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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


February 22, 2012

Learn how to create a backyard habitat with zoo classes this spring

Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |

  Photo credit: Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Learn how to build a habitat for wildlife in your own backyard or community with Woodland Park Zoo's backyard habitat classes offered this spring. Registration is open at


Create and sustain your own backyard habitat with a series of classes this spring designed to show you how to turn your backyard, schoolyard or community garden into healthy habitat for wildlife. Learn from experts from Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Audubon, Seattle Tilth, and Washington Native Plant Society how to design your wildlife habitat, attract birds and other wildlife to your backyard, select and care for native plants, manage your yard sustainably, coexist peacefully with the wildlife you attract, and get your yard certified as a Backyard Habitat.

Classes are designed to build on each other as a series, but may also be taken separately.

Site Evaluation, Design and Maintenance – Wed., March 14, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Join Allen Howard, Woodland Park Zoo horticulture staff, to learn the basic principles of creating habitat for wildlife, with a focus on planning, site analysis, design and garden maintenance.

Attracting Birds To Your Backyard – Wed., March 28, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Offered in partnership with Seattle Audubon. Join Neil Zimmerman, Seattle Audubon Outreach Chair and Master Birder, to learn how to attract and care for birds in your yard through plant selection, placement and maintenance of bird feeders and nestboxes, and use of water features.

Spring Plants and Planting – Sat., April 7, 10:00 a.m. – noon
Offered in partnership with Washington Native Plant Society. Join Monica Vander Vieren, Washington Native Plant Society Native Plant Steward, and David Selk, Woodland Park Zoo horticulturist, to discover how different plants in your garden can provide for the basic needs of wildlife. The class includes a plant walk around zoo grounds focusing on aesthetic and size considerations, as well as proper planting techniques. 

NEW CLASS: Your Vegetable Garden as a Backyard Habitat – Sat., April 7, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Offered in partnership with Seattle Tilth and the Garden Hotline. Your backyard vegetable garden not only provides fresh fruits and vegetables for your family and friends, but can also provide habitat for wildlife! Join Laura Matter, The Garden Hotline Program Coordinator, to learn how you can provide food, water, and shelter for wildlife while you grow delicious food to eat!

Butterflies and Bees – Wed., April 25, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Join Woodland Park Zoo entomologist Erin Sullivan and horticulturist David Selk to discover how to attract and care for local butterflies and bees. You'll learn about the importance of these backyard pollinators as well as the threats they face and what you can do to help, including insect-friendly gardening practices. 


Series runs this spring, March 14 through April 25. See class descriptions above for individual class dates and times.


$25 per person, per class; or $100 per person for the five-part series if you register before 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14.


To register, go to


Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo serves as a vital resource for tens of thousands of students and teachers across Washington state each year. Both inside and outside the classroom, Woodland Park Zoo brings science-based curriculum to life by connecting learners to nature and creating pathways to conservation action. The Education Department offers an array of activities that develop ecological literacy in learners of all ages, including zoo-based and outreach programs, field trips, public programs, classes, camps, teacher workshops and a zoowide volunteer program.

For more information, visit or call 206.548.2500.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in Washington state and in 50 countries around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit


Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.