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Experience Alberta’s Wilder Side at the Second Annual Alberta Biodiversity Festival

September 6, 2023

6 SEPTEMBER 2023 (Calgary, AB) – The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and the Government of Alberta’s Bow Habitat Station are proud to once again invite Albertans to embark on a journey of environmental exploration and conservation. From September 22 to 24, the zoo will host the second annual Alberta Biodiversity Festival – an immersive celebration of the province’s captivating wildlife, ecosystems, and landscapes.

“Alberta boasts a truly unique landscape where the prairies, boreal forest, and Rocky Mountains meet, providing rich, diverse habitat to more than 60,000 wild species,” said Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas. “The Alberta Biodiversity Festival offers an immersive, family-friendly experience that highlights our province’s biodiversity and the important conservation efforts underway to protect it for future generations.”

Engaging experiences and infectious excitement await visitors at the zoo along with a crucial understanding of the vital role biodiversity plays and the critical challenges faced by Alberta’s wildlife.

“We’re thrilled to welcome visitors to a three-day event and provide Albertans with a unique opportunity to forge meaningful connections with our natural surroundings and the remarkable wildlife that calls it home. Our hope is that every guest leaves not only inspired but also empowered to take action toward safeguarding our iconic at-risk species. All this while also enjoying a wonderful fall day at the zoo!” shared Laura Glick, Manager of Conservation Education at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo.

Visitors will get the chance to dive deeper into some of the zoo’s conservation efforts to preserve Alberta’s species-at-risk, such as the burrowing owl and whooping crane. Activities at the zoo from September 22 to 24 include:

  • Indigenous Connections: Daily storytelling moments from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Learn about Indigenous connections to the land from First Nations and Métis knowledge keepers. Speakers include Elder Clarence Wolfleg sharing about the Blackfoot connection to the land and Matt Hiltermann (Métis historian and sash weaver) discussing Métis culture and connection to the land.
  • Conservation Scientist Showcase: Meet some of the field staff involved in Wilder Institute’s conservation programs in Alberta and see the gear they use to undertake observation, tracking, and other data collection in our translocation projects. Daily from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Whooping Crane Board Game: Learn about the successes and challenges whooping cranes face on their migration journey from Alberta to coastal Texas in this snake and ladders-esque adventure.
  • Animal Tracks Activity: Design your own animal tracks! Learn how to identify different species of animals by their tracks and make your own clay footprint to take home.

Conservation enthusiasts can get the celebrations started on Saturday, September 16 with the kick-off event at Bow Habitat Station, located in Calgary’s Inglewood area from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors of all ages can dive into fish feeding, interactive games, and hands-on activities with 12 community exhibitors to inspire and nurture a sustainable human connection with Alberta’s unique biodiversity. Activities at Bow Habitat Station on September 16 include:

  • Alberta Plants: Stand tall and see how you measure up against the roots of native prairie plants.
  • Alberta Wildlife: Take a closer look at Calgary’s urban spaces and the animals that don’t often cross paths with people through the lens of a wildlife camera.
  • Alberta Water: How can you protect the quality and quantity of our bodies of water?Design a pledge pin – then wear your custom-created symbolic piece with pride!
  • Environmental Action: Head out on a fall nature scavenger hunt and contribute to biodiversity monitoring in the city and surrounding areas.

By conserving, protecting, and revering our province’s precious biodiversity, Albertans can ensure that both wildlife and future generations can revel in the benefits and enjoyment that biodiversity provides. After all, it’s in our nature.

Plan your visit and see the full list of activities by heading over to the Calgary Zoo or the Bow Habitat Station websites. To celebrate the partnership, the Bow Habitat Station will be offering zoo members 25% off Discovery Centre admission at their site from September 22 to December 16, 2023.

Assets: bit.ly/ABFphotos

Photo Credit: Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

  • We have rebranded and prefer to be called “the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo” or “the zoo” in print and “the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo” verbally – thanks for helping us get the word out!

For More information contact:

Alison Archembault
Director, Brand & Engagement
403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | mediarelations@calgaryzoo.com


About the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo: For more than 30 years, the internationally accredited Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has been a leading authority in wildlife conservation, reintroducing threatened species to the wild and empowering communities to conserve natural resources to positively impact both the environment and local inhabitants.

While our work is global, our roots run deep in the Albertan conservation community. Sitting on 125 acres in the heart of the city, we operate one of the oldest charities in Alberta, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo – a not-for-profit charitable wildlife conservation organization that works to fight the extinction of plants and animals worldwide. In addition to the zoo, we proudly operate the Archibald Biodiversity Centre (ABC), a one-of-a-kind breeding & research facility in Canada. Nestled on 330 acres in the Albertan prairies, the ABC is a stronghold for biodiversity and a temporary home to some of Canada’s most iconic species-at-risk.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is passionate about inspiring and educating generations of visitors about the importance of biodiversity and conservation. Together, we will continue to be a force of nature for making the world a wilder place. Learn more at WilderInstitute.org and CalgaryZoo.com.

About Bow Habitat Station: Bow Habitat Station is a public environmental education facility dedicated to fostering an appreciation for Alberta’s air, land, water, and biodiversity. It consists of the Discovery Centre, Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery, Kids Can Catch Trout Pond, and Interpretative Wetlands.

Their mission is to inspire positive and meaningful environmental action through hands-on learning experiences related to Alberta’s fish, wildlife and ecosystems. Learn more at bowhabitat.alberta.ca.