MILTON, APR. 25 - The Blue Hills Trailside Museum’s Otter and Turtle exhibits are set to receive a $1.7M renovation. Representative Driscoll will join other elected leaders, Mass Audubon, the DCR Commissioner and Trailside staff for a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, May 13, 2019 at 4pm. Updates to the exhibit’s infrastructure are long overdue and Rep. Driscoll voted with his colleagues in the legislature last year to authorize the Commonwealth to spend capitol funding on this project.
“Since taking office I have been a fierce advocate for the Blue Hills Trailside Museum, fighting for both operational budget and capital dollars. In addition to voting to reauthorize the environmental bonding funds in 2018, I also secured a $1M authorization in the 2017 DCAMM bonding bill for improvements and renovations for the Trailside museum,” Driscoll said.
The planned renovations to the otter habitat were initially authorized via prior state bonding bills and were included in the DCR’s capital spending plan for 2015 – 2016. However, the project was not started and it was later dropped from the 2016 -2017 spending plan all together by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
PHOTO: The river otter at Trailside in the current habitat space
“When EEA Secretary, Matthew Beaton, sat before the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, of which I was a member at the time, I inquired about details regarding one of Milton’s most famous and beloved constituents, the river otter that lives at Trailside. The Secretary’s capital spending presentation did not include a plan for otter renovation then and I am glad not only that the new plan does, but that we are also breaking ground this spring,” said Driscoll.
Representative Driscoll and his family are Massachusetts Audubon members and frequent visitors to the Blue Hills Trailside Museum. The exhibit has been a key attraction at the museum since 1960. The improvements to the exhibit are set to begin this month and are expected to be completed by the close of 2019.
The improvements will also ensure that the exhibit is meeting the US Department of Agriculture regulations and the American Zoological Standards. Existing issues with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also be addressed by the planned modifications to the exhibits.