SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State Senator Eric Lesser and Representative Carlos Gonzalez joined with Springfield city leaders Friday morning, to announce $50,000 in funding for the Forest Park Zoo.
The funds will help sustain the annual operations of The Zoo, which includes the daily care of more than 240 animals, job training and internships, and educational opportunities for youth and adults across western Massachusetts.
- Daily care of 240+ animals, 365 days per year, including several endangered species;
- Educational opportunities for youth and adults across western Massachusetts;
- Camps during summer and school vacation weeks;
- Collaborations with other local nonprofits, including Square One in Springfield and Girls, Inc. of the Valley in Holyoke;
- Job training and internships in the fields of biology, veterinary medicine, and animal care;
- Tourism and marketing initiatives that encourage visitors to spend time and money in our city and our region; and
- Opportunities for individuals and local businesses to get involved in their community through volunteer projects.
“It means that after a very hard year and a half where for a large period of time the zoo was completely shut down and then for another period of time they were dealing with closures and other restrictions around education programming, they’re gonna be able to continue to grow and to thrive and to be a resource for our kids and families for years to come.” Senator Lesser
Senator Lesser and Representative Gonzalez were instrumental in securing this funding for the zoo from the state budget.