Zoo Boise Conservation Fund Provides $100,000 to Restore Table Rock Native Vegetation
Zoo Boise and the Friends of Zoo Boise will contribute $100,000 from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund to replant native vegetation on recently burned Table Rock.
While plans are still being formulated, the funds will be used by the City of Boise and the Ridge to Rivers partnership to purchase and plant native seeds and seedlings that can be transplanted on-site next spring. Zoo Boise, which is part of the Boise Parks & Recreation Department, will work together to organize volunteers to help in the spring.
“While the burning of Table Rock is difficult for the community to witness, it does provide us with an opportunity to reestablish native plants that are critical for all kinds of wildlife,” said Mayor David Bieter. “Restoring the Table Rock area will be a multi-year process and involve many partners. We are thrilled that funds from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund can be used to help us restore one of our community’s most important places.”
In recent years, Zoo Boise’s ground-breaking conservation fee, charged as part of the zoo’s admission and costs for certain Zoo Boise activities has become a national model for providing funding to conservation efforts. It also has played a key role in a national conversation about “changing the zoo” from a place to simply learn about animals to a tool for saving them.
To date, Zoo Boise’s conservation fee has contributed about $2 million to global conservation efforts, including its internationally acclaimed and successful work to help restore habitat and wildlife in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park after a devastating civil war. These funds are designated to help protect wildlife in Idaho and around the world.
“Table Rock is not only one of the most iconic parts of our community, it is also home for native wildlife including mule deer, bobcats, red fox, rabbits, ground squirrels, coyotes, and badgers,” said Steve Burns, Director of Zoo Boise. “Native raptors and songbirds use Table Rock and the surrounding foothills so we are pleased to let our visitors and the entire community know that their visit to Zoo Boise is more than a fun afternoon. Their trip to the zoo translates directly into wildlife conservation.”
The Friends of Zoo Boise, which helps manage spending the conservation fund money, approved funding the Table Rock revegetation effort at a special meeting yesterday. The Friends of Zoo Boise also are in the midst of their ‘Zoo With A New View’ capital campaign to improve aging Zoo Boise exhibits and build a new Gorongosa National Park exhibit.
“The money we are able to contribute to the restoration of the Table Rock landscape is the result of our mission, which is to help generate funds for the conservation of animals in the wild,” said Alisha Palmer, President of the Friends of Zoo Boise. “By raising funds for new exhibits we are able to raise even more money for conservation efforts around the world and right here in Boise’s own backyard.”