’s Coast Range.
At the July 18 event, Forest Service personnel conducted their own “Butterfly Lab” with zoo visitors, educating young people about the environmental importance of butterflies and other pollinators, butterfly migration patterns, and some of the challenges facing the Pacific Northwest’s endangered and threatened butterfly species.
The Forest Service’s partnership with the zoo is based on its shared mission to educate youth about the natural world, Miller said. The agency partners with the zoo on conservation events throughout the year, including youth summer camps and overnight programs.
The Forest Service also participated in the 2019 season’s second Twilight Tuesday event on July 16. The final Oregon Zoo Twilight Tuesday for the 2019 is scheduled for Aug. 20.
For more information, visit https://www.oregonzoo.org/events/twilight-tuesday.
Source Information: USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Region (Office of Communications and Community Engagement)