Protect our planet and join The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in honoring Mother Earth on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to noon. This year’s celebration includes reduced adult admission, giveaways, and zero waste activities. 


Earth Day activities are free to members and all other guests can enter The Living Desert for the “Children of Mother Earth” price of $9.95. Guests who bring an electronic device for recycling or their own reusable water bottle will receive a free carousel ride. The first 500 people through the gate will receive a free Year of the Giraffe souvenir cup to encourage reusable plastics and a free non-alcoholic beverage in the Thorntree Grill. In addition, while supplies last, guests will receive a free milkweed plant that attracts butterflies, and they are invited to enter a drawing for a chance to win a free bicycle.


The entire family will enjoy animal encounters, keeper chats and learning how to protect our desert tortoises at the Time To Talk Trash table. Activities include turning an old t-shirt into a reusable grocery bag and screenings of the 12-minute humorous TED Talk, Nature Becomes Architect: Growing Our Next Generation of Buildings in the Discovery Center.


“As a conservation-first organization, Earth Day is one of our favorite occasions to celebrate here at The Living Desert,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “It aligns perfectly with our mission of conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.”


Earth Day is a “Zero Waste” day and to support this effort, The Living Desert’s food service will be free of plastics, instead using compostable and reusable tableware, silverware and cups. There will be signage throughout the park and staff encouraging guests to skip the trashcans and use the compost receptacles instead. The daily paper map guests typically receive upon entry will be replaced with information to download the interactive app that provides directions, programming and detailed information about the animal habitats and gardens.  


The Zoo and Gardens is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is always free. For more information, visit or contact (760) 346-5694. The Living Desert’s free interactive app is available to download on smartphones and tablets.