The Buffalo Zoo has been awarded a grant to enhance its nature play offerings. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums awarded the "Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium" grants to 30 institutions around the country.
The grants are supported through a special gift from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. They provide financial, logistical and creative support for accredited zoos and aquariums to create innovative ways to establish or enhance family-centered nature play experiences in their community.
The Buffalo Zoo will use the grant to hold a "Nature Play Adventure" day. The event will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Oct. 15 and feature a scavenger hunt with nature play activities, keeper talks, and enrichment displays with local species.
The Buffalo Zoo will also partner with the Aquarium of Niagara and Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve and Environmental Education Center, which will both hold their own nature play events.
The Aquarium of Niagara's event, "The Outdoor Ocean," will take place at the same time and feature sea creature and stamp crafts made from natural products. Families will spend time exploring the aquarium's outdoor space and gather materials they find to create an ocean scene they can take home.
The event at Reinstein Woods, titled "Passport to Play," will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Oct. 22. Families will enjoy a woods walk and learn new nature play ideas to try at home. Participants will use their "Passport to Play" to guide them through several fall adventures. Activities include a forest mini-beast hunt, nature weaving, playing with natural music makers and creating leaf crowns and masks.
Families interested in participating in the Buffalo Zoo's event can find more information at www.buffalozoo.org. For more information about the Aquarium of Niagara's event, contact Katherine Jones at 716-285-3575, ext. 209, or [email protected]. For more information about Reinstein Woods, visit www.dec.ny.gov/education/1837.html.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, founded in 1995, is a key pillar in Disney's efforts to protect the planet and help kids develop lifelong conservation values. DWCF grants provide financial support for the study of wildlife; the protection of habitats; the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems; and experiences that connect kids with nature through exploration and discovery.
For more information about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, you visit https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/environment/. For additional information about the Nature Play grants, visit https://www.aza.org/press-room.
The Buffalo Zoo is located at 300 Parkside Ave. The Aquarium of Niagara is located at 701 Whirlpool St.