The Rapidian

Greater Grand Rapids residents invited to become part of state history Aug. 1 during creation of new traveling Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic Wall

First-ever event during KidsDay at John Ball Zoo celebrates Kirtland’s warbler and promotes awareness of efforts to ensure Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources are preserved for future generations
Celebrate Michigan’s outdoor heritage and add your face to the Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic Wall at KidsDay at the Zoo.

Celebrate Michigan’s outdoor heritage and add your face to the Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic Wall at KidsDay at the Zoo. /Michigan Wildlife Council

Underwriting support from:
'From up close, you see individual photos – as you move farther back, the beauty will be revealed,' said Darci David of JB Zoo.

'From up close, you see individual photos – as you move farther back, the beauty will be revealed,' said Darci David of JB Zoo. /John Ball Zoo

West Michigan children, their families and wildlife aficionados of all ages are invited to become part of the first-ever traveling Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic Wall on Thursday, Aug. 1, during KidsDay at the Zoo.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience celebrating Michigan’s outdoor heritage will make its Greater Grand Rapids debut during a one-day visit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at John Ball Zoo, 1300 Fulton St. W, Grand Rapids. All zoo visitors – from young children and families to teens and grandparents – are invited to pose for live-event, real-time photos illustrating how people are necessary for wildlife management.

Sponsored by the Michigan Wildlife Council, this is the mosaic wall’s only stop in West Michigan and is part of a statewide celebration of the nationally heralded efforts the state is making to ensure Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources are preserved for future generations.

“Our state is recognized throughout the U.S. as a leader in wildlife management, so it’s appropriate that we celebrate Michigan’s many wildlife conservation success stories,” said Michigan Wildlife Council Chair Matt Pedigo. “At the same time, it’s important for the public to know about the essential role hunters and anglers play in conserving, managing and protecting Michigan’s wildlife.”

At the Michigan Wildlife Council booth across from the zoo’s aquarium, participants will take photos that automatically print their facial image as a sticker. They can then place their photo sticker on the mosaic board, which will appear as an 8-foot-wide by 4-foot-tall artistic image of a Kirtland’s warbler – one of Michigan’s many wildlife success stories. Participants will also receive a free souvenir photo. (See an example of the Kirtland’s warbler planned for the John Ball Zoo event here.)

“The photo mosaic wall makes everyone at the event feel like once you look at the big picture, we’re all in it together. From up close, you see individual photos – as you move farther back, the mosaic of each wildlife species’ beauty is revealed,” said Darci David, marketing manager at John Ball Zoo.

During upcoming public venues in Flint, Lansing and the Upper Peninsula at locations and dates to be determined, participants will create additional images of wildlife such as elk, wild turkey and lake sturgeon. Following the statewide tour, the final versions of each Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic Wall will be displayed at the Michigan History Center in Lansing.

“Each of the images was selected to represent the unique relationship that exists between Michigan’s abundant wildlife, the people who take care of it and the people who enjoy it,” Pedigo said.

More than 500 people took part July 6 in the creation of the first photo mosaic – a peregrine falcon – at Comerica Park. The event highlighted that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature declared July as “Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month.” The proclamation reflects that July 1 marks the 81st anniversary of the effective date for the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which ensured wildlife management projects nationwide would be funded by the purchase of hunting equipment.

The proclamation also coincides with the five-year anniversary of the creation of the Michigan Wildlife Council, which is a bipartisan-approved panel tasked by the Legislature with conducting a public education campaign emphasizing the importance of wildlife management and the role hunting and fishing play in protecting and enhancing Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources.

This year’s efforts emphasize that hunting and fishing licenses – not taxes – pay for the conservation of Michigan’s forests, waters and wildlife. In 2018, nearly $61 million was generated for Michigan conservation through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. 

Among the wildlife success stories that legislators, Whitmer and Michigan Wildlife Council members are encouraging Michiganders to celebrate are:

  • Recognition of the 100th anniversary of the successful reintroduction of Rocky Mountain elk to Michigan after near extinction.
  • The restoration of Michigan’s wild turkey population from 2,000 in 1960 to 200,000 today.
  • The comeback of species such as the peregrine falcon, Kirtland’s warbler and lake sturgeon, which were nearly wiped from Michigan’s landscape in the last century.

Zoo admission Aug. 1 is $4 per person; participation in the Michigan Wildlife Photo Mosaic is free with entry.

For more information about wildlife and habitat conservation, visit Michigan Wildlife Council.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse