IMAGINATION FOREST is coming to the Ross Park Zoo!
Looking for volunteers to paint/build homes for magical creatures.
Binghamton, NY: Envision a magical forest filled with gnome homes, dragon lairs, fairy houses, hobbit holes and pure magic to delight young and the young at heart!
“I’m excited to be partnering with the zoo to bring a little magic to our hometown zoo”, said local fae enthusiast Traci Pena who has been the organizing force behind Fairy Doors of Broome County. After working with the zoo to house fairy doors as part of the annual Fairy Door project, Pena approached the zoo with an idea to transform an underutilized portion of the zoo property into a magical forest. The zoo’s director, Phillip Ginter, was happy to join forces saying, “This project is designed to inspire visitors’ imagination and help them connect with the natural world around them. Through the Imagination Forest we will be able to advance our mission of promoting awareness and stewardship of our natural world, in our community and globally, through education, conservation, and community engagement by giving visitors a magical place to connect directly with nature.”
The proposed wonderland with tactile, interactive and imagination provoking aspects is coming to fruition. However, organizers say it needs the community’s support. “We really want this to be a community project. People can get involved in a variety of ways from donating items, volunteering, or making a cash contribution,” said Penna.
Materials: The group is looking for donations of any of the following items fan blades, paint, large bowls (mushroom tops), condiment bottles, tile pieces and broken china, about a dozen tree stumps (@18” tall and about 12” across) for sitting on, wooden spools, and plywood. Volunteers are needed for painting and planting.
“We have a number of large wooden spools, and we are looking for community members to submit their ideas on transforming these spools into magical homes”, said Ginter. Individuals interested in submitting ideas can submit their drawings to email@example.com. The zoo will be accepting designs from now through May 10th with the public voting on finalist during the month of May with winners being announced on June 1st.
Over the course of the coming months, a number of special events are planned in support of the project including Rock Painting FUNShops which will be held on May 21st and June 4th.
Follow the Imagination Forest project on Facebook at: Ross Park Zoo IMAGINATION FOREST Crew | Facebook and also on the Zoo’s website at: https://rossparkzoo.org/
Opened in 1875, Ross Park Zoo is America’s 5th zoo. Home to a range of wildlife, the zoo is an active participant in the Association of Zoo and Aquariums Species Survival Plan Programs and is one of only 43 facilities in the United States partnering with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect and restore red wolves. The zoo is part of the 65-acre Ross Park which includes a vintage wooden carousel, the Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, and more than 30 acres of wooded trails. The zoo will be open during Spring Break (Saturday April 9th – Saturday April 16th) from 10 am – 3 pm with last admission at 2 pm and will return to weekends only through Memorial Day when the zoo will open for its 147th season. For more information about the zoo, visit www.rossparkzoo.org.