ASHEBORO, NC - The North Carolina Zoo will join Asheboro City Schools and people all over the world Saturday, March 27, to participate in Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is the World Wildlife Fund's global initiative in which individuals, schools, organizations, businesses and governments turn off their lights for one hour Saturday at 8:30 p.m., local time, to cast a vote in favor of action on climate change.

The N.C. Zoo will turn off all non-essential lights for at least one hour in the North America region and in the Africa region parking lots. Lighting that is essential for security and safety of staff and animals will remain on.

The zoo's North America parking lot will be open that night for star-gazing. Admission is $5 per carload for Zoo members and $7 per carload for non-members; however, anyone bringing a telescope to share with others will be admitted free. For the necessary pre-registration for the night event, contact Karen Powell at 336-879-7262 or e-mail her at

Earth Hour is the largest climate event ever. In 2009, more than 4,000 cities in 87 countries went dark. Here in the United States, an estimated 80 million people participated, which included 318 cities and 8 states.

"Doing something as small as turning off lights can make a difference when we work together," said Melinda Prior, Earth Hour coordinator for the zoo.

Those wishing to participate can go to for more information.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.