The Northern New York Community Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved grants totaling $175,000 to support projects for the betterment of Thompson Park in Watertown.
The board agreed to a $100,000 grant to help assist with the organizational planning efforts at the Thompson Park Zoo. The Community Foundation will provide a $50,000 grant in 2017 to assist with the zoo’s organizational restructuring. Following an evaluation and approval of the zoo’s progress in the first year of its plan, the Foundation will grant another $50,000 to be utilized in 2018.
“The citizens of this area, and the Community Foundation have made significant investments in Thompson Park over the years. It is a regional asset that is worthy of protecting and enhancing,” said Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. For more than 20 years, the Community Foundation has supported a variety of projects dedicated to enhancing the mission of Thompson Park Conservancy, Inc., and also includes the administration of an endowment fund which provides the Conservancy with ongoing support. The zoo offers a unique collection of animal and wildlife exhibits. Approximately 60,000 visitors enter the zoo each year, and more than 5,000 individuals, youth and families participate in the organization’s educational programs.
“The Zoo has been an integral and beloved part of our community for nearly a century and this investment from the Community Foundation provides tremendous support as we work hard to bring value to our community in an exciting and sustainable way,” said Mark Irwin, board chair for Thompson Park Zoo.
The Community Foundation also approved two matching grants totaling $75,000 in support of the Friends of Thompson Park. The board awarded a $50,000 matching grant to leverage community support for the committee’s splash pad project. Charitable gifts for the splash pad project will be administered by the Foundation. [Read more…]