With Earth Day fast approaching, are you aware how much The Walt Disney Company connects with the environment—like the Disney Conservation Fund? You may have been asked by a Disney cast member to contribute to the fund. But where do those contributions go, and what exactly do they do?

With Earth Day fast approaching, are you aware how much The Walt Disney Company connects with the environment—like the Disney Conservation Fund? You may have been asked by a Disney cast member to contribute to the fund. But where do those contributions go, and what exactly do they do?

Established in 1995 on Earth Day, the Disney Conservation Fund’s mission is to protect the planet and connect kids with nature. It supports nonprofits that conserve wildlife, engage communities in conservation and connect kids with nature. The fund has provided $27 million in guest dollars and corporate support for conservation projects in 114 countries and connected more than 12 million kids with nature.

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Every dollar you donate to the fund is matched by The Walt Disney Company and goes directly to nonprofit organizations. A portion of the Wild Africa Trek tour admission fee in Disney’s Animal Kingdom also supports the fund.

You can witness wildlife conservation righthere at Walt Disney World Resort. Dr. Anne Savage, conservation director, Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment (ASE), and James Mejeur, zoological manager, spearhead a special project. Though ASE funds their own projects, they’re partnering with the Purple Martin Conservation Association (which has received grants from the Disney Conservation Fund) and scientists from York University as they help save the purple martin, the largest member of the swallow family. Starting with only six pairs of breeding birds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are now 120 pairs of birds and 240 total purple martins that return across property annually.

I recently observed at the Purple Martin Garden in Epcot. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m. during the breeding season, Lauren Moscar, conservation programs technician, checks on 50 nest compartments. The impact on the guests is obvious as they gather around to watch Lauren. She even shows them the nests and any eggs. On this day, there were quite a few youngsters obviously transfixed by what Lauren was sharing with them.

“I love talking to the guests and answering their questions,” Lauren told me. “It’s what it’s all about.”

Helping Hands Helping Nature with The Walt Disney Company by Russ J. Stacey: Originally posted on the Disney Parks Blog


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