Des Moines: On the evening of Friday, April 24, Blank Park Zoo officials are putting out a call to “Party for the Planet” and celebrate Earth Day.

“Green is in, and it’s time to get outdoors,” says Anne Shimerdla, Director of Operations. “We’re celebrating our planet with a fun party for all.”

Local conservation groups from Polk, Dallas and Madison Counties will be at the zoo to promote environmental work. Each group will also have a craft activity for children.

Guests will be able to tour the Department of Natural Resources interactive trailer and learn about the different ways they can help protect the environment.

The Zoo Conservation Committee will discuss the green operations of the zoo. They will be selling tattoos and suckers and will have fun giveaways for children!

Wiggles & Giggles, an environmental education program, will be at the zoo. Guests will learn how Worm and his friends have reduced waste at the zoo and learn how they can put Worm’s friends to work reducing waste in their own homes.

There will be several keeper chats throughout the zoo as well as a special sea lion demonstration at 6 pm. An auction will be held and guests (ages 12 & up) will have an opportunity to bid to win admittance onto the Sea Lion feeding deck for the show.

Guests are also encouraged to bring old cell phones or ink cartridges to the zoo to help with conservation efforts.

Please note: A special ribbon cutting will be held at 4:30 p.m. as Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse becomes the official concessionaire at the Blank Park Zoo.

The Blank Park Zoo, Iowa’s WILDEST Adventure, is open everyday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is $9.95 for adults, $4.95 for children under 12, and $7.95 for seniors and active military. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.