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Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals From Disney Parks, Films Come to Life in New Free Disneynature Explore App

posted on April 2nd, 2014 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


We want you to be among the first to experience our new free app, Disneynature Explore made possible by Disney Citizenship. Kids and families can now explore the outdoors like never before through the world of animals.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals From Disney Parks, Films Come to Life in New Free Disneynature Explore App Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals From Disney Parks, Films Come to Life in New Free Disneynature Explore App

Launching to coincide with Earth Month and the theatrical release of Disneynature “Bears”, Disneynature Explore combines an augmented reality experience with fun animal-behavior game play that encourages children and families to discover and play in nature. Now available for free on the Apple App Store, the app features five animal adventures— brown bear, monarch butterfly, chimpanzee, African lion and loggerhead sea turtle—each with four unique challenges. Families can search their own backyards with the lion to hunt for a warthog, view their surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks along with the bear to find its cub, crack a nut like a chimpanzee and more. Take a look at the fun video.

At Disney we are passionate about inspiring kids to connect with nature and encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. This app can be one of many ways to help kids develop lifelong conservation values through nature discovery and exploration. Play along with your children and be sure to take a moment to visit the parents’ page that includes suggestions for outdoor play. Kids can earn virtual Disneynature pins throughout the experience and consider going on “photo missions” found in the Disneynature Journal that will extend your family’s engagement with nature beyond the app.

Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals From Disney Parks, Films Come to Life in New Free Disneynature Explore App Wildlife Wednesdays: Animals From Disney Parks, Films Come to Life in New Free Disneynature Explore App

I hope you and your family will take some time to discover the wonders of nature during Earth Month and year-round.

Click here to download Disneynature Explore free on the App Store.

Did you know:

  • You can see African lions on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and loggerhead sea turtles at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot.
  • The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) has collaborated with Disneynature and nonprofit organizations to protect wildlife and wild places, including:
    • Planting three million trees with The Nature Conservancy (Disneynature “Earth”)
    • Protecting more than 40,000 acres of coral with The Nature Conservancy (Disneynature “Oceans”).
    • Protecting 65,000 acres of savanna with African Wildlife Foundation (Disneynature “African Cats”).
    • Protecting nearly 130,000 acres of chimpanzee habitat, educating more than 60,000 children, and caring for orphaned chimpanzees with the Jane Goodall Institute (Disneynature “Chimpanzee”)

  • If you see Disneynature “Bears” during its opening week (April 18-24, 2014), Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation through the DWCF to protect wildlife and wild places across the National Park system.
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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Live Chat Hosted by Disneynature — National Parks Service Ranger Roy Answers Questions About Bears

    posted on September 18th, 2013 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    I am so excited about the next Disneynature film, and I think you will be too! Just in time for Earth Day 2014, Disneynature will release its new True Life Adventure “Bears.” In theaters April 18, “Bears” is an epic story of breathtaking scale set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life. The film follows a bear family as impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.

    I have seen Alaskan bears firsthand, and truly they are amazing animals. I’m excited that now you can see them too. Today, at 6 p.m. EDT, Disneynature and Explore.org, will host a live chat with Ranger Roy from the National Park Service to answer your questions about bears and Alaska.

    Wildlife Wednesdays: Live Chat Hosted by Disneynature—National Parks Service Ranger Roy

    Right now, you can head over to http://www.explore.org/bearfun and check out a live bear cam in Katmai National Park, download a Disneynature “Bears” activity sheet, and get more information about the bears that you’re seeing.

    Be sure to see Disneynature “Bears” when it roars onto the big screen on April 18. SEE “BEARS,” PROTECT OUR NATIONAL PARKS invites moviegoers to see the film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014) and Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s national park system.

    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disneynature 'Bears'

    Did you know?

    • Disney’s commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the Disneynature label. Through donations tied to opening week attendance for its first four theatrical releases (“Earth,” “Oceans,” African Cats,” and “Chimpanzee”), Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) www.disney.com/conservation, has planted three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya, protected nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat, educated 60,000 school children about chimpanzee conservation and cared for chimpanzees.
    • The DWCF also provides grants to critical conservation projects around the world and, this year, achieved a significant milestone by issuing its 1,000th conservation grant. The DWCF is supported by Disney as well as guest contributions at merchandise and other select locations including Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Disney Vacation Club Resorts and Disney Cruise Line. Other funding comes from merchandise initiatives like reusable bags and special guest programs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends
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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Reaches Major Milestone — 1,000 Grants Since 1995 for Critical Conservation Needs

    posted on August 28th, 2013 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    When we started the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) in 1995, I couldn’t have dreamed that I would have the honor of making this announcement: The DWCF has just awarded its 1,000th conservation grant. That means we are celebrating 1,000 projects around the world protecting the world’s wildlife and connecting kids and communities to nature.

    These projects include 150 that were notified this week of their selection. These 2013 projects are addressing critical conservation needs that include:
    “Disney

    • Engaging youth in Shanghai and nearby communities in field monitoring to help protect the Chinese alligator.

    “Disney

    • Protecting chimpanzees in Uganda, some of which were featured in the Disneynature film “Chimpanzee.”
    • Learning more about sharks using satellite transmitters to understand their behavior.

    “Disney

    • Reintroducing whooping cranes back to the wild using an ultralight aircraft to teach the birds to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida.
    • Working with communities in Argentina to conserve the Andean cat and other local carnivores.

    This year’s dedicated recipients are working with communities on conservation programs that ensure a brighter future for wildlife and the natural world we share.

    Guests’ contributions at our Disney Parks and Resorts help us to support amazing conservation efforts around the world every year. The DWCF is supported by Disney and by guest contributions at merchandise and other select locations including Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Disney Vacation Club Resorts and Disney Cruise Line. Other funding comes from merchandise initiatives like reusable bags and special guest programs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot.

    Since its founding, the DWCF has provided $24 million in grants to programs in more than half the countries in the world.

    To see a complete list of 2013 DWCF grant recipients, this year’s Conservation Heroes, as well as other information on Disney’s commitment to conservation, please visit www.disney.com/conservation.

    Which of this year’s projects are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.

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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney Helps 60,000 Students Explore America’s National Parks

    posted on April 24th, 2013 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    This has been an amazing week! It started at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where I participated with park guests in an inspiring ceremony in honor of the park’s 15th anniversary and a “Party for the Planet” in celebration of Earth Day. Yesterday, I was back at Disney’s Animal Kingdom recognizing Walt Disney World Resort cast members from several of our parks and resorts who share information with our guests about the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF).
    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney Helps 60,000 Students Explore America’s National Parks

    Today, I am thrilled to announce that, in celebration of Earth Month and National Park Week, the DWCF is granting $500,000 to the National Park Foundation to help connect kids to nature through America’s national parks. This grant will go to the National Park Foundation’s “Ticket to Ride” program, which helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation to national parks around the country.

    Now in its second year and with continued support from the DWCF and Disney Friends for Change, “Ticket to Ride” provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. The grant from Disney will help more than 60,000 students experience location-based learning in their local national parks this year. For many students, the Ticket to Ride field trip will be their first visit to a national park.

    In addition to the grant, Disney Friends for Change – a program that inspires kids and families to make a positive impact by helping people and the planet – developed a public service announcement (PSA) that will air on Disney Channel and Disney Online and this great Earth Month video.

     
    Disney Friends for Change also is sharing an online action kit that helps families plan a park visit in four easy steps and provides ideas on park activities ranging from hikes to wildlife exploration.

    Caring about nature begins with spending time in nature, and we’re proud to give kids a chance to spend time outdoors in our beautiful national parks.
    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney Helps 60,000 Students Explore America’s National Parks

    Did you know?

    The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is funded by Disney and contributions by Disney guests. Guests help support the fund in a variety of ways, from adding a dollar or more to their purchases of food and gifts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and select resorts, to participating in special animal experiences on Disney Cruise Line and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge; The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot; and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawai’i, to purchasing reusable shopping bags and other items at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Celebrating $20 Million Donated to Conservation Through Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund

    posted on September 12th, 2012 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    This week, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) awarded more than $1.8 million to 75 organizations that were selected for their efforts to protect the world’s wildlife and to connect kids and communities to nature in 40 different countries.

    “Disney

    I can remember when the DWCF was created in 1995, so I am especially proud to share that this year’s DWCF annual grants mark the $20 million milestone in conservation giving through this program – supporting more than 800 projects.

    “Disney

    One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes is, “You’ve probably heard people talk about conservation. Well, conservation isn’t just the business of a few people, it’s a matter that concerns all of us.” The DWCF truly reaches out to enable many people — from youth volunteers restoring recreational sites in California’s San Bernardino National Forest, to scientists monitoring and training local educators about waterbirds in the Caohai Nature Reserve in China — to take conservation action.

    Hats off to the incredible organizations and people who are having such a positive impact on the planet and working to ensure a bright future for the next generation! To see a complete list of 2012 DWCF grant recipients, as well as other information on Disney’s commitment to conservation, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

    Read more of our Wildlife Wednesday posts below:

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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Disney Plants Three Million Trees in Endangered Tropical Forest

    posted on July 18th, 2012 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    In April, in celebration of Earth Day, we shared updates on the Disney Parks Blog about the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort, which included the world premiere at Downtown Disney of “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s newest film. Conservation has been a key pillar of the Disneynature label from the start, and all four films have empowered filmgoers to help make a difference.

    Disney Plants Three Million Trees in Endangered Tropical Forest

    Through donations tied to opening week attendance, Disneynature “Chimpanzee” will protect 129,236 acres of chimpanzee habitat, educate 60,000 schoolchildren about chimpanzee conservation, and care for orphaned chimpanzees; “African Cats” protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya; “Oceans” established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas; and “Earth” funded the planting of three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, as part of The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign.

    This update is to share the great news that we’ve just planted the last of the three million trees. I wish you all could have been standing with me, along with 40 Brazilian students, as we planted those trees. It really brought to life the impact of what the Disneynature film “Earth” made possible, thanks to those who went to see the film opening week, purchased the DVD opening week, and participated in various Disney programs supporting this initiative. Preparing to plant the trees was a process that took several years—first seeds for the trees had to be harvested and cleaned, then the saplings were nurtured for two years before they could be planted. Now that the trees are planted, they will be monitored and given care for another three to five years.

    See the Endangered Golden Lion Tamarin at Rafiki's Planet Watch at Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is one of the world’s most endangered tropical forests. It is home to 60% of Brazil’s endangered species, and many of these amazing animals are found nowhere else on Earth. They include the golden lion tamarin, a small endangered monkey, which guests can see at Rafiki’s Planet Watch when they visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom. To learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts, please visit www.disney.com/conservation.

    Check out these other posts from the Wildlife Wednesdays series:

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    Earth Day Inspirations: From Young People and a Young Chimpanzee, Named Oscar, During Disney Kids and Nature Celebration

    posted on April 18th, 2012 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    With Earth Day just a few days away, I couldn’t resist sharing a few more photos from last weekend’s Disney Kids and Nature Celebration.

    McClain Sisters at the World Premiere of Disneynature’s ‘Chimpanzee’ at Downtown Disney in the Walt Disney World Resort

    After the inspiring Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund awards ceremony last Friday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where we honored the Children & Nature Network, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and Youth Service America, we headed over to Downtown Disney for the world premiere of “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s newest True Life Adventure, complete with red-carpet arrivals and special guests, including Hollywood Records recording artists McClain Sisters, who sing “Rise” from the film.

    Earth Day Inspirations: From Young People and a Young Chimpanzee, Named Oscar, During Disney Kids and Nature Celebration

    Hear the story of Oscar, a young chimpanzee unexpectedly left to fend for himself, and you can’t help but want to help chimpanzees. The great news is we can! One way is to see the film during its opening week. Disneynature has joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute for a special “See ‘Chimpanzee,’ Save Chimpanzees” program. During the film’s opening week (April 20-26), Disneynature will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

    Winners of the Disney Friends for Change In-school Program Disney Planet Challenge, with Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of The Walt Disney Company, and Disney Channel Stars Laura Marano and Ross Lynch

    Last Saturday, the inspiration continued with a recognition ceremony at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot for the winners of the Disney Friends for Change in-school program Disney Planet Challenge. The winning elementary school class was a 5th grade class at Brickett Elementary in Lynn, Massachusetts, whose project “Think Before You Idle,” aimed to decrease unnecessary vehicle idling through education and encouragement. The winning middle school class was a 7th grade class at Christa McAuliffe School, PS 28, in Jersey City, New Jersey, whose “Project Reservoir,” worked to turn the Jersey City Reservoir into a state-designated environmental learning center. The winners received $6,000 teacher awards, $10,000 classroom grants and a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort for the winning teacher and students. Those recognizing the students included Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of The Walt Disney Company, and Disney Channel stars Laura Marano and Ross Lynch.

    Disney Channel Star Debby Ryan Participating in the Disney Friends for Change Youth Summit Presentations and Workshops

    The rest of the day at the Disney Friends for Change Youth Summit featured presentations and workshops designed to inspire the 100 young people from around the world attending to imagine their planet’s future and provide them with new ideas to take action for nature when they returned home. Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan, Zendaya Coleman, Bella Thorne, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano participated in the discussions.

    What a great way to kick off Earth Day week–I hope your Earth Day is filled with nature’s inspiration!

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    Celebration at Walt Disney World Resort Honors Commitment to Connecting Kids and Nature

    posted on April 13th, 2012 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    This morning at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we were thrilled to honor at a special Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) awards ceremony five outstanding organizations for their work to connect kids to nature.

    “Disney

    During the ceremony, emceed by weather anchor for ABC’s “Good Morning America” Sam Champion, the DWCF honored The Children & Nature Network, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and Youth Service America. Each organization received a $100,000 grant to continue growing their efforts to help kids develop lifelong conservation values. Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France, applauded the honorees.

    The ceremony is part of the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration, which spotlights Disney’s long-standing commitment to nature, a legacy that spans more than 60 years and began with Walt Disney himself. The celebration continues into the weekend and includes the world premiere today of “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s newest True Life Adventure, at Downtown Disney (in theaters nationwide starting April 20), and Disney Friends for Change events, including a youth summit and recognition ceremony for the Friends for Change in-school program Disney Planet Challenge at Epcot tomorrow.

    I believe my passion for the planet was sparked by my early outdoor adventures in the North Carolina mountains. I’m sure many of you have similar stories about your childhood experiences in the great outdoors. Today, we must focus on getting young people out into nature and having experiences like the ones we had growing up – it will spark their imagination and curiosity and inspire the future conservation leaders of our planet. We are doing our part at Disney to connect kids and nature through support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, through experiences in our parks and resorts, through programs like Disney Friends for Change, through films like “Chimpanzee,” and beyond.

    The five organizations were honored for these noteworthy accomplishments:

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    Wildlife Wednesdays: Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award Presented to Disney for Protecting Wildlife and Nature

    posted on September 28th, 2011 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award Presented to Disney for Protecting Wildlife and Nature

    I can’t think of better way to begin a post on Disney Parks Blog than to share with you a highlight of my career that just occurred last Saturday evening. It was my honor to accept, on behalf of The Walt Disney Company, The Jane Goodall Institute Global Leadership Award for Corporate Social Responsibility from Dr. Jane Goodall herself! Dr. Jane, one of my personal heroes, is a renowned primatologist and conservationist—and an inspiration to everyone who meets her.

    Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award Presented to Disney for Protecting Wildlife and Nature

    Dr. Jane chose to recognize The Walt Disney Company for its long-standing efforts to make the world a better place for all of its inhabitants. Examples include programs and experiences that connect children and families with nature—from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to The Seas with Nemo & Friends, to onboard our Disney Cruise Line ships, and at the movies and in our living rooms through Disneynature.

    We inspire kids and communities about conservation beyond our parks and resorts. Just last week, we announced that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will award $2 million to conservation projects around the globe this year—the highest amount we’ve ever contributed in a single year. And we are thrilled to engage in Disney’s Friends for Change to make a difference for the planet.

    When she presented the award, Dr. Jane said that Disney has been very responsible in carrying out Walt Disney’s commitment to conservation. Yes, it is an awesome responsibility to help carry forth this legacy of caring for wildlife and nature, but with the help of our Cast Members—who are so passionate about protecting our planet— and all of our Guests who are part of the Disney family, we will have a positive impact on the planet.

    To learn more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

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    6th Grade Class in Iowa Wins Disney’s Planet Challenge

    posted on April 14th, 2010 by Beth Stevens, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Environment and Conservation


    Disney’s Planet Challenge Winners
    Last week Mickey Mouse surprised a 6th grade class in rural Mediapolis, Iowa, as Grand Prize winners of our first ever nationwide Disney’s Planet Challenge – an environmental learning competition for 4th – 6th grade classrooms. Thousands of classrooms across the country enrolled in the competition.

    Mrs. Schnedler’s winning class worked hard throughout the school year on their Disney’s Planet Challenge project to help restore the natural habitats of the Northern Bobwhite Quail whose dwindling population is a significant environmental issue facing Des Moines County. Soon they’ll be going to Disneyland to enjoy activities and be honored in a recognition ceremony. You can see more about their story and their class project on Disney Channel later next month. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the surprise announcement from Mickey during a school assembly last week.

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