Grassroots Wildlife Conservation—a Concord, Massachusetts, nonprofit devoted to ecological education and on-the-ground protection of rare New England species—will merge with Zoo New England, the Boston institution that operates the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Stone Zoo in Stoneham has announced.
The zoos report that they’ve worked with Grassroots Wildlife Conservation since 2007, including a Blanding’s turtle head-start program (one of the turtles is pictured above) and a marbled salamander reintroduction project in the Middlesex Fells. Grassroots Wildlife Conservation has also worked to conserve the eastern spadefoot toad, bridle shiner and Britton’s violet.
“We are really excited to become part of a larger, much more established organization, which will enable us to greatly expand our work and reach,” Grassroots Wildlife Conservation founder and Executive Director Bryan Windmiller said in a prepared statement. “Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo see more than 600,000 visitors a year, who visit in large part because they are interested in wildlife and animals. We have an incredible opportunity to reach a much larger audience with our conservation message, as well as potentially engage them in hands-on projects in their own communities.”
The zoos said that after the merger, Windmiller will serve as director of Zoo New England’s conservation department, which is “committed to preserving local biodiversity of rare native animals and plants, while also working to save species on a national and international level.”