10/16/2013 2:18:07 PM

Wednesday Shout Out, October 16, 2013 {Cycle for Change}

On (most) Wednesdays we like to give a shout-out to people who are doing good in the world. We hear a lot of bad news on the global warming front, so it's nice to bring attention to the people who are working hard to shrink their carbon footprint.

Philip Fensterer of the Oregon Zoo, and one of our Leadership Camp grads is one of those people.

Philip spearheaded the Cycle for Change "Bike Commute Challenge," a movement to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes.

Cycle for Change is a month-long effort involving nine zoo teams and more than 90 participants. Together they logged 3,800+ miles by bike in September 2013, enough to cycle round-trip across the U.S. and then some, resulting in a savings of more than 3,000 pounds of CO2!

Sustainability efforts like Cycle for Change provide hope for polar bears and the Arctic ecosystem and illustrate the collaborative nature of the PBI Climate Alliance in building momentum for change.

Cycle for Change began with a small group of passionate individuals who invited others to join them. They held their first ride in 2012 from the Brookfield Zoo to the Milwaukee Zoo to benefit the Polar Bear Forest. 

They followed up with a Bike Commute Challenge in May 2013 and involved several teams from our Arctic Ambassador Center network. 

Then in July, they held a second ride from the Brookfield Zoo to the Milwaukee Zoo, an effort that resulted in even more teams joining the September Bike Commute Challenge. These nine institutions logged in 7,663 miles in September: Columbus Zoo, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Kansas City Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Louisville Zoo, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, Milwaukee County Zoo, Oregon Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo.

We want to take moment to recognize the team captains and other organizers for their efforts:

Philip Fensterer, Oregon Zoo (Cycle for Change ride organizer and September Bike Commute Challenge organizer)

Hunter Veeneman, Louisville Zoo Dan Nellis, Columbus Zoo (September and May Bike Commute Challenge captain)

Anthony Nielsen, Lincoln Park Zoo (September Bike Commute captain and Cycle for Change ride organizer)

Stacy Whitaker, Milwaukee County Zoo

Stephanie Kappel, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory 

Tammy Schmidt, Philadelphia Zoo

Becky Lynagh, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Jacque Blessington, Kansas City Zoo

Joe Dickstein, Tom Grose, Howard Lo, and the Chicago Cycling Club (Cycle for Change ride organizer)

Christy Mazrimas-Ott and Christy Azzarello and the Brookfield Zoo (Cycle for Change ride organizer)

Amanda Ista and the catering department at the Milwaukee County Zoo (Cycle for Change ride organizer)

For Polar Bears International taking action on climate change is a natural extension of our educational outreach. Our programs to combat climate change begin at the grassroots level and embrace whole communities. We amplify our reach by working with partners who reach millions of people. 

Do you want your own polar bear cycling jersey? We have men's and women's in the PBI gift shop.

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