Calgary Zoo and Bow Habitat Station to host first-ever Alberta Biodiversity Festival

A new festival coming to Calgary next month will celebrate the province’s fish, water, wildlife and ecosystems.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, Bow Habitat Station and Alberta Environment and Parks announced the first-ever Alberta Biodiversity Festival on Thursday.

The festival will run from May 13-15 at the zoo, and on May 14 at the Bow Habitat Station.

“It’s so important for Albertans to not only learn about the rich biodiversity of our province but also to truly feel connected with the landscape and wildlife that surround us,” said Laura Glick, zoo spokesperson.

Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks Bev Yee says the festival will highlight stories and celebrate important conservation initiatives across the province.

“We are fortunate to live in a province with unique and rich biodiversity, and we know Albertans take pride in our natural landscapes,” Yee said.

Some of the festival features include:

Calgary Zoo

Biodiversity: Invasive plants and animals are a huge threat to Alberta’s biodiversity. This game will test your knowledge of invasive species and learn about how they’re connected to our native flora & fauna. Where? Alcove by Penguin Plunge next to the Karsten Discovery Center.

Greater sage-grouse dance off: Learn why these magnificent birds do such an elaborate dance and try shaking your own tail feathers in this family-friendly dance challenge. Where? Savannah lawn.

Pollination Station: Pick a costume transform into a pollinator while we go on a mini-trek to find five pollinator-friendly plants in the zoo’s gardens. Where? ENMAX Conservatory.

Watch Local Artists in Action: Be sure to visit the zoo on May 13 for the grand unveiling of an original art piece by Tsuut’ina Dèné artist, Nathan Meguinis, who weaves Indigenous storytelling, bold colours, and rich symbolism into his art. Next, watch a mural come to life as Calgary artist and art therapist, Brandie Cormier, brings native plants and pollinators into her design that she will work on throughout the festival. Where? North Star building on the main zoo pathway (just past penguins and the top entrance to Canadian Wilds).

Garden of Champions: On May 4, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will also be hosting the Conservation Champions festival which celebrates the amazing work that young Albertan conservationists have been working on for the last year. Be sure to check out the QR codes “planted” throughout the zoo to take in all the wonders of these youth-led conservation projects. Where? Throughout zoo grounds.

Bow Habitat Station

Pond Dipping: Get a chance to get up and close with all the invertebrates that Alberta’s wetlands have to offer through a hands-on pond dipping investigation. Where? Ducks Unlimited Canada Marsh.

Fish Stockings: At the fish hatchery, trout are raised from egg to fry and stocked to more than 200 different lakes across Alberta. Connect with Alberta’s fishy friends while the staff guide you through a fish feeding activity. Where? Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery.

All activities will be included with day admission at either facility.

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