Here's an idea for repurposing your outdoor plants at the end of the summer. Don't throw them out -- donate your live summer plants to Cape May Zoo!

The Cape May Zoo, South Jersey's local treasure, which offers free year-round admission to see its collection of 550 animals, always puts out an appeal for discarded Christmas trees just around the first of the year. Here's one of the Zoo's appeals for Christmas trees from Facebook.

Animals like the bison and lions love the smell and push them or carry them around their yards. Other animals, like the deer and wallabies, love the tree forts made by the keepers that act as wind breaks. And some animals, like the goats, love to eat the trees!

Now, Cape May Zoo is asking for your donations of outdoor summer plants for the Park and Zoo.

We are mostly looking for non-toxic plants in pots, like spider plants, Boston ferns, and palms. Plants can be dropped off any day, 10am - 2pm at our Maintenance Building. The attendant at the main park entrance (rt 9) will direct you.

The Facebook post, featuring a photo of Nico the marmoset enjoying a plant donated to the Cape May County Zoo, doesn't go into a great deal of information about how the zoo will use the plants, but we do know they work well for creating habitats for certain animals and for propagating new species of the plants.

We also understand that houseplants of all varieties and sizes will help to maintain the healthy environments that many reptiles and amphibians love. They also provide shelter and are nice to look at.

For questions about the outdoor houseplant donations to Cape May Park & Zoo, call the Main Office at 609-465-5271.

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