Stone Zoo celebrates Earth Day this Sunday

Theresa DeFranzo

Zoos are obviously dedicated to saving animals, but saving the planet? Well, those animals have to live somewhere.

To that end, the Stone Zoo will be marking Earth Day this Sunday by celebrating the great diversity in the animal kingdom with all of the incredible animals that call the zoo home. What better way to celebrate Earth Day, say organizers, than by stopping by the Stone Zoo and enjoying crafts, activities, animal encounters and environmentally friendly exhibitors?

David Hirschberg, vice president of institutional advancement for Zoo New England, which includes the Stone Zoo and the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, said he is looking forward to the upcoming event because of the lasting impact the day can have.

“First and foremost what zoos do ... is we are an environmental organization and a conservation organization,” Hirschberg said, noting that Zoo New England supports conservation efforts both locally and abroad. “People come to the zoo to have fun with their families and they make strong connections with the animals.”   

It is through those connections, Hirschberg said, that he hopes people begin to understand the importance of maintaining those habitats throughout the world.

 “If we are doing our job right, then we will also make people active in the conservation area,” he said.

Featured entertainers on Earth Day include local storyteller Elisa Pearmain, who will share her animal stories with Stone Zoo audiences. Storytelling will occur from 11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. and from 11:40 a.m. to noon in the Animal Discovery Center.

Also, Claudia Fox Tree, a member of the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, will share traditional crafts and music with visitors. Her group will give its presentation in the afternoon in the amphitheater.

There will also be a number of exhibitors on hand for the Earth Day activities. Hirschberg said Zoo New England has been collaborating with a number of other environmental organizations and environmentally conscious businesses to be part of the day. (See adjacent list.)

Visitors can follow up the Earth Day celebration by visiting Stone Zoo during April school vacation week, which is Conservation Week at the zoo. Each day will offer a variety of educational activities for kids of all ages, as well as many helpful hints for preserving the planet.

Earth Day activities take place at the Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20. For more information, visit