The Little Rock Zoo has announced the largest donation in its 90-year history: A trust worth almost $3 million established by Jayne Jackson, an animal and zoo lover who died in December.

Arkansas Zoological Foundation Chair Lisa Buehler said in a release:


“Jayne Jackson connected with animals and found a way to connect with the Little Rock Zoo forever by establishing this generous endowment fund,” Buehler said. “The Arkansas Zoological Foundation thanks Mrs. Jackson for this overwhelmingly generous contribution. The establishment of this endowment provides much-needed funding for the Zoo now and in the future. Jayne has certainly left her mark.”

The trust establishes the Jayne and Fletcher Jackson Foundation to benefit the nonprofit Zoological Foundation. The Foundation has underwritten various displays at the zoo.

In addition, an estate sale to be held at her home at 1 St. Charles Court June 16-18 will benefit the zoo, along with ticket sales to a preview night from 5 to 7 p.m. June 15 at the home.  Roy Dudley Auctions has additional information about the sale.


Said the release:

Jackson was an avid animal lover who cared for eight Yorkshire terriers and two dozen birds until her death. In November of last year, Jayne celebrated her 70th birthday at the Zoo with friends and rode the Over-the-Jumps Carousel. She exclaimed that it was the best birthday party of her life. Jayne was born in Little Rock and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she met her husband, Fletcher, whom she affectionately called “Bear,” and worked as a Jury Clerk for the U.S. District Court in Little Rock for many years.