Our Dedication to Saving the Rainforest

savingrainforest

The Rainforest Pyramid, which opened in 1993, is a ten-story glass pyramid that recently underwent a massive enhancement project to make it better for both visitors and its animal and plant residents. The Rainforest Pyramid has shared the wonders of the Asian, African, and American rainforests with millions of visitors. It has also brought attention to the dangers rainforests are facing and the endangered species that inhabit them.

 

The popular Moody Gardens attraction is a great entertainment destination, but it is also the center point of Moody Gardens rainforest conservation efforts. Over the years, Moody Gardens has shown its dedication to saving the rainforest in a variety of ways.

 

In the last decade, Moody Gardens purchased 2,215 acres of rainforest in Panama for protected reserves. We have also collected over $69,000 for research and conservation in Central and South America to help preserve the diminishing rainforests in those regions.

 

Moody Gardens contributed to purchasing land in Peru to help complete the ReNuPeru Ethno Botanical Garden at the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research.

 

Other funds from Moody Gardens have been donated to support the Belizean Ministry of Natural Resources as they try to save the Mountain Pine Ridge Forests area from the devastation caused by a massive Pine Beatle infestation. We also contributed to the Rainforest Foundation to help indigenous people preserve their land from being taken over.

 

Moody Gardens contributes to helping save the rainforest through our animal programs and our research efforts. We stand by our mission: “Moody Gardens is a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.”

 

To learn more about our rainforest conservation efforts, come visit our Rainforest Pyramid. You can make a trip out of your visit by staying with us at the Moody Gardens Hotel, one of the best places to stay in Galveston.

Moody Gardens Research Programs Part 2

Garibaldi Fish Swimming Among Kelp

As we mentioned in our earlier blog post, Moody Gardens is dedicated to our mission of supporting plant and animal programs. We are a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research. We’ve already discussed the Medical Plant Program, the Beneficial Insect Program, and the Coral Propagation Program, but we are also dedicated to our Saving Elkhorn Coral program and our partnership with United States Fish and Wildlife.

Saving Elkhorn Coral

Recently, a Moody Gardens biologist and twenty other U.S. and European scientists embarked on one of the greatest coral conservation efforts ever undertaken. They traveled to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, to use their knowledge to help save Elkhorn coral. Elkhorn coral is listed on the federal government’s Endangered Species Act, and is also essential for the growth of existing and future coral reefs. Without Elkhorn coral, the reef builder, coral reef, and its inhabitants could be lost.  The lost of the coral reef would be immense for a variety of reasons. They serve as storm barriers for the coastline, are a potential source for pharmaceuticals, and support 85% of the tourism in surrounding areas. Moody Gardens is hoping to support the cause through captive coral sexual reproduction and husbandry techniques.

Partnership with United States Fish and Wildlife

When certain animals or live specimens are confiscated from people who possess them illegally, Moody Gardens assumes care responsibilities. Moody Gardens will care for these animals while their cases are pending and handle long-term care by assisting with relocating them to other facilities. Animals included in this partnership include turtles, Panamanian golden frogs, Cuban Amazon parrots, and the Wyoming toad.

Learn more about the many research programs Moody Gardens is involved in by visiting us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. Exploring the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid is an opportunity to learn and have a good time.

Moody Gardens Research Programs Part 1

Queen Angelfish
There is more going on at Moody Gardens than what visitors get to experience. We are doing tons of important work behind the scenes to pursue our mission of supporting plants and animals. Moody Gardens has teamed up with various universities, medical experts, and professionals to create research programs for medical research and other conservation efforts.

Medical Plant Program

Through the Medical Plant Program, Dr. E. Arthur Bell and the Moody Gardens Horticultural department have collected and grown vegetation from the rainforest that may be helpful in controlling diseases, such as cancer and AIDS.  Plant cuttings are sent to the University of Houston for data research to study certain healing properties.

Beneficial Insect Program

With the unmatched help of Sam Houston State University, the Rainforest Pyramid functions without the use of pesticides. This is made possible by an effort to match insects with certain bacteria to balance nature. The program’s hope is that biological control of insects will one day replace pesticides worldwide.

Coral Propagation Program

Coral reefs have the second-most diverse population of species, second only to the rainforests. Since so many species depend on coral reefs for survival, the conservation of this natural resource is vital. Through our captive coral propagation program, we conserve coral specimens for use in public aquariums to reduce the need for acquiring wild specimens. Moody Gardens is also a part of a research program with John Hopkins University. The results may have significant direct applications in paleontology, biochemistry, and possibly an indirect effect on medial research.

Learn more about the many research programs Moody Gardens is involved in by visiting us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. Exploring the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid is an opportunity to learn and have a good time.

Our Dedication to Saving Animals

saving animalsMoody Gardens is dedicated to the care and survival of animals. We go to great lengths to make sure we provide a comfortable home for our animal residents and provide assistance to animals in need.

Moody Gardens has worked with the Marine Stranding Network and other organizations to help rescue injured animals and rehabilitate them. Moody Gardens has helped to provide aid in the recovery and release of marine animals, such as dolphins and turtles, back into the wild.

A permanent home is also provided for animals that may not be able to survive in the wild, as in the case of Porter. Porter was a newborn abandoned harbor seal pup that needed treatment for dehydration and injuries. After the Marine Animal Lifeline nursed him back to health, he did not have the survival and hunting skills necessary to be released back into the wild. He is now a permanent resident of the Aquarium Pyramid’s North Pacific Exhibit.

At the Seahorse Symphony Exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid, visitors are reminded of the quickly diminishing seahorse population. It’s estimated that each year around 20 million seahorses are taken from the ocean to be used as souvenirs, pets, and for medicine. Project Seahorse is a collaborative international effort that focuses on conservation habitats, educating visitors, and making a difference for the seahorse population.

The efforts of Moody Gardens have been as widespread as South America, where a rescue team helped save a colony of Caribbean Flamingos after their home was attacked by jaguars. Also, the King Penguins at Moody Gardens are a genetically desirable group that have been part of a breeding exchange program with other institutions, helping to ensure their species survival.

Come visit the King Penguins and Porter the seal at the Aquarium Pyramid on your next family weekend getaway in Texas. Don’t forget to stop in and see the variety of animal residents at the Rainforest Pyramid! We look forward to seeing you soon.

Learn about Moody Gardens Scout Programs

BA12199Boy and Girl Scouts can come for a day of fun and learning at Moody Gardens, and earn badges and merit badges through our Scout Programs.

 

Each scout workshop includes hands-on activities, a Moody Gardens attraction visit, and a guaranteed good time! While scouts are having fun, they are also meeting most or all of the requirements needed to earn specific badges.

 

For Cub Scouts, we offer badges for Wolves, Bears, and Webelos. For $100.00, up to ten participants (including chaperones) can participate and earn the following badges:

  • Wolves: Elective 13, Birds
  • Bears: Achievement 5, Sharing Your World
  • Webelos: Naturalist Activity Badge

 

Each additional participant is $10.00 per person. We also require one chaperone for every five cub scouts, and non-scout children are not permitted to attend the workshop.

 

Reservations are required and must be made at least two weeks in advance. Call 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4325 or email us at scouts@moodygardens.com for information and reservations.

 

For Boy Scouts, we offer Merit Badge Day, which gives them the opportunity to finish most of the requirements for a merit badge in just one day.

 

Upcoming Merit Badge Days at Moody Gardens include:

 

February 16, 2013 (Register on January 21, 2013)

  • Environmental Science $25
  • Communications $25
  • Oceanography $20
  • Nature $25

 

March 23, 2013 (Register on February 18, 2013)

  • Communications $25
  • Soil & Water Conservation $20
  • Mammal Study $20
  • First Aid $25

 

April 20, 2013 (Register on March 25, 2013)

  • Oceanography $20
  • Environmental Science $25
  • Nature $25
  • Bird Study $20

 

Registration begins at 9 a.m. on the designated days. Call 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4320 or 409-683-4320 to register. Private Merit Badge workshops are available for a minimum of ten scouts, and two weeks’ notice is required. You can also email scouts@moodygardens.com for more information.

 

Don’t miss out on exploring the Aquarium Pyramid or Rainforest Pyramid while you’re here!

Why 2012 Was the Year of the Bat

Bats
Each year, Moody Gardens makes an effort to bring attention to parts of the world and certain animals in need of support. This past year was the Year of the Bat, as declared by the United Nations. Throughout the year, a variety of events were held at Moody Gardens to bring attention to this important animal, which is often overlooked.

Moody Gardens to raised money to donate to Bat Conservation International (BCI). BCI conducts and supports science-based conservation efforts for bats around the world. They work with many other organizations to combine research, education, and direct conservation to maintain bats’ environments and survival far into the future.

One of the first events at Moody Gardens was the Bats Are Doin’ It: A Fundraiser for Animal Lovers.  The event was held in February at the Moody Gardens Visitor Center and tickets ranged from $50-$90. Proceeds from ticket sales (including raffles) and donations were donated to Bat Conservation International. The event also brought attention to the ecological importance of bats, such as eating harmful insects and pollinating crops, such as bananas and mangoes. The purpose of the event was not only to raise funds, but also to increase appreciation for the misunderstood species.

A second Year of the Bat event held at Moody Gardens was the Bats for Bats Fundraiser. Starting in October and going on for several weeks, Moody Gardens held online auctions of sports memorabilia. Items such as a Texas Rangers’ Michael Young autographed photo were sold and the proceeds donated to BCI.

Now that 2012, the Year of the Bat, is over, we are looking forward to any future conservation efforts Moody Gardens will be making!

Come visit us on your next family weekend getaways in Texas, and learn more about the animals of the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid. Be sure book your stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Moody Gardens Teaching Teachers: Educator Programs Part 2

teachingteachersMoody Gardens offers workshops for local educators multiple times a year. Through our workshops, we demonstrate exciting ways to bring the rainforest, oceans, and nature into your classroom.

 

Through the exploratory workshops, teachers earn credit toward their Continuing Professional Education as established by the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC).  Teachers will also take home curriculum including math, science, and social studies lessons that correlate with TEKS requirements.

 

Each workshop includes hands-on activities, guided tours through Moody Gardens’ attractions, and take-home curriculum.

 

Choose between full-day and half-day workshops.

 

Full Day Workshops: During a full-day workshop, educators will earn six SBEC credit hours. The workshop includes a buffet lunch at the Garden Restaurant, a guided tour of one of the pyramids, and a take home copy of the applicable curriculum and all the related activities. The workshop is from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., with lunch included for $55.

 

Half-Day Workshops: Half-day workshop participants earn four SBEC credit hours. Participants will also receive a guided tour of one of the pyramids and take home curriculum. However, lunch is not included.  The workshop runs from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and costs $40 per person.

 

Upcoming workshops include:

 

  • Flying WILD (Full Day) on February 23, 2013
  • Frogs/Sharks (Full Day) on March 23, 2013
  • Marine Debris (Full Day) on April 27, 2013

 

Pre-registration is required for all educator workshops. For reservations and more information, please call 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4231, or email pswiftbrooks@moodygardens.com.

 

You can also access our curriculum online by visiting our website.

 

While you’re here, we hope you enjoy your tour of the Aquarium Pyramid or Rainforest Pyramid. If you’d like to make a weekend out of the visit, the Moody Gardens Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Galveston. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Moody Gardens Teaching Teachers: Educator Programs Part 1

teachers part 1 On February 2, 2013, Moody Gardens will be hosting our 16th Annual Educator Open House. At the open house, you can learn what Moody Gardens and other Galveston-area attractions have to offer educators and their students.

 

All educators and school support staff are invited and encouraged to participate in the fun and informational event. You can join us just for the excitement and knowledge, but also have the option to earn up to 4 State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) hours.

 

This year, you must pre-register for the event, which you can easily do here.

 

By registering and participating in the 16th Annual Educator Open House, you will:

  • Receive free admission into all Moody Gardens attractions with your school ID
  • Be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a variety of door prizes, field trips, and workshops
  • Receive a tote bag and a free box lunch if you are one of the first 1,000 participants
  • Learn more about the volunteer programs and opportunities at Moody Gardens
  • Gather free educational materials while they last
  • Receive activity ideas to use in your own classroom
  • Learn about other educational programs available from other Galveston-area attractions

 

If your family members want to join in on they fun, they can purchase a day pass for only $21.00 a person.

 

Be sure to sign up for our Pyramid Educator Newsletter to receive information and updates on new programs and special educator events. Simply email pswiftbrooks@moodygardens.com to sign up.

 

When registering, be sure to provide school employment identification. For any more questions, call 409-683-4231 or email at pswiftbrooks@moodygardens.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing you at the 16th Annual Educator Open House.

 

Be sure to check out the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid during your visit. If you need a place to stay, check out the Moody Gardens Hotel, one of the best places to stay in Galveston.

Adopt a Moody Gardens Animal

200351967-001By adopting a Moody Gardens Animal, you don’t get to take the exotic creatures home with you, but you do get to contribute to providing them with a quality life. Moody Gardens is home to over 5,500 animals, and it costs over $150,000 to feed all of them each year.

 

By becoming an adoptive parent, you are helping to contribute to the cost of food, care, habitat improvements, and animal enrichment.

 

The following animals are available for adoption:

 

Aquarium Pyramid

 

  • Weedy Sea Dragon
  • Harbor Seal
  • Brown Shark
  • Sand Tiger Shark
  • Barracuda
  • False Clownfish
  • Blue Tang
  • Dogface Pufferfish
  • Yellow Tang
  • Bahamas Starfish
  • Raccoon Butterflyfish
  • Peppermint Cleaner Shrimp
  • Blacktip Reef Shark
  • French Angelfish
  • Queen Triggerfish
  • Southern Stingray
  • Cownose Stingray
  • White Spotted Bamboo Shark
  • King Penguin
  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Rockhopper Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Macaroni Penguin
  • Northern Fur Seal

 

Rainforest Pyramid

 

  • Military Macaw
  • White-face Saki Monkey
  • Giant River Otter
  • Pink Pigeon
  • Cottontop Tamarin
  • Pygmy Slow Loris
  • Arapaima
  • Lake Victoria Cichlids
  • Red Bellied Piranha
  • Prehensile Tail Porcupine
  • Blue Hyancith Macaw
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Green Anaconda
  • Green Basilisk

 

When you become a part of the Adopt-An-Animal program at Moody Gardens, you receive a personalized certificate of adoption, 5×7 color photographs, and an animal fact sheet. However, with a higher-level adoption package you will receive even more benefits.

 

The following are the available adoption packages:

 

Level I – $35.00

  • Certificate of Adoption – personalized
  • 5×7 Photograph
  • Fact Sheet
  • Recognition on “Adoptive Parents” board

Level II – $75.00

  • All Level I benefits
  • Father’s Day and/or Mother’s Day card
  • 2 Aquarium Pyramid or 2 Rainforest Pyramid Tickets

Level III – $100.00

  • All Level II benefits
  • Name on Adoptive Parent Web Board
  • Invitation to Adoptive Parent Event (+1 guest)

Level IV – $200.00

  • All Level III benefits
  • 2 Aquarium Pyramid or 2 Rainforest Pyramid Tickets
  • Guided tour of Rainforest Pyramid or Aquarium Pyramid for 2

 

Call the Adopt-an-Animal hotline at 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4325 or email us at adopt@moodygardens.com to learn more. You can also start filling out your adoption application here.

Why Should You Make Moody Gardens Your Next Family Vacation?

200361162-001Make your next family vacation a Moody Gardens vacation! At Moody Gardens we have your whole trip covered, from the entertainment, the relaxation, and a place to stay. Our attractions are fun, educational, and appropriate for everyone in the family.

 

Family Friendly Accommodations

The Moody Gardens Hotel is accommodating for the entire family. We have a great selection of rooms and suites to provide your family with a comfortable place to rest your heads at night. The kids can enjoy the complimentary fun of Kid’s Crew while parents visit the Spa at Moody Gardens for a relaxing couple’s massage!

 

Dining Options

When you stay at the Moody Gardens Hotel, your kids get to eat free at the Terrace Restaurant, which has the best shrimp gumbo in Galveston. For a more formal dinner experience, taste the famous entrées at Shearn’s Restaurant prepared by Galveston’s most-celebrated chef, Executive Chef Urs Schmid.

 

Fun and Educational

The attractions at Moody Gardens are not only tons of fun, but they are also educational. When venturing through the Aquarium Pyramid, you and your family learn all about the penguins, seals, and other sea creatures. You can even get a personal experience with the penguins through the Penguin Encounter program. Other educational yet exciting attractions are the Rainforest Pyramid and Discovery Museum.

 

Location

Moody Gardens is located on Galveston Island, one of the more-popular vacation destinations in Texas. Situated right on the Gulf of Mexico, when you stay at Moody Gardens Hotel, you experience all that Galveston has to offer.

 

Start planning your next family weekend getaway in Texas at Moody Gardens! Once you plan your vacation with us, you’ll realize why we are one of the best places to stay in Galveston. You look forward to seeing you soon!