Jackson Zoo Welcomes Thrivent Financial Living Generously Service Day on May 11th

Thrivent Financial Services in the Jackson Metro will be showing support for the Jackson Zoo on Saturday, May 11th, with a Living Generously day of service. Along with volunteering, the not-for-profit financial membership organization is donating thousands of dollars in materials to the nearly 100-year-old park to help with annual “curb appeal” projects.

Financial Consultant Josh Jones, FIC, RICP®, BFA™ of Thrivent Financial, reached out to the Jackson Zoo staff in April, expressing the desire of Thrivent Financial’s members to not only volunteer, but also donate goods to complete some much needed park tasks:  refreshing the turf of the two playground areas inside the zoo, and replacing the colorful flags at the Capitol Street entrance.  Thrivent Financial has purchased 400 bags of natural mulch from Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in Jackson and Ridgeland, and ten 4’X6’ outdoor flags from A Complete Flag Source in Jackson to replace the original flags hung in 2013. A Complete Flag Source will be donating the flag hanging service on Friday, May 10th, so that the fresh colors will greet the Thrivent volunteers. In addition, approximately thirty employees and members of Thrivent Financial will be gathering at Jackson Zoo Admissions at 9 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, May 11th, to help distribute the mulch, with the assistance of the regular Zoo Crew Landscaping volunteers.

“The Jackson Zoo staff is so grateful for this kind of multi-level donation,” said David L. Wetzel, Interim Zoo Director. “There are many projects where we have wonderful people ready to get in there and help with their time, but not enough resources. Thrivent’s gift of services AND goods lifts some of the weight off the small staff on two fronts, which makes a huge difference to what we can accomplish in a day.”

Started over one hundred years ago in Appleton, Wisconsin, Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously, offering its more than two million member-owners a broad range of products, services, and guidance from financial representatives nationwide. It has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values, while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work, and worship. Thrivent Financial is listed at #318 on the Fortune 500, named as one of the world’s most ethical companies by Ethisphere Magazine, and has donated more than 15.4M volunteer hours and $280M in financial relief to non-profits and  disaster relief all over the world.

The Jackson Zoo is the oldest zoological park in the state of Mississippi, started in 2019, and its daily operation relies on funds from daily admissions and membership, as well as the local, county, and state levels of government. The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Christmas Day, and his home to over 360 animals representing species all over the world. All media is invited out to talk to representatives from both the Jackson Zoo and Thrivent Financial, who will be on hand to make statements during the volunteer hours.

Comcast Cares Day Volunteers Come to Jackson Zoo on April 21st

JACKSON MS – April 13, 2018   The Jackson Zoological Society is honored to be one of several non-profits in the Metro area chosen for Comcast Cares Day 2018 on Saturday, April 21st. This the 17th year for America’s largest single-day corporate service event, with volunteers comprised of local Comcast NBCUniversal employees, families, and friends helping community organizations around the world. At 8 a.m. on the 21st, Jackson’s Comcast Cares volunteers will embark on the Comcast Cares 2018 Jackson Zoo Beautification project.   Comcast volunteers of all ages will be assisting with spring cleaning tasks, like washing public spaces and fixtures. A few will be specifically focused in the area of the on-site veterinary hospital, and another anticipated project will be the building of picnic benches for public use in shaded areas throughout the zoo.    In addition, the Comcast Foundation is making a monetary donation on behalf of each volunteer that signs up. This provides much needed financial assistance as well as time, skills, and service to many of these family-oriented and educational non-profits.   “We are so pleased by Comcast’s joining our Zoo Crew and Zoo Teens for the day,” said Jackson Zoological Society Executive Director Beth Poff. “Volunteers are a necessity to an organization like the Jackson Zoo, and this particular day of service will allow our staff to move forward in other project areas sooner than anticipated. The Comcast family is enabling the Jackson Zoo family to further our mission of quality animal care, education, and conservation.”   Volunteer opportunities for April 21st, and the preceding week, are still available by registering online, emailing Volunteer Coordinator Stacy Crain, or calling at 601.352.2580 ext 240.    Read more about Comcast Cares and the Comcast Foundation in the official Comcast NBCUniversal press release..

Belhaven University and Jackson Zoo Expand Their Educational Partnership

Belhaven and Jackson Zoo sign a Memorandum of Understanding on December 1

Jackson, Miss.—  Belhaven University and the Jackson Zoological Society, Inc., proudly announced the continuation and expansion of their long-term partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, December 1st. Members of both organizations came together at the Gertrude C. Ford Education Center at the Jackson Zoo to celebrate their ongoing educational relationship.

 

Per the memorandum, staff and students of the Jackson Zoo and Belhaven University “will develop and expand a framework of cooperation to develop mutually beneficial programs, projects, and activities.” Their partnership will promote, encourage, explore, and share information and resources at both organizations. The expansion will focus on all aspects of education, blending science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and conservation of wildlife and the environment in formal and informal settings.

 

“We are so pleased to be a part of such a tremendous opportunity for both our staff and students,” said Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University. “The Jackson Zoo is such an important resource. Visiting the zoo is not just about entertainment, it is an educational treasure.”

 

Belhaven University has agreed to open their campus to zoo staff and students, share research and new technologies and information, and promote the zoo’s educational and conservational messages and programs. The Jackson Zoo Education Department will allow Belhaven staff and students training and research opportunities on zoo grounds, as well as access to information and programs for staff and students to aid their educational gains.

 

Beth Poff, Executive Director of the zoo, said, “The Jackson Zoological Society is thrilled to formalize the partnership already underway with Belhaven University. Making use of our facilities for formal and informal science and technology is something that we are especially proud of.”

 

The Jackson Zoo is dedicated to wildlife care and conservation, and Belhaven University provides a Christian liberal arts education focused on life and leadership. The two also share a strong foundation in the life sciences and technological advances that can benefit both human and animal experience. In fact, Belhaven students were integral to a water-quality study over the past two years (lead by educators Dr. Reid Bishop and Dr. Elizabeth Brandon), which was an important source of information for animals and guests during an emergency water situation in 2017, providing important data that helped the zoo’s conservation efforts.

 

For more information about Belhaven University, contact David Sprayberry, Public Relations, at dsprayberry@belhaven.edu.

St. Dominic Health Services Joins Experience Zoo! for Jackson Fire Department and MS National Guard

October 5, 2017  Jackson, Miss.—  The Jackson Zoo is proud to announce the expansion of their partnership with St. Dominic Health Services to include the Experience Zoo! Initiative. On Tuesday, October 10th, staff of St. Dominic’s will donate annual family zoo passes to commanders of the Jackson Fire Department and the Mississippi National Guard. The Jackson Zoo will host the ceremonial transfer at 3:00 p.m. in front of their Admissions and Gift Shop at 2918 West Capitol Street in Jackson.

St. Dominic’s has been a long term supporter of annual family events at the zoo like Dream Night, Ice Cream Safari, Boo at the Zoo, and Zoo Party Unleashed, and this is their first donation to the Experience Zoo! Initiative. Through this program, businesses and organizations can purchase year-long family memberships and donate them to local military and first responders. Families of those in public service traditionally face high levels of daily stress and uncertainty under lowered financial circumstances, and can benefit from regular access to the relaxed, neutral zoo setting to unwind and reconnect. Jackson Zoo members also receive discounts on educational zoo programs, admission to other participating zoos and attractions, and dining in at select local restaurants.

“I believe that our zoo and its natural scenery creates moments of wonder, joy, and laughter throughout the year for all families, but it can be especially helpful those who dedicate their lives to the service of others,” said Jackson Zoo Director of Development Paul Griffin Jones III (Trey). “We felt compelled to go beyond flying flags and putting signs in yards, returning the love and appreciation in a tangible way. That is what the Experience Zoo! Initiative is really all about.”

“St. Dominic’s is a great example of what it means to be a community partner,” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff. “They do so much for so many, and often out of the spotlight. We look forward to publicly acknowledging their faithful friendship, and deep commitment to caring.”

Staff members of St. Dominic’s, The Jackson Zoo, the City of Jackson Fire Department, and the Mississippi National Guard will be on hand to answer questions after the membership presentation. For more information about Experience Zoo!, contact Jackson Zoo Director of Development Jones at 601-352-2580 ex 225 or tjones@jacksonzoo.org.

 

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Jackson Zoo Asks Metro Families For Just $10 to Help Recoup from 2017 Budget Cuts

September 15, 2017 JACKSON MS

Your Jackson Zoo needs you. No matter what is happening outside the gates of the Jackson Zoo, there are lots of reasons inside the gates for families to donate an extra $10 or more to the only accredited live animal park in the state of Mississippi:

There are 375 living animals in the nearly 100 -year-old park, and 125 of them are either endangered or threatened in their origin countries. (Without human intervention, a few of these species will not be in existence in as little as 50 years.) There are more than 30 humans that come in every day, no matter what, to keep these animals healthy, safe, and mentally enriched. These humans live and play with their families throughout all areas of the Metro, and many were born and raised here.

So there are actually 405 reasons that will be positively affected by your $10.

Some reasons are covered in FUR  – Like the Red Panda “Yoda” is 12 years old and represents only 10,000 animals left of his kind. Other endangered furred species we care for are the Amur leopards, Sumatran tigers, Reticulated giraffes, Red wolves, and Colobus monkeys, to name a few.

Some reasons are covered in FEATHERS – like The Ne-Ne These amazing geese were brought back from the brink of extinction in the 50’s, when there were only 30 animals found in their native Hawaii. The Jackson Zoological Society is part of the SSP (Species Survival Plan) to help bring the current count of 1,800 back to the original 25,000. We are also home to Macaws, Spur-winged geese, Tawny Frogmouths, Kookaburras, and Major Mitchell’s cockatoos.

Some reasons are covered in SCALES – Like The Skink “George” is part of the Animal Ambassador program, so he is a favorite whenever our educators go off-grounds for schools, gatherings, or events. Not only do we safely educate the public on often misunderstood American alligators, Boa constrictors, Cotton-mouths, and Rattlesnakes, but also on less fearsome reptiles like the Bearded dragon, the African spurred tortoise, and local creatures that have chosen to make the zoo their home: king snakes, yellow-bellied water snakes, red-eared slider turtles, and common painted turtles.

Where Your Money Goes (jacksonzoo.org/info) We have more than a dozen projects that are waiting for funding, on top of our daily operations which include animal food and vet care, electricity, water, and gas.

If 1,500 families in the Metro area would donate just $10, we could repair the Beaver exhibit. If 3,000 families donated just $10, we could get a new resident for the Asian grotto, in between the Sumatran tiger and the Red panda. If 10,000 Metro residents could donate just $10, we could continue the Discovery Zoo renovation, and a brand new Contact Yard would be available to children in fall of 2018.

Whether your family can spare $1, $10, or $100, every cent stays right here at the Jackson Zoo to support our efforts to give Mississippi the Great Zoo it deserves. You can use a credit or debit card online at jacksonzoo.org/support, click DONATE on facebook/JacksonZoo, or send your donation to JZS Development, 2918 West Capitol Street, Jackson MS 39209.

On behalf of the entire staff of the Jackson Zoological Society, THANK YOU for continued support, and we hope to see your family soon at YOUR Jackson Zoo!

Paul Griffin Jones, III (Trey) Director of Development Jackson Zoological Society

 

Jackson Zoo Needs You PDF