Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Celebrate Planet Earth


The Rosamond Gifford Zoo kicks off a four-day conservation celebration starting on Earth Day, April 22 and culminating with World Penguin Day on Sunday, April 25. The zoo will offer activities to empower our community to make a difference in protecting wildlife and the environment by taking action and making sustainable choices.

Visitors and participants will receive a free packet of Carbon Converting Wildflower seeds from American Meadows on Thursday and Friday and a free white pine sapling from Bartlett Tree Experts on Saturday and Sunday while supplies last.


Thursday, April 22

Join employees from Target and ACR Health in volunteering to help spruce up the zoo grounds on Earth Day! Family, school and corporate groups can sign up to help with weeding, raking, mulching and trash pickup. Volunteers will gather at the zoo by 9 a.m. to receive their cleanup assignments. To sign up to volunteer, please email Heidi Strong at [email protected].

You can also help by bringing returnable bottles and cans to the zoo between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Earth Day to benefit the animals! Follow the signs to the Earth Day bottle and can drop-off in the zoo parking lot.

Join us for our Earth Day Spring Cleanup at the zoo - OR do a cleanup in your own neighborhood and share it via the Earth Challenge App from Download the app and enter the Organization Code AZA2021 to document the amount and types of plastic you rescue from the landfill as part of the Association of Zoo's & Aquariums' (AZA) citizen science campaign to compile global data on environmental pollution. Share your cleanup photos with hashtags #syracusezoo and #CelebratePlanetEarth.

Interested in documenting wildlife and nature? Join the AZA citizen science bioblitz to compile info on species of plants and animals you observe between April 16 and June 13. Use the free iNaturalist app at to identify flora and fauna you spot and log your observations at


Friday, April 23

Tune in for a day of FREE virtual programs. Learn about conservation, recycling, endangered species and how to create healthy habitats with online presentations from the zoo education team and our conservation partners. Meet threatened and endangered species and the people who care for them at the zoo, interact with educators and learn how you can help wildlife and the planet with your everyday actions.

Join our education team at 9 a.m. Friday for a Zoom webinar to introduce the day's classes. Attend the free webinar at using passcode 288894.


Saturday, April 24

The zoo’s annual Party for the Planet is back on zoo grounds! Come to the zoo for this fun and educational event highlighting conservation projects happening in CNY and around the world. Make the rounds to exhibitors like Greening USACornell Cooperative Extension and the SUNY-ESF Snailblazers. We’ll have keeper chats featuring endangered species and more. Free with zoo membership or admission.

Party for the Planet is a collaborative education event held by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) member institutions in support of their shared missions of wildlife conservation and saving endangered species.

Exhibitor Tables Open -- 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Keeper Chat Schedule:

10 a.m. -- Outreach Animal Greeter - Upper Lobby

11 a.m. -- Red Wolves Keeper Chat - Red Wolves Exhibit, Wildlife Trail

12:30 p.m. -- Primate Keeper Chat - Primate Park

1 p.m. -- Outreach Animal Greeter – Upper Lobby

2 p.m. -- Asian Elephant Keeper Chat – Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve

3:30 p.m. -- Giant Pacific Octopus Keeper Chat - Octopus Exhibit, Upper Lobby


Sunday, April 25

Join the zoo’s penguin team at the Penguin Coast exhibit to learn about Humboldt penguins, the threats they face in the wild and what you can do to help. Stop by outdoor tables to play games and learn about sustainable fishing, what fish the zoo’s penguins like to eat, how the zoo cares for its penguin colony, and more. From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., paint a rock to take home or donate it to the penguins to use for their nests. There will also be a raffle of penguin paintings and other items to help support penguin conservation in the wild.

The zoo’s reservations system remains in effect along with mask and social distancing protocols. Reservations through Sunday, April 25 will open starting April 16. CLICK HERE to find information on how to reserve your zoo visit.