Zoos are fantastic, and I visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park as often as I can. But you don’t have to go to the zoo to see fascinating animals; exotic isn’t better than local, it’s just different! I live in the Chesapeake Bay area, and while I spend lots of time at the zoo, I spend even more at my local parks. You may not think our birds are particularly exciting, or be very interested to see yet another squirrel digging up your lawn–I’d like to try to change your mind.