The Language of Conservation

News and Events

Communities and Nature - Pollinator Awareness

As part of the new Communities and Nature Program, the Brookfield Zoo has partnered with the Library, Cantana, the Riverside Public Library,  Riverside-Brookfield High School, and Lights on for Learning in order to establish a pollinator cooridor all the way from Brookfield to St. Louis, Missouri. The Zoo has provided pollinator plants and shrubs which have been planted around the Library. The Library is also promoting, "Don't Pull That Dandelion" in order to provide food for one of the most important pollinators: bees. For more information on the Communities and Nature program, please visit the Chicago Zoological Society's Conservation Leadership page

2014 Say It In Seven Poetry Contest Winners:

The 2014 Say It In Seven Poetry Contest Winners were chosen from the entries received during the On The Same Page reading challenge. Contestants were asked to create a poem using only seven words while maintaining a "nature" theme.

Adult: Jeanne Delagardelle

Soaring Eagle
Higher, higher
Time stands still

Young Adult:  Lissette Gamez

Leaves falling, sun rising.
Nature is calling.

Youth:  Jessica Mencke

Our every movement comes from nature's pull.


Language of Conservation

The Brookfield Public Library has partnered with the Brookfield Zoo and Riverside Public Library for The Language of Conservation, a project that aims to deepen public awareness of conservation efforts through poetry.  Developed as a program by Poets House and the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Central Park Zoo, research demonstrated that people who encountered poetry as part of their zoo experience left with a better understanding of the importance of conservation, and their role in it.

Supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, five poets will be working with five zoos around the country to replicate the original New York project: Alison Deming in Jacksonville, Pattiann Rogers in Milwaukee, Joe Bruchac in Little Rock, Mark Doty in Louisiana, and Sandra Alcosser in Brookfield.  The celebrated poets will act as Poets-in-Residence in the zoos, collaborating with wildlife biologists and exhibit designers to curate zoo installations with poems that celebrate the natural world and the connection between species.

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Poetry Installations

Brookfield residents can see the installation of The Language of Conservation graphics in the new Great Bear Wilderness exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo and throughout the Brookfield Public Library.  These graphics include poetry that reflects on the beauty of the natural world and its risk of destruction.  To find the complete poems in sources at the Brookfield Public Library, follow the link on the resource title.

*Poetry installed at the Brookfield Public Library



Brookfield's Poet-in-Residence, Sandra Alcosser

Sandra Alcosser was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in South Bend, Indiana.  She has published seven books of poetry, including A Fish to Feed All Hunger and Except by Nature, which have been selected for the National Poetry Series, the Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award, the Larry Levis Award, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Poetry, and the William Stafford Award from Pacific Northwest Booksellers. She is the National Endowment for the Arts’ first Conservation Poet for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Poets House, New York, as well as Montana’s first poet laureate and recipient of the Merriam Award for Distinguished Contribution to Montana Literature.


The Language of Conservation in the News

Brookfield Zoo Language of Conservation Partnership.   Christina Stoll, Metropolitan Library System.  June 9, 2010.

Brookfield Zoo, libraries partner on conservation exhibit.  Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, March 30, 2010.

"Come for the Oaks, Stay for the Fun," Suburban Life.  July 21, 2010.

Poems for Where the Wild Things Are:  Conservation poet Sandra Alcosser inspires her audience to become engaged with the natural world.  360 Magazine, November 4, 2009.