OUT WITH THE COLD AND IN WITH THE GROW: SPRINGTIME POLLINATORS ARE MAKING THEIR WAY TO THE OKC ZOO!

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is welcoming spring with all its splendor! There are so many things happening at the Zoo in the spring to help wildlife and wild places that positively impacts Oklahoma’s pollinator populations.

The OKC Zoo is an accredited botanical garden and is home to a wide array of native flora. As spring starts to come into full bloom the OKC Zoo is participating in No Mow May! Spring is the beginning of the active pollinator season and as these important insects, like newly emerging bees and monarch butterflies making their way back to Oklahoma, become active we are doing more by doing less! Now through May, the Zoo has designated areas of the park that we will allow to “green up” to support pollinators.

Originally started in the United Kingdom, No Mow May is a conservation initiative that has gained traction across North America. The goal of this initiative is to allow grass and forbs to grow to create habitat and forage for all kinds of pollinators. By mowing less, a lawn can become a beautiful habitat and can increase the abundance and diversity of wildlife throughout the Zoo, our community and even the country. Oklahoma is a major state along the migration route for monarch butterflies. We are continuing our dedication to helping bolster and protect monarch populations with conservation efforts like this. The Zoo is dedicating multiple locations as “No Mow Zones” where guests may observe butterflies and other pollinators seeking nectar and shelter. Keep an eye out for the Zoo’s “No Mow Zone” signs at the lawn near Lakeside playground and at the hillside behind the Canopy Restaurant. 

“It’s encouraging that the ‘No Mow May’ movement is gaining traction” said the OKC Zoo’s Director of Conservation and Science, Dr. Rebecca Snyder. “The fact that the Zoo is starting now in April is the perfect time as we begin to have more and more sightings of monarchs in Oklahoma. We are also encouraging guests to create a wildlife-friendly yard of their own by eliminating chemical use and mowing less.”

In addition to No Mow May, the Zoo is hosting National Wildflower Week Sunday, May 1 through Saturday, May 7. During this week-long event, guests can learn more about the Zoo’s botanical gardens, composting program and the Zoo’s efforts to protect pollinators through special social media stories, on-grounds activities and more. The climactic end to this week-long celebration is the OKC Zoo’s Spring Plant and OKC ZOO POO sale on Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local plant vendors as well as the Zoo’s horticulture experts will have an array of botanicals available for purchase. The stunning flora available during the sale will be pollinator plants, shrubs, perennials, succulents, cacti and more! In addition to the plants available, the Zoo will be selling its premium compost, OKC ZOO POO. This organic fertilizer sourced from many fan-favorite animals including the Asian elephants, Indian rhinos and giraffes is the natural way to nurture your garden. Each bag of OKC ZOO POO comes in a large reusable bag with pollinator seeds.

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