Archive for March 2010

A young guest pops his head out of a seal breathing hole, one of seven new elements at Polar Bear Plunge.

Thanks to the generous support of Conrad Prebys, our new $1 million renovation of Polar Bear Plunge is fun, interactive, educational, and OPEN!

This past Friday, we kicked off opening day with media covering the fun and exciting VIP party. With about 200 special guests in attendance, I was asked to give a walking tour from the new storybook area all the way through the enhanced guest area to the awe-inspiring Experience Wall. It was no surprise that adults and kids alike were thrilled with the new additions to Polar Bear Plunge.
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Six families agreed to try living more sustainably and lower their carbon footprint for two months as part of the San Diego Zoo’s Green Family Challenge. During this time, we issued biweekly challenges for them to try; they then wrote about their experiences in our Green Family blogs. For the final challenge (#5), we asked the families to look at their recreational and entertainment choices to see what ideas they could come up with to make going green fun! Readers voted (1,995 votes cast for this challenge!) for the family they felt had the best ideas.
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“When the opportunity to work with the San Diego Zoo arose, I couldn’t have been more pleased,” illustrator and graphic designer Nate Reifke explained. “This institution does so much to educate the public and raise awareness for the animals that accompany us on this planet. As a frequent visitor and lover of the Zoo, it has been a long-time goal to collaborate on a project, and Polar Bear Plunge was the right fit. I wanted to capture the spirit of the polar bears and show their vulnerability.”
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We’ve issued challenges to our “green” families and asked them to share their experiences. Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.

This previous week was finals at UCSB. Considering that my friends and I consistently had finals throughout the week, I’m a little surprised we went camping at all. I don’t really remember how it started, but at some point last week someone suggested the idea. It was probably the fact that none of us have genuinely gone “camping” in the woods with a tent in a few years, something I had hoped would never happen. But we ended up finding a relatively secluded place only an hour away in Ojai, California.
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Mar/10

23

The Countdown

Kalluk

In just a few days, we reopen the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge at the San Diego Zoo. For the past week, the final touches have been added to all the new elements. Wait until you see the new polar bear statues. Polar bears are extremely difficult to get proportionally correct in art. The adult male statue is immense, and yes, true to real size when a male is over 12 years old and has been feasting well. The young bear reminds me so much of Kalluk when he was two years old. I think the most remarkable statue is the one of a 30-day-old cub as it would look in the den.
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Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.

Sorry™, Uno, Chinese checkers, regular checkers, chess, Legos, battleship, fencing, baseball, swimming, Nerf dart tag, skiing, sailing, kayaking, reading, hiking with the dog, exploring streams, mountains and interesting rock formations, puzzles, body surfing, beach sitting, beach reading, beach bocci ball and beach Uno with waterproof cards. (Can you tell we are coming off a very cold, snowy and beach-less winter?)
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Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.

Woohoo! I love it when I get “challenged” to have fun! My five favorite things to do for fun…all now a little bit greener:

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About nine months ago, my husband and I moved our boys to a small East Coast town. Small towns create a lot of gossip; these days it’s not just the moms at the playground that know the secrets of everyone in town, it’s your local barista. And just as Starbucks has become our generation’s version of a soda shop hangout, we have started to create a new kind of trash. As our landfills and oceans fill with plastics, grease-coated paper, and aluminum, we are just starting to see the impact on our Mother-ship. We are lucky enough to live in a town where plastic bags aren’t even an option, Newman’s Own has made organic “cool,” and Melissa & Doug have given kids great alternatives to toxic toys.
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Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.

Charles and I have spent a lot of time camping and hiking with the girls, so this practice is well engrained in our family psyche. It takes on a new meaning, though, now that we’ve learned about carbon footprints. Can we continue to enjoy long road trips, airline flights, and epic movies, knowing how burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change? How can we have fun and still be good to the planet?
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YES! We are in the dark…literally these days and figuratively. Sixty percent of our town on the East Coast had power knocked out last weekend during a completely unannounced and unexpected storm. The power company expects it will be close to a week before we get any power working on our block.
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