Coins for Conservation
Did you know that there is a parking meter at the Zoo? This isn’t your average meter; this is a Conservation Parking Meter! The idea is that visitors can donate their spare change to take direct conservation action, specifically, saving acres of rainforest one penny at a time.
A rainforest is defined as an area that receives greater than 80 inches of rain per year, and some areas get more than 200 inches. (That figure blows Humboldt County out of the water, we only receive an average of 40 inches each year!) Humidity in these forests is about 70-90%. Branches of tall trees meet to form a canopy 65 feet or more above the ground, only letting about 2% of sunlight reach the forest floor, much like our world-renowned redwood forests.
As many are aware, rainforests are important globally—not only because of the biodiversity found there (they contain more species of plants and animals than anywhere on earth!), but for many other reasons that are just now being understood. Countless medicinal, consumer, industrial and agricultural products are derived from plants and animals found only in the rainforest. Rubber, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, cashews and brazil nuts all come from the rainforests. And, rainforests help maintain weather patterns globally and supply fresh water and air. The destruction of our rainforests has a direct impact on the quality of life around the world.
But they are being cut down at alarmingly fast rates! Logging, mining and slash and burn agricultural practices are largely to blame for the loss of these forests. How can you help take direct conservation action here in Humboldt County? Visit the Sequoia Park Zoo and drop a coin in our Conservation Parking Meter. For each quarter you donate, over 90 square feet of rainforest can be saved.
We raise approximately $1,500 each year for rainforest conservation just through this parking meter effort at our Zoo—that is about 12.4 acres saved each year! The funds we raise specifically saves rainforest in the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica. Thanks to all of you who have donated in the past, and plan to in the future. If you are interested in learning more about these Conservation Parking Meters, or about rainforests, visit the Center for Ecosystem Survival at www.savenature.org.