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TBZ Transformation Project Keeps on Rolling

altTBZ’s quest to become fully accessible just keeps gaining more and more momentum, with a never ending source of energy and enthusiasm. One particularly large spark of energy recently came from our great friends up at SUNY Cortland in Central New York.

Last year, TBZ was visited by Professors Vicki Wilkins and Lynn Anderson, of SUNY’s Inclusive Rec. and Resource Center (IRRC). The Professors had heard wonderful things about the Zoo, and its new goal to renovate its pathways to be wheelchair, stroller and elderly friendly, and needed to see this great effort in person.  Inspired by what they saw, plans were set into motion to assist the Zoo however possible.

This inspiration was taken a step further by a visit to SUNY by Zoo officials in late October, where updates on the Zoo’s progress were shared with the students of SUNY. Photos were shared, discussions were had, and the Belize Zoo Transformation Project was born!

This group of TBZ enthusiasts, comprised of Vicki Wilkins and 12 energetic students she had rallied together, pulled out all the stops to raise the much needed funds, targeting the accessible bathroom, parking area, and new entrance path to the Zoo, specifically. Everything from music nights, tie-dye t-shirts, bracelets and pancake sales were thrown in the mix, to raise a grand total of over $8000. And they didn’t stop there!

Eager to present their hard earned money to the Zoo crew in person, the Transformation Project left snowy Central NY for toasty tropical Belize, to put in some hours on the ground. Lending some much needed ‘man power’ to the Zoo’s expert pathway construction team, the SUNY group of 11 female and 1 male student wowed us all with their willingness to roll up their sleeves and show off some impressive shovel digging and machete wielding skills, giving the pathways another big push to completion. TBZ gives a big PAWS UP to the SUNY folks for their tireless support of making “the best little the zoo in the world” a zoo for one and all!


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