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.


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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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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

 

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For Immediate Release
May 25, 2017

Jackson, Miss.—  Trustmark has made their second donation to the Experience Zoo initiative, giving 40 Jackson Zoo family memberships to the Mississippi Army National Guard. Trustmark officials will be officially presenting the annual passes to the 185th Command at a press conference on Thursday, June 1st, at 10:30 am at the Dino exhibit of the Jackson Zoo, 2918 West Capitol Street.

Trustmark is committed to investing in the future of building stronger communities in its footprint. They were the inaugural sponsor of Experience Zoo in the summer of 2016, purchasing annual Jackson Zoo passes for employees of the City of Jackson police and fire departments.  Trustmark then issued a challenge to other local companies, and were joined in the program by Southern Farm Bureau, Nix-Tann, and Whataburger, who sponsored 172nd MS Air National Guard Families.

“The zoo’s natural scenery can give families under the daily stress of public service a neutral space to bond, reconnect, and gather with other families for support, as well as receive discounts on zoo programs and at local restaurants,” said Jackson Zoo Development Director Trey Jones. “Experience Zoo honors our public servants by allowing their families to receive all the benefits of the zoo at no cost to them, and the park receives the necessary revenue for daily operations.”

Outreach Services at the MS Army National Guard supports thousands of Military Families in the state, and knew their dependents could benefit from Experience Zoo. When Jones reached out to Trustmark on behalf of the 185th Aviation Brigade, the financial services institution didn’t hesitate to recommit to the program.

“At Trustmark, we strive to be actively engaged in community initiatives that support Military Families,” Trustmark Director of Marketing and Communications Melanie Morgan stated. “They sacrifice so much for our freedoms, it really is our honor to give our local service members an opportunity to make memories with their families in a recreational and educational environment.”

“On behalf of the MS National Guard Outreach Services team, we are honored to partner with the Jackson Zoo and Trustmark as they support our Service Members and their Families who serve our great state and nation,” said Lt. Col. Deidre Smith, Director MSNG Outreach Services.

“For nearly a century, the Jackson Zoo has been a safe space for families to spend quality time together that is both fun and educational, bringing people together in the natural environment,” said Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff. “Experience Zoo was created to help more families, and we love seeing it in action.”

Local media and visitors are invited out on June 1st to commemorate both Trustmark’s continued community involvement, and the Military Families who dedicate their lives to service. Immediately following the presentation of memberships, representatives from all three organizations will be available for comments: Art Stevens, President of Retail Banking, and Pam Hart, Vice President, Community Relations, of Trustmark;  LTC James “Brandon” Haynie, PhD., 185th Commander, MSNG, and LTC Deidre Smith, Director of Outreach Services MSNG;  and Jackson Zoo Executive Director Beth Poff.

For more information about Trustmark’s community outreach, please email Trustmark Director of Marketing and Communications Melanie Morgan at mmorgan@trustmark.com or call 601-208-2979.

To learn more about the MS National Guard Outreach Services, please contact LTC Deidre Smith, Director, by calling 601.313.6422, or sending an email to deidre.d.smith8.mil@mail.mil.

To find out how to support Experience Zoo, contact Trey Jones, Development Director for the Jackson Zoo, at 601-352-2580 ext 225, or email tjones@jacksonzoo.org.

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The Jackson Zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America, and certified by the Better Business Bureau. The mission of the Jackson Zoo is to provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.  For more information, visit The Jackson Zoo online at jacksonzoo.org, or on facebook.com/JacksonZoo

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2017

Jackson, Miss.—  Between the rapidly growing Mississippi craft beer culture and the recent arrival of the three-month Dinos exhibit, this year’s 10th Annual Jackson Zoo Brew will truly be bigger than ever. Thanks to Capital City Beverages, BankPlus, Bradley Arent Boult Cummings, and Lady Luck Casino, this age 21 and up event will feature a homebrew competition and over 80 different craft beers this Friday, April 7, 2017, from 6-9 pm.

Guests will receive a Zoo Brew souvenir tasting cup, unlimited tasting of craft beer and free food from 10 local restaurants while supplies last. VIP ticket holders not only receive early entry but will also enjoy encounters from the Jackson Zoo Ambassador Animals, and help judge the Home Brew Competition with Raise Your Pints. Lucky Town Brewery will also showcase the “Get T-Rex’d” IPA created especially for the Jackson Zoo. Cathead Distillery and Fondren Public will be serving specialty cocktails, and local restaurant favorites like Fenian’s, Martin’s, Hal & Mal’s, The Iron Horse Grill, The Pig & Pint, The Manship, Sal & Phil’s, The Bulldog, Johnny T’s, and Billy’s Original Foods will be sampling signature dishes with help from US Foods and Pepsi/Brown Bottling. The Annual Tyson Wing Eating Competition and Cook-off will take place at the Gertrude C Ford Wildlife Adventures Theater, culminating in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies, as well as a decision for Best Wings.

The zoo animals will remain on exhibit until dusk, and then beer aficionados can spend the rest of the evening with the lifelike animatronic dinosaurs from Billings Productions. (Jackson Zoo Dinos 2017 is sponsored by Regions, M3A Architecture, United HealthCare Community Plan of MS, Puckett Machinery, and Martinson’s Garden Works of Ridgeland.) Ambience will be provided by Davaine Lighting, as well as live music from AJC & the Envelope Pushers, DJ Young Venom, Chris Gill and Joe Carroll. This year’s signature art was again created by the award-winning Mad Genius, with the posters and flyers courtesy of Alliance Printing. Radio sponsors Y101 and MIX 98.7 will also be on site. Guests can also help raise additional funds for the zoo by entering a raffle featuring prizes from Lady Luck Hotel & Casino, Buffalo Peak Outfitters and Capital City Beverages.

Along with Zoo Party in September, Zoo Brew is one of the Jackson Zoological Society’s two annual adults-only fundraisers. From a small beginning in 2007 of 80 attendants, to last year’s total of around 1,500, the event has grown along with the craft beer industry. At least 14 craft breweries operate in Mississippi, and according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, the craft beer industry is now worth $56 billion nationally.

“The first couple of years, it was just a few samples for a local craft beer audience, barely breaking even,” says Executive Director Beth Poff. “But Zoo Brew has become THE fundraising party for the Jackson Zoological Society, raising more than $50,000. With the support of Raise Your Pints and the expanding craft beer community, it is becoming a signature beer event for the State of Mississippi.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at jacksonzoo.org. General Admission is $40 per person, $45 day of event, VIP tickets are $70 each, and Designated Driver tickets can be purchased for $20. Parking is free, and IDs will be checked at the gate. All proceeds will apply to the General Fund of the Jackson Zoological Society.

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The Jackson Zoo is accredited by the Zoological Association of America, and certified by the Better Business Bureau. The mission of the Jackson Zoo is to provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.  For more information, visit The Jackson Zoo online at jacksonzoo.or, or on facebook.com/JacksonZoo

 

PRESS RELEASE Zoo Brew 2017


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