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‘Earth Day Celebration’ Back at Great Bend Zoo on April 20

Businesses and Organizations Encouraged to Sign Up

Great Bend Earth Day Celebration is back for its third consecutive year. Three Great Bend businesses, located on north Main Street, are joining efforts once again to host Great Bend Earth Day Celebration this spring at Great Bend Zoo. The Zoo, Rosewood ECycle, and Great Bend Dairy Queen have scheduled the event for April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Last year’s event was well attended with more than 400 participants, but it was far from the record 1,600 people who participated in the inaugural event held two years ago. That year, Great Bend Earth Day Celebration benefited by Smoky Hills PBS providing an appearance by Curious George, who met and mingled with children.

“It will be difficult to ever match our first-year attendance because a lot of variables fell into place, which benefited our event,” explained Great Bend Zoo Curator Ashley Burdick. “Last year, the weather was chilly and we didn’t have a PBS character. But we still had a good turn-out with more than 400 children learning about conservation and recycling, so it was a good day. We’re excited about the future of our Earth Day event as more businesses and organizations show an interest in participating.”

Besides the three sponsors, five other businesses and organizations participated in the celebration last year. They were Heartland Farm, Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Luna the Therapy Dog, Great Bend Zoological Society, and Wheatland Electric. Burdick said most of last year’s vendors have shown an interest in returning. She has also received a confirmation that Barton Community College’s STEM Club will participate, and there will be an appearance from Bart The Cougar. Sunflower Recycling will participate this year, as well. There are also exciting developments with PBS planning to return.

Burdick encourages other businesses, organizations and food vendors to sign up. There is no charge to participate as a vendor. Great Bend Zoo can supply tables for vendor booths. In case of inclement weather, the staff will also offer indoor vendor space.

“Our primary education mission at the Zoo is to teach conservation and conserving the wild spaces for animals,” said Burdick. “The biggest issue affecting wildlife habitat is pollution. We can all make a difference in their world by focusing on ways to recycle and do the things at home and in our daily lives that, collectively, will make an impact. Earth Day Celebration helps us bring our conservation message to the community. We are thankful for everyone who joins us in this effort.”

Great Bend Earth Day Celebration is geared toward children, but all family members are welcome to participate. Great Bend Dairy Queen will once again issue a coupon for a free kid’s cone to all youth participants that day.

Great Bend Earth Day Celebration, which occurs a few days ahead of the official 54th anniversary of Earth Day, is a come-and-go event that is free to the public. Businesses and organizations that want to participate in the celebration can contact Burdick at 620-793-4226, or e-mail her at The deadline for booth sign-up is April 1.


Click on link for Great Bend Earth Day Celebration flier,

For more information, contact Ashley Burdick, Great Bend Zoo Curator,, 620-793-4226

January 18, 2024
Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services, 620-792-2536,