BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Binghamton Rotary held a meeting today and invited a speaker from one of the longest standing organizations in the area.

Phil Ginter is the Executive Director of the Ross Park Zoo, and was invited to share information regarding the past, present, and future of the organization.

Ginter said there is a lot in the works over at Ross Park.

One being an application that is sent to the state to restore several historic properties throughout the Zoo.
Another is the announcement of the new 1875 club.

The club is a monthly giving program, in which donors provide 18 dollars and 75 cents a month.

The goal is that by the time the Ross Park Zoo celebrates its 150th anniversary in a few years, free admission can be provided to anyone.

“So this summer, we’ll be engaging with a national firm called Zoo Advisors, to help us work on developing a new written education plan and conservation plan for the organization to kind of drive us forward with a focus on helping visitors develop empathy for wild-life in wild places,” said Ginter.

Ginter said that new research supports the idea that those who develop empathy, are more likely to engage in conservation efforts.

He also said that hopefully, by next summer, Ross Park will begin work on its Master Plan.

The master plan includes a new entry complex, new exhibit spaces, and potentially reinstalling a replica of the train that used to run throughout the park in the 60’s and 70’s.

To find out more information on any of these efforts, you can visit the Zoo’s website at rossparkzoo.org or the Zoo’s Facebook page. Just search for Ross Park Zoo.