Special Visitors and New Stuff for the Chimps

October 26th, 2015 by Diana

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest has held several online auctions over the last few years, filled with fun items to bid on. Some of the coolest and most popular items have been donated by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (this year he gave a personally-signed guitar to the Summer Biddin’ online auction).

The Armstrong family has been following the lives of the Cle Elum Seven for a while (proving something that doesn’t need proof: Burrito is irresistible), and Billie Joe’s wife Adrienne, who also owns Atomic Garden in Oakland, and her sister-in-law Jessy have visited the sanctuary a few times – always wanting to directly help out while they are here!

This past weekend, Adrienne, Jessy, Billie Joe, and Jessy’s husband / Adrienne’s brother Steve, owner of Familia Skateshop in Minnesota, all came out for a visit and to lend a hand. Susan Holmes McKagan, Billie Joe and Adrienne’s friend and model, fashion designer, and wife to bassist Duff  McKagan also came out for the afternoon on Saturday.

We learned a few things over the two days they were here, including the fact that chimpanzees love Billie Joe. Jamie was extremely excited when he was willing to run with her around the hill, and invited him to do so several times. She didn’t even insist on him wearing cowboy boots:

walking around the hill

Billie Joe Armstrong running with Jamie

Billie Joe and Jamie taking off

And a few of the chimps listened while he played an acoustic guitar. Here’s Negra lending an ear:

Negra listens to Billie Joe Armstrong


Adrienne brought some rare brown-haired troll dolls, which Foxie immediately adopted

Foxie with new brown haired troll doll

and brought on a walk around the hill with Adrienne and Susan:

Adrienne Armstrong and Susan Holmes McKeagan walking with Foxie


The main task for the weekend was putting up a new structure on the hill that consisted of two tall log posts and a few metal bars that were to be installed between them for the chimps to climb on and swing from.

JB, Steve, and Billie Joe constructing

JB testing the bar structure


Not surprisingly, Jamie and Missy were the first to inspect and play on the structure after a forage was put out for everyone to enjoy:

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Missy on new bar structure

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The chimps didn’t have all the fun, though. The humans did a little “chimping around” during their breaks from manual labor:

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Billie Joe Armstrong walking across the shaky bridge

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The new bar structure is really neat, and there’s no doubt that the chimpanzees are going to enjoy it, but I was equally excited that Adrienne and Jessy got the holiday tree from last year planted on the hill:

holiday tree on Young's Hill

The tree has been living in a pot in the greenhouse since last December, and the chimps, especially Jody, have been periodically snacking on it:

Jody biting tree

Jody eating tree bit

I’m really curious how that little bedraggled tree will do on the hill – I have high hopes!


As a well-deserved thank you for all the Armstrongs have done for the chimpanzees, both this weekend and in the past with their donations, they got to watch the chimpanzees enjoy the fruits of their labor from the observation deck looking out onto Young’s Hill:

watching the chimps


What an awesome weekend for everyone!


14 Responses to “Special Visitors and New Stuff for the Chimps”

  1. Julie says:

    The chimps have such wonderful friends! The new structure looks like fun, too!

  2. Jackie says:

    A great post, and a wonderful group of friends! I’m sure the chimps will enjoy their new structure!

  3. Rita Stevenson says:

    Wow, a very cool and productive weekend indeed for all, I think the STAFF especially enjoyed their celebrity guests ~ as did the chimps,-
    Jamie must of been one very happy camper this weekend !
    lovely to Negra wrapped in a blanket and enjoying the acoustics

  4. Maggie says:

    So very cool!!! Acoustic serenade from Green Day!!! Front row seats!!! Bravo!!!!

  5. Rita Morgan says:

    So fun! Jamie must have been in heaven! Well done everyone!

  6. Linda Goodwin says:

    This is a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jeani Goodrich says:

    What a joy for all! Great blog Diana. I enjoyed the photos too. I can’t wait to see photo of the chimps on the new structure.

  8. Kathleen says:

    What a weekend! The new climbing structure looks so cool, what a great addition to Young’s Hill! Nice job J.B.!

    The photo of Negra looking a little star struck while enjoying her private concert is the best.

    I purchased a lovely Healing Bracelet made by Adrienne of Atomic Garden. No surprise here, the proceeds from the purchase support CSNW!! It recently broke on me when one of my dogs jumped up and snagged it off! Time to get a new one! The Cle Elum Seven are so lucky to have so many devoted friends. But who can resist their many charms?!

  9. PatC says:

    sound like everyone had a fun day! hoots!

  10. Valerie Chalcraft says:

    Awesome to know that Billy Joe and his circle are kindred spirits….I love Green Day

  11. Karen and Don says:

    What a fun post. Loved meeting this family ,and thank them for all that they do to support the sanctuary!

  12. Francoise says:

    Jamie did not insist on cowboy boots??? Now that says something! Sounds like an awesome day. You could raise a whole lot of money “selling” such days to supporters.

  13. Man, what an entirely cool post. So many good things, it was overwhelming to read. I love it that these guys are fans of the sanctuary. Thanks to the Armstrongs for jumping in to volunteer your time.

    BTW, work on Burrito’s portrait is coming along nicely. Can’t wait to share it when it’s done, but anyone is welcome to follow his progress by clicking my name, linked to my blog. I post weekly updates.

    I gotta read this again!

    • Diana says:

      Oh my gosh, Carla – that painting is going to be amazing! I’m fascinated by your process too. Wow!