Read for Adventure, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s statewide literacy program, continues for its fourth year with an exciting change that will have participants all a flutter! Sponsored by OG&E, this year’s program features a new, original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden–A Small Start for a Better World.
Beginning Wednesday, July 8, Oklahoma library card holders are invited to check out Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, from any participating public and tribal library location within the state, to receive a voucher redeemable for free general admission to the OKC Zoo for up to four people (child, adult or senior).
This community program was created to provide an engaging activity for Oklahoma families that inspires a deeper appreciation for connecting with and caring for wildlife and wild places. Since its inception in 2017, more than 30,000 Oklahomans have had the opportunity to the experience the OKC Zoo at no cost through the Read for Adventure program.
“Together with OG&E, we are proud to bring this rewarding program to all Oklahomans, providing them with a unique opportunity to build relationships through reading while learning about local conservation,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director and CEO. “We hope this year’s new book and focus will encourage participants to take steps to conserve our state’s most iconic pollinator and native habitat for future monarch populations.”
“We’re honored to partner with the Oklahoma City Zoo to show young Oklahomans the difference they can make through conservation,” said Brian Alford, OG&E’s director of corporate affairs. “OG&E’s service area falls directly along the monarch’s annual migration path, and we’ve made a commitment to support their journey by planting flowers and native grasses and adapting mowing practices at our facilities among other efforts. The Read for Adventure program provides a creative, fun way to inspire readers statewide to take care of their environment and the animals with whom we share it.”
“We are always looking for new opportunities to promote Oklahoma libraries, and we found it with Read for Adventure,” said Bill Young, Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ public information manager. “As the popularity of this program continues to grow, we hope it will encourage more Oklahomans to discover all that their community library has to offer.”
Read for Adventure’s new book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden was written by Oklahoma City resident and OKC Zoo’s marketing coordinator, Autumn Heigle, and illustrated by Nadia Ronquillo. The story follows a child’s journey as she learns about monarch butterflies and how she can help conserve this important pollinator in her own backyard. Additionally, readers will find information about planting a garden for monarchs and other pollinators and their migratory path through Oklahoma in the back of Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.
The monarch butterfly population has dropped by over 80 percent in the last 20 years. The main reason for this is habitat loss throughout the monarch’s migration and breeding range. Each spring and fall, millions of monarch butterflies funnel through Oklahoma as they make their annual migration from from central Mexico to southern Canada. Both the OKC Zoo and OG&E recognize the importance of these pollinators and the urgency of restoring their population and seasonal habitat.
Read for Adventure begins Wednesday, July 8 and continues through March 31, 2021. Zoo admission vouchers are redeemable through June 30, 2021. To learn more about the program and for a list of participating libraries, visit www.okczoo.org/readforadventure.
Spread your wild wings with Read for Adventure! The Oklahoma City Zoo is open daily at 8 a.m. and advance tickets are required for all guests and ZOOfriends members. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.okczoo.org/tickets and are limited each day to ensure adequate social distancing between guests. Some of the Zoo’s indoor habitat are still closed to minimize potential transmission of COVID-19. The Zoo is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. now through Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2020.
Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.