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Nature's Neighborhoods Campaign: Children's Zoo

“It’s important not to lose the connection to nature and our critical role in ensuring the planet remains a healthy, thriving place for generations to come. Nature’s Neighborhoods will play a key role in introducing children to relatable ecological concepts in a fun and meaningful way.”

John Linehan, President and CEO, Zoo New England

Nature’s Neighborhoods, the new George Robert White Fund Children's Zoo, immerses children and families in a world of nature, adventure and imaginative play. Organized into biome-based live animal exhibit and experience zones—The Woodlands, Wetlands, Grasslands, and Thicket—Nature’s Neighborhoods forges powerful connections between the human and animal experience.

As our technology-focused society spends less time outdoors, Nature’s Neighborhoods reminds us of the beauty in all things wild, inviting visitors to rediscover their inherent connection to the natural world.

Help our red panda reach the top of the bamboo to meet our Children’s Zoo fundraising goal!

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Explore the new Children’s Zoo

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Overhead view of Children's Zoo project

Campaign goal

Plans and a capital campaign are underway for this innovative $6.6 million project at Franklin Park Zoo. The George Robert White Fund has made a $3 million capital investment to build Nature’s Neighborhoods, which will occupy and expand the space of the George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo. We invite you to join us as we transform one of the region’s most beloved attractions into a spectacular new experience. 

Naming Opportunities
Naming opportunities within Nature’s Neighborhoods at the George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo are your opportunity to leave a legacy at Franklin Park Zoo- whether for yourself, to honor a loved one, or to showcase your company’s commitment to one of Boston’s great cultural institutions. There are several naming opportunities available, suitable for individual donors, foundations and corporate sponsors. Opportunities include park benches, interactive play elements, animal exhibits, and entire neighborhoods within the George Robert White Fund Children’s Zoo. Please note, naming opportunities are limited.

Contact Bryan W. Ferguson, Senior Major Gifts Officer, at 617-989-2693 or bferguson@zoonewengland.com for more information.

 


 

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Nature’s Neighborhoods

With seamlessly incorporated play structures, animal exhibits, and hands-on programming, these state-of-the-art exhibits will provide a foundation for science education, exploratory learning and connections to the natural world. This multi-sensory approach leads visitors through diverse ecosystem “neighborhoods” replicating different bio-geographical regions. By incorporating universal design concepts, spaces will be accessible and inclusive for children and families of all abilities.

 

 



Meet the neighbors

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By comparing ecosystems to neighborhoods, visitors can explore various habitats and discover roles that living creatures—including themselves—play in healthy, thriving environments. Live animal exhibits will include underwater views of North American river otters, red pandas, muntjac, prairie dogs, burrowing owls, and more.

 



Adventure play

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Rather than following a traditional path from exhibit to exhibit, Nature’s Neighborhoods encourages self-directed “adventure play” as a core educational goal. Here, children create their own experiences, exploring, discovering and challenging themselves in a safe environment. Learn more about a few of our adventure play experiences, including the Bamboo Climber, Eagle's Aerie and Tallgrass Maze - Here's a sampling of some of what we have in store for wildlife adventurers!

Bamboo Climber: Explore just like our red pandas through this all-new Bamboo Climber Play Experience! Live bamboo plantings and an array of vertical, tilted, crossed and intersecting “bamboo” poles add an exciting edge of authenticity to this adventure.

Eagle’s Aerie (pictured here): Climb up a rope mesh “tunnel” into a giant eagle’s nest! From atop this tree house lookout, built around an actual oak tree, children can use a sighting tube or spotting scope for an "eagle's-eye" view of the Zoo. Soar through a spiral slide to come back down from the eagle’s aerie.

Tallgrass Maze: Follow animal tracks through tall perennial grasses, six to eight feet in height. Audio programs and sculpted elements suggest the presence of various wild creatures throughout your incredible journey through this tallgrass maze.

 



Immersive classrooms

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New indoor and outdoor classrooms will offer both traditional and non-traditional learning experiences. Data supporting the value of nature-based activities for kids is overwhelming. From improving math, science- and language-learning, behavior, and self-control, to promoting independence and problem-solving, natural classrooms like these are increasingly popular.

 


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Littlest learners

Nature’s Neighborhoods will include a play space designed especially for our youngest guests and their caregivers, offering a safe, protected environment for children aged 2-6 to explore nature at their own pace.