PUTNEY —"The Green Up Girl" is readjusting her business plan after she was unable to purchase the Santa's Land property that had unexpected repair costs of almost $500,000.
C.S Wurzberger of Marlboro, also know as the Green Up Girl, had hoped to bring a zoological park and conservation site for endangered animals to the former Santa's Land property. She entered into an agreement with the property owners where she needed to raise $375,000 for the property selling price in less than two months; she had hoped to have a total of $535,000 by May 1, which she said would have covered the cost of the land, required permits and massive cleanup. She was able to raise about $24,000 and she said the property owners would not negotiate the cost after several inspections failed and on May 5 she was told the cost for repairs alone was far greater than what she had budgeted.
"I'm so sad that we can't bring it to this location in Putney because the community has been so good to me, but I'm excited for the people I've talked to that are for this mission," said Wurzberger.
Though the sale for the Putney property is off, Wurzberger says she is still moving forward with a similar goal to protect endangered animals. She is taking the educational component from her business plan and hoping to have a travelling zoo completed by this July – another two month deadline, but that doesn't seem to deter her from following her dreams.
"You know I'm a hustler," said Wurzberger with a laugh.
She said she will host the endangered animals on her 13 acres of property in Marlboro and then she will transport them to schools, libraries and other locations to educate people about the animals. Already, Wurzberger says an organization in Minnesota called STEM Bunnies has committed to donating a collection of rare breed rabbits for the travelling zoo and the group is paying to ship them out to her.
"It's not my dream facility, but when the dream facility needs just half a million in repairs, I need to make a smarter business decision," she said.
Aside from readjusting her business plan, Wurzberger is also actively contacting every donor who monetarily contributed to the original plan to take over the former Santa's Land property. She is giving them the option to either have their money returned or put their donations toward the travelling zoo fund, which she predicts will cost a total of $140,000 to cover the barn, trailer, truck. animals, fencing and supplies.
"I'm so excited how many folks are excited about the mission of protecting endangered animals and bringing the educational programs to our communities," said Wurzberger.
She added that about over 55 percent of the original donations came from locals while the rest came from online donors whom she had never met, including a waitress from Florida who told her she worked an extra shift for this cause and donated her tips made from just that shift.
Wurzberger is also a huge fan of the mule foot hog and said if anyone has orphans or mule foot piglets that are not doing well health wise, she will take them in and allow them to travel with her comfortably in her jeep.
While she is still bemoaning the unsuccessful purchase of the Santa's Land property, she is happy to be moving forward with the travelling zoo. In addition, she hopes something related to her mission will happen at Santa's Land.
"I obviously have a love of that property, I just hope someone with big angels or deep pockets can turn it into some type of animal sanctuary," said Wurzberger.
She greatly thanks all that have stood by her mission and contributed monetarily, she special mentioned Brattleboro Ford Subaru, True Value and the different rotary clubs that allowed her to speak at their locations.
If people are interest in learning more about Wurzberg's new educational program visit thegreenupgirl.com and for any questions regarding the travelling zoo contact Wurzberger at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-258-8046
"It's so important for people to know I had my heart set on this location, but we are still moving forward, we are going to have a way to protect these rare breeds," said Wurzbeger.
Maddi Shaw can be reached at 802-254-2311 ext 275