OGE and OKC Zoo reading program resumes to help Monarch butterfly population


Oklahoma Gas and Electric is cooperating again with the Oklahoma City Zoo and the group Read for Adventure in the 8th year of a reading encouragement and library program.

Beginning this week, the program that encourages students to read while at the same time helping to create monarch butterfly gardens, got underway at more than 200 participating Oklahoma public and tribal library locations. Library card holders can check out the children’s book “Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.”

The book was written by Oklahoma City resident and OKC Zoo Creative Services Manager Autumn Heigle. Children who check out the book wll get a voucher for free admission to the OKC Zoo once they return the book.

The book teaches children how to plant a garden for monarchs and other pollilnators. This is the time of year butterflies migrate through Oklahoma as well as in the fall. Special gardens planted for them offer places where the butterflies can not onlly rest but eat and lay eggs. In recent years, promotional efforts were launched as a result of a reported sharp decline in Monarch population.

Some researchers believe the Monarch butterfly population has dropped by 90% over the past two decades.

Throughout its eight years, Read for Adventure has brought more than 60,000 Oklahomans to the Zoo.

“We are excited to spark a passion for reading in young Oklahomans and energize their curiosity in the outdoors and ways to preserve and protect the iconic Monarch butterfly and other pollinators,” said OG&E’s manager of community outreach and engagement Kelli Hayward Walsh. “We love working with the OKC Zoo to help get kids outside enjoying the outdoors and learning more about wildlife and habitat conservation.”

OG&E’s partnership with the OKC Zoo provides funding for this large-scale community project.

“We couldn’t make Read for Adventure possible without the generous support of OG&E and our library partners across the state,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director and CEO. “Not only are we connecting young readers with a wonderful book and, we hope, a lifetime love of reading, but Read for Adventure is also inspiring a new generation to appreciate nature and take positive conservation action.”

Read for Adventure Zoo admission vouchers are redeemable through June 30, 2025.

Vouchers can be redeemed at the Zoo’s ticket windows. For additional details about Read for Adventure including a downloadable coloring page and list of participating libraries, click here.

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