February 2017

In This Edition...

  • A Message from the Executive Director
  • Donor Spotlight: A Gift Inspired By Grandma
  • Winter Zoo Camp
  • Highlighting Big Y's Generosity
  • We Need YOU!  2017 Volunteer Program

(Pictured Above) Cheyenne, one of two arctic wolf hybrids at the Zoo, greets Nathan Bazinet, Interim Executive Director, during a recent visit.

A Message from the Executive Director

Hopefully you are enjoying this snowy New England day, tucked away safely in the warmth of your home.  I am reaching out to provide introductions and share some news and updates from the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center.

If we have yet to meet, my name is Nathan Bazinet and I have had the honor of serving as the Interim Executive Director since October 2016.  My connection to the Zoo is simple, and likely similar to yours.  Born and raised in Western Mass, I visited the Zoo often as a child - day trips with my mom to listen to speakers, attending friends birthday parties, and feeding the goats with my grandparents.  So many incredible memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.  I am grateful for the ability to volunteer both my time and experience to this wonderful organization for the 2017 season.  As well, I know how important the Zoo is to this community -  throughout 2016, we educated and engaged more than 44,000 children and families.

You have the greatest impact.  Without a strong, supportive community of individuals, like you, we would not be able to provide these educational, fun, and engaging opportunities for thousands of children and families every year.  When you purchase a ticket for admission, make a donation, or join as a member, you offset the cost of animal food, veterinary care, enclosure upgrades, and provide enrichment activities.  Your support is critical, and greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

This is your Zoo.  I encourage you to reach out to me or any member of our leadership team with feedback, questions, or suggestions for how we can improve your overall experience.  You can reach us directly by clicking on our names below. 

Nathan Bazinet - Executive Office
Nicholas Kinsman - Membership & Development
Amanda Bligh - Operations
Benjamin Stafford - Education & Programming
John Lewis - Curator

I look forward to communicating with you regularly with this e-newsletter; providing updates on new initiatives, activities, and exciting happenings.  Thank you for supporting your local, independent, non-profit Zoo!


(Pictured Above) Isaac Greenberg, Sarah Greenberg, Carol Levine, Alex Greenberg and Michael Greenberg

Donor Spotlight: A Gift Inspired By Grandma

Carol Levine was surprised and elated to receive a heartfelt and thoughtful gift from her family this holiday season: the gift of generosity.  Carol’s grandchildren pooled their holiday funds and surprised her with a check for $500 in support of the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center, where Carol is a longtime volunteer and supporter.

“I know how much grandma loves to walk through and watch the kids laugh, smile, and interact with so many different animals,” Sarah Greenberg, Levine’s granddaughter stated.  “It really makes her happy, and we wanted to make her holiday extra special this year.”

Levine noted, “The Zoo is such an important asset to this community and I know the financial strain they are under during the winter months.  I have been doing what I can to help them and was so moved by the generosity of my grandchildren.  It is such an amazing gift!”

“Carol’s decades of dedication to the zoo, our animal inhabitants, and this community is inspiring and we are truly grateful,“ said Nathan Bazinet, Interim Executive Director.  “The winter months are when we need the most help. Without the steady stream of revenue through ticket sales, events, and gate entry, we rely solely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, and the community to continue caring for our animal inhabitants and ensuring they are healthy and happy.”

Winter Zoo Camp

Dates:  February 20th - February 24th
Time:  9:00am-3:00pm
Open to Ages: 6-13
Fee:  $200, members; $220, non-members

Zoo Camp is a fully immersive education program held by The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center to provide children ages 7-13 with the chance to sharpen social and critical thinking skills through interaction with native and exotic wildlife in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Zoo Camp attendees learn about animal care, nutrition, conservation efforts, and environmental responsibility in unique ways not normally available in everyday life.  In 2016 our Zoo Camp helped more than 250 attendees experience the stunning beauty of the animal kingdom, and continues to be a huge hit at The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center.

Contact Ben Stafford at education@forestparkzoo.com or (413) 733-2251 to learn more or sign up today!

(Pictured Above) Nathan, Kate, and Amanda unload produce for animal diets generously donated by Big Y. Throughout 2016, Big Y generously donated over $12,000 worth of fruits and vegetables in-kind to help feed our over 150 animal residents. THANK YOU!

We Need YOUR Talent!

We are actively building our front line volunteer program with opportunities in the Gift Shop, Ticket Booth, and Guest Relations.  Contact Amanda Bligh at amanda@forestparkzoo.com or (413) 733-2251 to learn about available volunteer roles for the 2017 season.