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Protecting our habitats

The ABQ BioPark has plenty planned in recognition of Earth Day.

The events will be held at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach beginning Wednesday, April 18, and running through April 21.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach are celebrating Earth Day with four days of learning and exploration from Wednesday, April 18, through April 21. (SOURCE: ABQ BioPark)

Animal feedings in the tanks and animal encounters in the mangrove and the invertebrate touch pools will be done at the aquarium. Also learn about conservation and get educated on sharks, sea turtles, and the Rio Grande on Wednesday.

“Our theme this year is protecting habitats,” said Cheri Vogel, education curator at ABQ BioPark. “The aquarium one will be based on different ocean habitats. They’re going to have a station on open ocean and a station on coastal areas or salt marshes so you can go to those different areas in that aquarium and learn what’s in that habitat and how to protect that habitat.”

On Thursday, April 19, head to the zoo for story time and zookeeper chats. There also will be hands-on discovery and enrichment making stations.

“At the zoo there will be a whole schedule of events of different zoo keeper chats,” Vogel said. “We’ll have an agenda up at the front gate so you know where all of our keeper chats are going to be. As much fun as it is to talk to the volunteers or education staff people really love talking to the keepers. So having an opportunity to learn from the people that are actually caring for the animals is a really special opportunity.”

Enjoy the beauty of the open space at Tingley Beach on April 20. There will be wildlife discovery stations, bird identification events and duck feedings. Eventgoers can also meet with fish conservation experts.

Bring the youngsters to the Botanic Garden for the Children’s Seed Festival on April 21. It will feature worm composting, seed ball making, story time and face painting. The event, which also includes a mystery seed lab, seed trivia game, and a seed ball creation activity, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Albuquerque. In addition to the Seed Festival, there will be areas on protecting the Rio Grande, protecting our grasslands, protecting our forest and more. There will be a talk about the different biomes in New Mexico and what lives in each of those and what the problems are in those areas and how to protect those habitats.

“We do all sorts of things,” Vogel said. “We have a little booklet and a welcome pack that they get when they get in and then they go through the stations and they make a seed ball and they do a mystery planting where we ask them to report back to us on a weekly basis on how their plant is doing. There’s seed art where they make art out of seeds and there’s this spin wheel where they can actually answer a question and win a prize, which is actually a pre-seeded, already growing vegetable or flower plant so they can walk out with a little 1-inch container plant to put in their yard. It’s a really fun day.”

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