July 7, 2011

Cargill Environmental Education Center to Open at the Minnesota Zoo

MINNEAPOLIS, July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cargill is pleased to announce the grand opening of Cargill Environmental Education Center at the Minnesota Zoo. In support of the Heart of the Zoo campaign, Cargill provided a $1 million donation to the Zoo to fund the construction of the new, environmentally-friendly education center.

The Cargill Environmental Education Center is scheduled to open for the public on Saturday, July 9 and will be home to the Zoo's expanded early childhood learning program. Located in the facility's new visitor center, the education center includes classroom spaces and interactive areas for close-up learning with Zoomobile animals, encouraging caring attitudes toward nature and animals. The center is complete with safe and secure drop-off areas for students, providing a unique gathering place where school groups can come together upon arrival at the Zoo.

"We are so thankful for Cargill's generous donation to our Heart of the Zoo campaign," said Lee Ehmke, director and CEO of the Minnesota Zoo. "The Cargill Environmental Education Center will provide local school groups with programs designed specifically for early childhood education and foster early success with literacy and learning."

"We are excited to be a part of the Minnesota Zoo's renovation and redesign campaign," said Mark Murphy, executive director of the Cargill Foundation and assistant vice president, Cargill corporate affairs. "Early childhood education is vital to the success of students throughout their education and life. The new environmental education center will not only improve kids' attitudes towards the environment, but will also help to lay the foundation for future learning about nature and science."

In addition to the new donation, Cargill has provided support to the Zoo since 1990. Each year, the company provides 50 tons of salt to sustain the Zoo's marine aquariums.

About The Cargill Foundation

The Cargill Foundation invests in organizations and programs that demonstrate leadership and effectiveness in helping socio-economically disadvantaged children (PreK-12) improve academic performance and in eliminating barriers to their educational success. The specific outcomes for these grants are school readiness (for pre-kindergarten children), improved academic performance (for K-12 children) and narrowing the achievement gap in Minneapolis schools. The Foundation also helps enhance the vibrancy and quality of life in the Twin Cities by supporting a select group of preeminent arts, cultural and civic institutions.

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

SOURCE Cargill