Third Annual World Heritage Day at the Zoo

Written by Kyle Purchase on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association

Thursday, May 24, marked the Third Annual Philadelphia World Heritage Day, which was hosted at the Philadelphia Zoo. This momentous day was first instituted by Mayor Jim Kenney in 2016 to recognize our city’s global heritage designation by the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC). In Philadelphia, this day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of each May.

Celebrating World Heritage Day at the Zoo is fitting as the Zoo has made a global impact and serves as an important asset for a global consciousness for anyone who has visited or plans to visit the city. The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo erected in the United States and is a key part of our region’s life and culture. They are home to nearly 1,300 animals and connects Philadelphia to the world through its global research, conservation, and public education efforts.

More than 3,500 students visited the Zoo during the 2018 Philadelphia World Heritage Day. Global Philadelphia Association, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Zoo, hosted a private event for students from Independence Charter School in the Zoo’s Treehouse.

The program opened with remarks about World Heritage and global conservation. City Representative Sheila Hess issued a City Proclamation announcing the Third Annual Philadelphia World Heritage Day.

Students in attendance also had the opportunity to meet animals from World Heritage cities around the globe, including a Radiated Tortoise from Madagascar, a Blue and Gold Macaw from South America, and a North America Porcupine.

John F. Smith III, chair, Global Philadelphia Association, remarked that the program was great for the kids. “They answered questions when they were asked and were all engaged in the program.”

Throughout the day, team members from Global Philadelphia Association also greeted Zoo visitors, handing out information pamphlets explaining what it means to be a global city, and distributing almost 3,000 Philadelphia World Heritage Coloring Books, which were donated by the Philadelphia International Airport. This coloring book was designed to help children, from age 5 to 11, become familiar with the historical and cultural heritage of Philadelphia, while having fun and being creative.

Click here to visit our Flickr page for photos from the day's event.