Z00,000: Denver Zoo Garden is NWF’s 200,000th Certified Habitat

Denver Zoo will be the 200,000th National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat®

Denver, CO– A newly installed pollinator garden at the Denver Zoo will be the 200,000th National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat®. The Denver Zoo will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Pollinator Pathway Made Possible by Swingle on Saturday, June 25.

“This 200,000th Certified Wildlife Habitat at the Denver Zoo is a significant example of the conservation power each person and organization has to help wildlife in their own backyards,” said Brian Kurzel, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center. “The Pollinator Pathway garden uniquely inspires residents in the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. with a palette of native plants and other nectar-providing perennials anyone can add to their landscape to help pollinators. Certifying wildlife gardens throughout the community can support pollinators, conserve water and beautify neighborhoods, as well as create places for people to interact with nature on a daily basis.”

The Pollinator Pathway, located outside the Denver Zoo’s Bird World exhibit, is approximately 2,500 square feet and the area hosts 80 different species of blossoming perennials, several trees, shrubs, water sources and grass landscape. It offers Zoo visitors a view of how birds, insects and plants work together to thrive. The Denver Zoo was the first recipient of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Green Award. The zoo was recognized for its green programs designed to reduce the environmental impact of the overall organization (from a business operations standpoint) and its commitment to continuous improvement.
“Denver Zoo is proud to do our part in contributing to pollination by way of our new Pollinator Pathway,” said Shannon Block, president and CEO of the Denver Zoo. “Pollination plays a key role in air quality, plant life and even the foods we eat. We encourage everyone to learn more about the pollination process and see how they can do their part to contribute, as well.

 “The Denver Zoo is a national leader in conservation education and showing individuals how they can help wildlife.  We salute the Denver Zoo for certifying their habitat with the National Wildlife Federation and inspiring thousands of people to save the monarch and pollinators,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

Some of our most familiar species, from key pollinators like monarch butterflies and bees to pest-eaters like frogs and bats, are on the decline and at risk of disappearing from communities across America. The exact causes are still under investigation, with habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change all key suspects, but it’s clear that many species are reaching their tipping points.

The National Wildlife Federation is working to reverse that trend through our Certified Wildlife Habitat program that helps people take personal action on behalf of wildlife. It engages homeowners, businesses, schools, places of worship, parks and other institutions that want to make their communities wildlife-friendly through the creation of sustainable landscapes that provide food, water, shelter and places to raise young for wildlife and require little or no pesticides, fertilizers, and excess watering. There are now 200,000 certified habitats nationwide and to date, including over 5000 Schoolyard Habitats. Approximately 161 communities are involved with Community Wildlife Habitat program.  The Colorado Wildlife Federation has recently joined a network of NWF state affiliates helping residents for their state Garden for Wildlife.

Also this week, the White House Office of Science, Technology and Policy released a Pollinator Partnership Action Plan http://blog.nwf.org/2016/06/bee-one-in-a-million/ highlighting examples that several federal agencies and private sector groups have taken in the last year as a result of the President’s Call to Action to address the crisis pollinators’ face. Many of these federal agencies and nongovernmental partners, along with the National Wildlife Federation, are active in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.  Upon certification the Denver Zoo Pollinator Pathway Garden is counted toward the million gardens.

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