Head to the zoo and learn about conservation with a Girl Scout

The Austin Zoo puts on Boo at the Zoo next month. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Austin Zoo will celebrate conservation on Sept. 17. Plus, it’s a perfect chance to see the black bears. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Girl Scout Phoebe Anderson contacted me about a really cool project she’s doing for her Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can get and involves a project that can be carried on well after the girl is out of high school. Phoebe has been working with the Travis County Master Gardeners to identify the various native and low-water-use plants and trees on the Austin Zoo’s property. The zoo will be installing markers so visitors can see what’s growing there and be inspired in their own home gardens.

Phoebe will be highlighting her project at Austin Zoo Conservation Day, which will celebrate the zoo’s 26th anniversary with family friendly activities and demonstrations on a conservation theme from Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin Astronomical Society, Travis Audubon, The Natural Gardener, TreeFolks, Travis County Master Gardeners, Horned Lizard Conservation Society, Millberg Farms, Two Hives Honey, Austin EcoNetwork, Texas Master Naturalists, 4-H Central and Girl Scouts. The first 200 visitors to Conservation Day will receive a free packet of native/heritage flower or vegetable plant seeds from Seed Savers and Native American Seed.

It’s all happening 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 17. Austin Zoo, 10808 Rawhide Trail. austinzoo.org

P.S. The zoo’s website informs us that it has 16 Pokemon stops and two gyms if that’s something your family is interested in. Just don’t forget to look at the real life animals, too.