SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and Stonyfield Organic have announced the launch of a new Indiegogo campaign to help inspire the next generation of wildlife conservation leaders.
Stonyfield’s #FutureLeaders campaign will raise funds to give approximately 5,000 children from the Boys & Girls Club of America the chance to visit their local participating AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium. As part of the campaign, Stonyfield will match every donation made, up to $125,000, with the goal of raising $250,000 by the end of the campaign on November 6, 2017.
“The face and fabric of American society is changing rapidly, with the next generation becoming increasingly urban and increasingly disconnected from nature,” said AZA President and CEO Dan Ashe. “American adults report that they spend less than 5 hours per week outside in nature, and American children spend 3 times more time staring into a screen than outdoors. For many of these children and their families, a zoo or aquarium is their closest connection to learning about wildlife and inspiring a passion for the environment.”
Through the #FutureLeaders campaign, participating children will have the chance to see and learn about animal care and conservation firsthand at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. The visits will also feature inspiring curriculum focusing on current issues facing our planet, such as wildlife trafficking, climate change and ocean plastic pollution.
"Many of our kids haven't yet had the opportunity to visit a zoo or aquarium," said Chad Royal-Pascoe, National Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Resource Development, Boys and Girls Club of America. "Experiences like this are critical to broadening their perspective on the world, and gives kids the chance to learn and see for themselves. We are grateful to Stonyfield and all of those who donate to help make these trips a reality for our kids."
The Indiegogo campaign is the latest milestone in Stonyfield's support of the AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction® program, which fosters conservation efforts for 14 endangered species. AZA SAFE combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together, AZA, its members, and partners are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations.
"Stonyfield has been committed to protecting the environment since the very first day we started 34 years ago, and today our mission of a healthy planet continues to be one of our guiding stars," said Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Co-Founder. "We want to foster that same care and respect for the planet in the next generation, and one of the best ways to do that is to give kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity the chance to see these majestic animals for themselves, up close and personal."
“We are proud to support this effort to get kids increasingly involved with nature, and eager to provide an enriching educational experience at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums,” said Ashe.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
As a leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its yogurts and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. With their direct milk supply program, Stonyfield helps to grow the number of organic dairy farms in New England – and through their support of the Wolfe's Neck Dairy Farmer training program, Stonyfield works to train the next generation of organic farmers.
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