The NewsChannel 34 crew got right to work at the Ross Park Zoo’s most recent endeavor, the Imagination Forest exhibit. The hillside is set to become a magical, multi-sensory, interactive environment for Zoo-goers to enjoy.

Every year, during the third week in June, employees of NewsChannel 34’s mother company, Nexstar Media Group, go out into the community to volunteer, and work with local non-profit organizations. For reference, last year, Nexstar employees volunteered a total of over 15,000 hours at 156 organizations across the U.S.

NewsChannel 34 started by raking and bagging the leaves to see the lay of the land.
After that, we began planting partial shade flowers, which really help bring the area to life.

Executive Director of the Zoo, Phil Ginter says that this project is supposed to be for the community, and by the community.

Executive Director of the Zoo, Phil Ginter says, “We’ve been working with them on engaging the community, and in line with our mission of conservation, really looking at how to up-cycle products, every day things around your house, and turning them into something magical here at the Imagination Forest.”

SOT: “There’s so many people that work behind the scenes as well. And it’s important that we all remind ourselves that we’re here to serve the community, and I think by doing this, it allows everybody to give back. And I think that’s really critical for us and I’m really blessed that I work for a company that allows us the opportunity to do that at every level.”

All of the art and items in the exhibit will be donated materials from the community. You can visit the Imagination Forest Facebook page for a full list of the required materials.

Nexstar is the largest local television company in the United States. The company operates in 116 markets across the country.

NewsChannel 34’s General Manager, Tina Castano says that Founder’s Day is a critical component in building a collaborative, team environment.

Collectively, each week, Nexstar Media Group produces over 5,700 hours of local news.

Our General Manager, Tina Castano, summarizes what Founder’s Day means to the entire NewsChannel 34 team.

NewsChannel 34’s General Manager, Tina Castano says, “I’ve been in this industry over thirty years, and I think it’s great that I personally have this opportunity, but more so that my team is here. It’s kind of fun, and it’s uplifting for all of us, and it’s great to see and it’s a way that we say thank you.”

On behalf of the NewsChannel 34 team, we want to say thank you to our community and to Nexstar. Talks have already begun to plan next year’s Founder’s day.