The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The Zoo Goes Greener

A rain garden in the parking lot? You bet — and more!


philadelphia zoo pollinator week

The Philadelphia Zoo is adding more native plants in honor of National Pollinator Week and reopening soon (so you can meet the new sloth bear cub). Photograph courtesy the Philadelphia Zoo

Happy National Pollinator Week! Pollination is how you and I and everything we eat got here, more or less, so it’s definitely worth celebrating. And the Philadelphia Zoo (by the way, the nation’s oldest) has embarked on a bold new initiative to keep the pollination party going. The recently appointed director of garden operations, Stephen Pryce-Lea, is executing a plan to convert half of the 42-acre site to native plants — you know, the kind that are more easily sustained, since they’re naturally adapted to this environment (which cuts down on costs and care), and also support local bird and insect pollinators. The Zoo is encouraging you to do the same: “Even if you have an apartment with a balcony,” says director of strategic initiatives Kristen Lewis-Waldron, “you can turn it into a great habitat for wildlife.”

By the way, the Zoo has set July 9th for its reopening; reservations will be required. So come by soon, enjoy the foliage and flowers (not to mention the butterflies and bees), and meet new baby sloth bear Keematee, black-and-white lemur babies Olivia and Mikey, ALL the penguins, and the rest of the critters.