Zoo in the US state of Kansas installs Smartflower to help Madagascar’s primates
A Smartflower can now be admired in the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City (US state Kansas). The “flower” supplies the primate building and the flamingo habitat with clean solar power.
The Smartflower – whose “petals” are produced exclusively by Energetica Photovoltaic Industries – at the zoo area serve as a visual representation of the strong relationship between renewable energies and nature conservation, according to the zoo operators.
One of the primary goals of Lee Richardson Zoo is to promote its visitors’ understanding of wildlife, conservation, and the environment at large. Since climate change threatens 40% of the primate population worldwide through extreme weather events, it has set itself the task of providing information about the connections between climate change and the destruction of wild animal habitats.
For this reason, the zoo has created educational and nature conservation programs with the involvement of the Smartflower. An upcoming program called “Story Time” includes reading children’s books for families in the zoo in front of the Smartflower, as well as renewable energy-focused activities that families can continue to do at home.
“We wanted something that is a central part of our nature conservation message and that can also be easily seen by our guests. Our goal is to impart knowledge about renewable energies and the protection of the wildlife to our guests, says Max Lakes, deputy director of Lee Richardson Zoo. “That way, they can make informed decisions about mitigating climate change.”
As a new exhibit and central focus of the zoo, the Smartflower attracts numerous visitors every day. A power generation measuring device shows the power generation statistics graphically and in real time and shows how the Smartflower works.
The zoo also plans to provide Smartflower fans on social media with posts on ongoing operations.
“When our visitors learn that our Smartflower is following the sun, they like to look at the device and come back in a few hours to see how the position of the panels has changed. It is an enlightening experience for them to notice this difference, ” says Keo Bounpaseuth, electrical engineering specialist at Garden City Public Utilities.
“Renewable energies are of central importance in saving natural habitats and providing a habitat for animals. We hope that our Smartflower inspires people to think about the global effects of climate change on wildlife and to take measures to mitigate them”, says Deputy Director Max Lakes. “We are very excited about all the ways we can use the Smartflower, and we can hardly wait to show everyone our new solar energy source”.