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EcoTarium Receives $244,290 Grant for Electrical Grid Connection

Saturday, August 03, 2013


Anita Walker, Massachusetts Cultural Council executive director, (second from left, front) and Senator Harriette Chandler (fourth from left, front) pose with representatives from Worcester County organizations who received CFF grants.

The EcoTarium, New England's leading science and nature center, has been awarded a $244,290 Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) grant for connection to the electrical grid. The award, along with other CFF grant recipients in Worcester County, was announced by state and city officials at a press conference at the EcoTarium on Friday, August 2.

The EcoTarium grant, the largest awarded in central Massachusetts, will allow the 41-year old facility on Harrington Way to connect to the electrical grid, thus reducing reliance on its aging power plant, ensuring energy continuity, and positively impacting the safety of visitors and wildlife, according to Joseph P. Cox, EcoTarium president.

"The Cultural Facilities Grant represents an investment to an organization that has inspired a passion for science and nature in visitors since 1825," said Mr. Cox. "We are thrilled that our attendance has grown significantly over the past decade and that our growth contributes to the economy of Central Massachusetts."

State Senater Harriette L. Chandler, who attended today's announcement, said "Congratulations to the EcoTarium on receiving a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. A core part of the Worcester community, the EcoTarium has been essential in preserving a unique educational environment. I commend the Patrick Administration's investment in the arts in Massachusetts and know that these projects will prove to serve our communities well in the future.

The CFF's Important Contributions

Anita Walker, Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director also announced awards to the following Central Massachusetts organizations: American Antiquarian Society ($116,000), Worcester Art Museum ($100,000), First Parish Meeting House Preservation Society of Shirley, Inc. ($11,500), Hopkinton Center for the Arts ($20,000), Worcester Community Cable Access ($25,000), and the Town of Royalston ($7,000).

"Since 2007 the CFF has made nearly 400 grants, investing more than $55 million in the cultural sector," Ms. Walker said. "These grants helped launch many transformative projects, leveraging private sector dollars that have kept this sector growing and thriving. CFF has also helped our nonprofit organizations become better stewards of our cultural heritage."

In total CFF-funded building projects will spend more than $1.5 billion, providing more than 14,000 building jobs to architects, engineers, contractors, and carpenters, according to Ms. Walker. The organizations also plan to add more than 1,400 permanent jobs after their capital projects are complete.

CFF grants have also helped restore and preserve many of our nation's most cherished historic buildings, which attract cultural tourists to Massachusetts. More than 15 million people visit CFF-funded organizations annually, with nearly one third coming from out-of-state.

This award is the fourth CFF grant the EcoTarium has received. In 2008, the museum was awarded a Capital Projects grant for $51,917 to reduce high energy usage by its power plant and thus operating expenditures. This was followed in 2009 by a Feasibility and Technical Assistance grant of $18,750 to assess connection to the electrical grid and a $6,000 grant to partially fund a 20-year capital needs assessment the EcoTarium's building and mechanical systems, including its Power Plant.


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