News Briefs


As part of the celebration of Zootopia, Zoo New England’s annual fundraising gala, the zoo staff is excited to announce that applications are now being accepted for the Young Conservationist Award. The nominated youth should be between the ages of 8 and 18, have demonstrated a positive commitment to Zoo New England and its conservation mission, and have engaged in some outstanding action to support this. The award, which includes a $2,500 scholarship, will be presented at Zootopia on May 11, 2019 to further the recipient’s project, conservation work and education. The winner and two adults will receive complimentary tickets to Zootopia to participate in the awards ceremony. This year’s presentation marks the seventh award presented to an exceptional youth committed to conservation.

“We are truly inspired by the amazing stories of how the zoos and animals influence and empower people, particularly kids, on making a difference in their community,” said John Linehan, President and CEO of Zoo New England. “Our past award winners have been remarkable young people with a passion for wildlife and conservation. We’re looking forward to once again presenting this award to an outstanding youth, who continues to make a difference on behalf of wildlife, conservation and the environment.”

Nominations for the Young Conservationist Award are being accepted through Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 5 p.m. Nomination forms are available at Email questions to [email protected].

About Zootopia

Zootopia is a fundraising gala event that will “bring the Zoo” to the Royal Sonesta Boston for an unforgettable evening. The event, which will be held May 11 from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m., begins with a cocktail reception and auction followed by a spectacular dinner and dancing. Attendees are encouraged to wear animal-inspired attire.

Proceeds from Zootopia will directly benefit Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo and will help to further the Zoos’ mission to inspire and educate the next generation of conservation stewards and leaders.

To purchase tickets or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit or call 617-379-5190.


The Landscape Design Council (LDC) of Massachusetts has recognized Christine Poff of Jamaica Plain, community preservation director for the city of Boston, and Marie Stella, landscape designer and historian, as its 2018 awardees for excellence in the field of landscape design.

Outstanding Civic Accomplishment

Poff is the 2018 recipient of the Landscape Design Council Award for Excellence, given in recognition of outstanding civic accomplishment.

“Throughout her career, Christine has worked in many ways to make life better for citizens,” said LDC chairman George Papavasiliou. “We particularly applaud her efforts on behalf of Boston’s Franklin Park and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, which stand out as supportive of the Landscape Design Council’s mission.”

As political director of the National Association of Social Workers, Poff advocated for economic and social justice bills at the Massachusetts State House, but she is likely better known for her 14 years’ service as executive director of the Franklin Park Coalition, a nonprofit organization that gives a community voice to Boston’s Franklin Park. She worked to bring back such beloved park institutions as the Elma Lewis Playhouse, the FPC Youth Crew, and the annual Kite and Bike Festival.

In addition, she chaired the Park Overseers of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. She began the citywide network of park leaders, the Boston Park Advocates, to help bring attention to the City’s open spaces. She continues to work with the Roxbury Cultural Network. As the Director of the Community Preservation Committee, Poff works to collect information about housing, preservation, and open space projects that civic groups want and to help decide which grant applications should be funded by the real-estate transaction tax that Bostonians voted for in 2017.

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