Take Action for Wildlife!
Actions small and large make a difference when more people get involved.
Plant for Pollinators
Plant pollinator-friendly plants in your yard or community.
Lights Out Cincinnati
Reduce artificial light use to help migrating birds as they move through our region
Rain Barrel Art Auction
Buy a rain barrel to support environmental education and water conservation
Recycle cell phones and other electronic accessories to reduce waste in landfills and raise money for gorilla conservation.
Reduce Energy Usage
If you own a house, you can save energy and money by better insulating and weatherizing your home. This includes things like: upgrading or installing attic ventilation and insulation, caulking/weather-stripping the house, and installing high-efficiency windows. According to the Department of Energy, weatherizing your home can save you over 20% on heating and cooling bills! Encourage friends to do the same!
Support community initiatives to carpool or use mass transit. Consider trading your car in for a more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle! By burning less gas (or none at all), you’ll emit less carbon dioxide, save money and help improve local air quality!
Red Bike charging stations are also available at the Zoo’s main parking lot!
Electric Vehicle Charging
You can charge your electric vehicle at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden! We have 8 charging ports in our main Vine St. parking lot. The charging stations are provided by Electrada and can be used with FLO or ChargePoint apps, and also appear on Plugshare.
Build a Better Home for Wildlife
As natural spaces become smaller, fewer and farther apart, we can help wildlife by restoring habitat in our own yards and communities.
Pollinators, amphibians, and songbirds are particularly in need of safe spaces to live, forage and breed. Every species plays a role in keeping our environment healthy. For example, bees pollinate, birds spread seeds, and snakes keep rodent populations in check.
So let’s help them help us and beautify our communities at the same time!
One great way to build a better home for wildlife is to set up a bird feeder for our feathered friends. When done right, a feeder can safely add to the natural diet of some of our most threatened species. And watching birds at a feeder is a great way to get to know the birds around you!
There are many different types of food and feeders out there, so how do you know what is best for your home? The best feeders are sturdy enough to withstand the weather, keep seeds dry, keep out predators and squirrels, and are easy to keep clean.
Invite these helpful bugs and slug-eaters to your yard! There are plenty of fancy toad houses available topurchase, or it’s just as easy to make your own out of a clay pot. One option is to cut a 3-inch hole in one side at the top of a clay pot. Flip it over and place it in a cool, damp and shady place.
Another option is to turn a clay pot on its side and bury it halfway in the ground. Toads like to bed down in the dirt so make sure your toad abode has an earthy floor. And you might add some leaf litter for extra comfort. Feel free to paint and decorate the pot however you like; the toads won’t mind.
Our local bats help keep insect populations in check; a single bat can eat
thousands of pesky bugs in just one night! Unfortunately, they are threatened by habitat loss and white-nose syndrome – a deadly disease caused by a fungus that grows over the muzzle of hibernating bats.
Putting up a bat box offers a safe place for those that survive the winter to roost and raise young in the summer. Bat Conservation International provides excellent tips for purchasing and/or building effective bat houses.
Birdhouses, or nest boxes, can provide safe nesting places for local birds,
and are especially important in areas lacking natural habitat. A good bird house should be sturdy and built with untreated, unpainted wood and galvanized screws. It should have an overhanging, sloped roof and drainage holes in the floor to keep it dry. Ventilation holes and ¾-inch thick walls will help it maintain a just right temperature. And mounting it on a pole at least five feet off the ground with a predator guard will help keep birds safe. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides even more tips on how to make a safe, successful home for birds. And the Ohio Division of Wildlife offers additional nest box plans for a variety of birds.
The harmless and non-aggressive mason bee is a very important native pollinator. Instead of building a hive, these solitary bees lay eggs and raise young bees in small tree holes made by birds and other insects.
They will also nest in artificial bee houses, which are easy and fun to make. Or you can buy a pre-made bee house; we even sell ones made especially for the Zoo by Osmia Bee in our Gift Shop. Consider adding a mason bee house to your yard to promote these important pollinators!
Listen to Zoo Tales Podcast
Get a glimpse of life behind the scenes at the Cincinnati Zoo. Hosts Jenna Wingate and Mark Tewes, Zookeepers in the Africa department, interview Zoo staff and other animal and wildlife professionals about how they’re making a difference in this world. Each episode ends with a “What can I do?” action item to help listeners make a world of difference too.
Podcast Listen to Zoo Tales
AZA’s Legislative Education Center
This site makes it easy to write to representatives to support various wildlife-related bills
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance: Learn more about renewable energy projects
Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability
Learn more about what the City of Cincinnati is doing to go green