Lesser Amendment Supporting the Zoo at Forest Park Passes the Senate

BOSTON — On Wednesday, the State Senate voted to approve a budget amendment proposed by Senator Eric P. Lesser that provides $75,000 in state funding to the Zoo at Forest Park. “Like many people across our region, I grew up visiting the Zoo at Forest Park. Today, I bring my daughters to the zoo to experience for themselves,” said Sen. Lesser. “This funding will enable the zoo continue to provide its well-known educational programming like Zoo on the Go, care for the animals year round, and offer area youth internship opportunities. This is an important resource or our community and I am  proud to support it.”

The funding will specifically allow the zoo to maintain and upgrade educational animal exhibits, provide care and feeding to 150-plus animals 365 days per year, expand educational opportunities for young people and adults throughout the Commonwealth, educational camps and collaborations with other area-nonprofits, and job training and internship opportunities for area youth in fields ranging from biology to veterinary science and environmental science.

The Zoo at Forest Park will also use the funding to develop tourism and marketing initiatives that will increase the number of visitors in the coming year. In 2017, the Zoo at Forest Park welcomed approximately 44,000 visitors to Springfield.

The amendment will be included in the Senate version of the budget, which will be negotiated with House members before a final budget is sent to the Governor’s desk.