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otterWe’re debuting a new feature on the blog today – a series devoted to greater New Bedford area websites called ‘Local Sites’.

You remember websites, don’t you? They’re those things that launched the Internet and sustained it for well over a decade before Facebook came along!

I’m kidding, of course. But in the social media jungle, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the grub that feeds the beast still comes from the individual, collective and corporate efforts of multitude of .coms, .orgs and more.

In fact, many of the websites in the corner of the World Wide Web reserved for New Bedford are either created by or represent members of Groundwork! – or like the one that you are reading now, was created by AND represents the co-working facility itself. And we think that deserves as much attention as Donald Trump’s Tweets.

To launch the ‘Local Sites’ series, we’re going to take a look at because…well, because this writer is shameless and knows that an adorable picture of an otter is clickbait. is the website for New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park Zoo – a place I haven’t visited in quite some time but really otter put on my schedule. (Ouch!) is a well-designed, easy-to-navigate website. A simple home page, however, doesn’t disguise a robust site full of useful information about visiting the Buttonwood Park Zoo.

For example, I discovered while surfing the site that they have an ‘Animal Encounters’ program that has nothing to do with my love life but rather is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the zoo’s residents. It costs $35 or $50, depending on whether or not you are a member of the zoo. It’s described in this way: An Animal Encounter is a program allowing visitors to get an up-close look at how we care for the animals at the Zoo. Participants will be able to meet and speak with zoo keepers, watch and/or participate in a training session, and help the zoo keepers provide the animals with enrichment.”

Naturally, all the residents of the zoo are listed on the site and you’ll find a lot of information about the zoo’s mission, history and how best to plan your visit. I found out that there is a Bear’s Den Cafe where you can grab a snack or meal – which is funny because I always thought the Bear’s Den Cafe was in the West Village in New York City.

The best feature of the site to me was an effective use of their homepage – besides that slider full of cute critters. Beneath that is a concise listing of upcoming zoo events, one of which in particular caught my attention.

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HOWL takes place on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 7-10 p.m. and is being billed as a “twisted evening” of mayhem and mischief designed for ages 21+ The event will have live music by Johnny’s Basement in a Grooveyard, wicked cocktails, twisted street performers, animal encounters, and frightfully delicious food trucks. And you can dress up!

Sounds like fun – plus, proceeds from HOWL will be used to support the BPZS in their efforts to enhance the Zoo’s animal care, education, and conservation programs.

Discounted tickets are available for $20 through September 15, after which regular pricing kicks in: $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

You can get tickets right through, of course. You see, websites are still good for something!

Got a website you’d like to bring to our attention? Shoot your URL over to If we like it, we just may feature it in a future Groundwork blog post.

You’ll find out by following us on Facebook!

Steven Froias