Our history

Grassroots Wildlife Conservation was incorporated in 2012 and received its certification as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 2013.  At its incorporation, GWC took over the management of three rare species conservation and education projects, begun by Bryan Windmiller, John Berkholtz, Ian Ives, and others.  Since its inception, GWC has been addressing rare species conservation needs through innovative community-based outreach and research initiatives (Learn more about our current projects).

Partnerships

As a small organization, GWC benefits greatly from partnerships with many wonderful conservation organizations in Massachusetts, including:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
— Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
Mass Audubon
Zoo New England
New England Aquarium
Concord Natural Resources Commission
Concord Land Conservation Trust
Carlisle Conservation Foundation
— The Trustees of Reservations
— Harvard University


Our Accomplishments

By the end of 2014, our first full year as a non-profit organization, Grassroots Wildlife
Conservation will have:
  • Directly conducted wildlife conservation-focused educational programming in 29 public and private schools and facilitated the adoption of related programming in 8 additional schools.
  • Engaged more than 2,500 school children in Massachusetts and several dozen adult volunteers in active participation in on-the-ground rare species conservation efforts, focused on species including: Blanding’s Turtle (Threatened), Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Threatened), Bridle Shiner (Special Concern), and Britton’s Violet (Threatened).
  • Conducted and overseen a key field component in the assessment of the conservation and management needs of Blanding’s turtles in the Northeastern United States.
  • Overseen the headstarting and release of more than 300 Blanding’s turtle juveniles and more than 6,000 eastern spadefoot toad juveniles and assisted Mass Audubon in the planning and construction of 11 new spadefoot toad breeding sites.
  • Collected the most comprehensive extant data set, of which we are aware, on the movements, growth rates, and fate of headstarted turtle hatchlings after their release into their native habitats.