Read for Adventure Returns - MetroFamily Magazine
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Read for Adventure Returns

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Read for Adventure, promotes reading, family togetherness and monarch conservation while providing a wild offer – complimentary Zoo admission!

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden celebrates the sixth season of its statewide literacy program, Read for Adventure, by inviting Oklahoma families to experience the unique benefits of this program. Sponsored by OG&E, Read for Adventure encourages family togetherness and introduces participants to the importance of taking conservation action to help monarch butterflies and other pollinators plus native habitats through the program’s original children’s book, Juniper’s Butterfly Garden–A Small Start for a Better World. 

Oklahoma library cardholders who check out Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, from any participating public and tribal library location within the state, and upon doing so receive a voucher redeemable for free general admission to the OKC Zoo for up to four people (child, adult or senior).

Since Read for Adventure’s inception in 2017, more than 46,000 Oklahomans have had the opportunity to visit and discover the OKC Zoo at no cost through the program.

“Thanks to the continuous support of OG&E and our library partners, we are proud to launch Read for Adventure for another season and further connect Oklahoma families and youth to this popular program,” said Dwight Lawson, OKC Zoo’s executive director and CEO. “Each year, this program helps bolster a passion for reading and conservation education among young Oklahomans while providing an opportunity for family and friends to visit the Zoo, building a deeper appreciation for wildlife and wild places.”

“The Read for Adventure program is such a wonderful way to get kids excited about reading, learning how to protect our environment and the positive impact each of us can have on preserving the habitats that sustain creatures like butterflies. We love that the program includes a special opportunity for families to experience wildlife up close at the Oklahoma City Zoo,” said Lindsay Laird, OG&E manager of community outreach and engagement. “OG&E supports monarch butterflies and other important pollinators at our sites across the state by intentionally planting flowers and native grasses to support their lifecycles and migratory journeys. In Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, readers learn that everyone can do their part and we love how the book inspires young Oklahomans to make a difference.”

Juniper’s Butterfly Garden, the feature book of Read for Adventure, was written by Oklahoma City resident and OKC Zoo’s Creative Services Manager, Autumn Heigle, and illustrated by Nadia Ronquillo. The original story shares a child’s passion and determination to help monarch butterflies by creating habitat space for these vital pollinators. Readers will also find resources about planting a garden for monarchs and other pollinators and their migratory path through Oklahoma in the back of Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.

Small and mighty, the monarch butterfly is one of the most cherished and celebrated butterflies in North America, but its populations are in peril. Insect pollinator populations, including monarchs, around the world are in sharp decline, because of habitat loss and widespread pesticide use. In the last 20 years, the monarch population has declined by 80 percent. This is cause for concern because all pollinators are essential for healthy environments. Oklahoma provides vital habitat for monarch populations that funnel through the state each spring and fall during their annual migration 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 protecting their seasonal habitat, and inspiring Oklahomans to add native flowering plants and milkweed to their own yards, community or school gardens.

Read for Adventure is ongoing through Thursday, March 31, 2023. Zoo admission vouchers are redeemable through June 30, 2023. Vouchers can be redeemed at the Zoo’s ticket windows, reservations are not required. For additional details about Read for Adventure including a downloadable coloring page and list of participating libraries, visit okczoo.org/readforadventure.

The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. 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.

 

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