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March 29, 2024

Wildlife nonprofit at Southwick’s Zoo to construct new center, expand programming

building plans Image | Courtesy of Earth Ltd. Building plans for Earth Ltd.'s new Earth Connection Center

A conservation and education nonprofit organization hosted at Southwick’s Zoo has broken ground on a new facility it says will help further its mission of fostering connections between human communities and wildlife.

Earth Ltd. has begun construction on its new Earth Connection Center at 67 Vineyard St. in Millville, a property just over the municipal boundary from Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, according to a press release issued by Earth Ltd. on Thursday. 

The new center will be larger than the organization’s current facility at the zoo and allow for an expansion of its educational and outreach programs, with features to include interactive experiences and a koi pond.

“The new Earth Connection Center is exciting for all of us at Southwick’s Zoo. We support and appreciate the added center for the Earth members and for all those that visit Southwick’s Zoo during our season,” Peter Brewer, president at Southwick’s Zoo, said in the press release. “Increased conservation efforts through hands-on experiences are crucial to our planet. Southwick’s Zoo has seen the Earth initiative grow, and we couldn’t be happier to support Earth’s mission and vision.”

Construction on the building, which was previously a one-story residential home, is being handled by Weymouth-based Jomi Corp. The buildout is expected to be completed by spring 2025. 

“My intense love for wildlife is what drives my passion to help humans to be mindful of the impact we have on the planet,” Betsey Brewer Bethel, founder and executive director of Earth Ltd., said in the press release. “We are all interconnected in some way, from the air we breathe to the resources we consume.”

Earth Ltd. is working to raise funds to complete the new center. Initiatives led by the organization include hosting rhino and sloth encounters at Southwick’s and its ZooMobile Program, which involves events where educators and animal ambassadors travel to schools and libraries.

Earth Ltd. was established in 2013 and had $358,233 in revenue and $1.49 million in net assets in 2022, according to data provided by nonprofit financial tracking service GuideStar.

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