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Acres for the Atmosphere is a non-profit organization dedicated to community educational greening efforts, in order to raise awareness about climate change and the animals and habitats it effects. AFTA was started by graduates of the 2009 Polar Bears International Zoo Keeper Leadership Camp. Along with PBI, AFTA partners with the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) and zoos throughout North America to be stewards for polar bears and organize greening efforts to offset the effects of Climate Change by sequestering and decreasing CO2 emissions. On October 5th, 2010, AFTA in Anchorage, directed by Stephanie Hartman, planted over 130 trees and shrubs with the students at Bowman Elementary. All of the trees and shrubs were donated by Green Earth Landworks. Other partners and donations to support the planting came from EverGreen Nursery and Garden Center, Lowes and United Rentals. These donors and partners along with leadership, heavy equipment help and staff hands from the Alaska Zoo, all made this first greening project a huge success! Learn more by downloading our AFTA flyer.
Polar bears made from recycled plastic bottles from each partner school were constructed with approximately 70 students representing two schools- Bowman Elementary School and Chugiak High School. These plastic bottle polar bears (one adult size and one cub size), along with educational signage to promote the recycling of plastic bottles, have been on display at the Alaska Zoo, Anchorage School District Education Building, Bowman Elementary School, Bartlett High School and the local indoor waterpark, H2Oasis. They have been used in and around Anchorage to promote sustainable actions against climate change, such as recycling, and have reached 1000s of Alaska Zoo guests, students and residents alike. These plastic bears are still being used to demonstrate the importance of recycling to reduce our carbon footprint and are direct ties between actions and polar bears. This was started in partnership with the Alaska Zoo and Anchorage School District to help gain momentum to get plastics recycling in schools in the ASD.
Would you like to learn more about our projects for polar bears, or join our efforts? Contact Stephanie Hartman (Education Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org.