Task force looking at future opportunities for Little Rock Zoo announced

City of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and the Arkansas Zoological Foundation announced today the formation of a task force to study planning and development for the Little Rock Zoo’s future.

The task force is part of an initiative of Mayor Scott’s to improve quality of life and to RevitalizeReimagine, and Reinvest in the War Memorial Park area.

“As one of the largest tourist attractions in the state and the only accredited zoo in Arkansas, the Little Rock Zoo is an important part of War Memorial Park and our City,” Scott said.

Task Force Members will consist of:

  • Brad Cazort, Chair of the Zoo Board of Governors
  • Lisa Buehler, Chair of the Arkansas Zoological Foundation
  • State Senator Joyce Elliott, Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Quality of Life Subcommittee for the Scott Script
  • Kathy Webb, City Ward 3 Director and liaison to the Zoo Board of Governors
  • Jessica Poynter, Chair, Generation Zoo Young Professionals
  • Chad Causey, Causey Law Firm, Board Member, Arkansas Zoological Foundation
  • Dr. Andrew Rogerson, Chancellor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Hank Kelley, CEO/Partner, Flake & Kelley Commercial
  • Tab Townsell, Executive Director, Metroplan
  • Rhonna Wade, Chair, Create Little Rock
  • Gretchen Hall, Executive Director, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Brandon Bibby, Associate AIA, WER Architects/Planners
  • Nate Coulter, Director, Central Arkansas Library System

Zoo Director Susan Altrui, City Manager Bruce Moore, and Jay, Chessir, President and CEO of the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, will serve in Ex-officio roles.

The Task Force for the Zoo’s Future will review the Zoo’s current business model, help develop an action plan for future funding and also review the Zoo’s current facilities Master Plan developed in 2014 to look for new opportunities in animal habitat design, guest amenity and park design. The task force is comprised of a diverse range of individuals who offer a variety of perspectives.

Zoo consulting firm Schultz & Williams has been tapped by the Arkansas Zoological Foundation to assist with the task force. Schultz & Williams has decades-long experience working with zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and assisting them with business planning specific to developing public/private partnerships. Dozens of zoos and aquariums have used Schultz & Williams to develop future plans for long-range financial and organizational success.


Author Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing this afternoon at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater

Where the Crawdads Sing is a mystery, a love story and a courtroom drama, but it is primarily a sociobiological drama about self-reliance, survival and how isolation affects human behavior. The #1 best-selling novel has been on the New York Times Best-seller list for 26 weeks.

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally best-selling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa – Cry of the KalahariThe Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna.

She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia.

Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel, inspired by her research on female bonding in the animal kingdom and her own lifelong friendships. It is the 2019 Selection for the “If All Arkansas Read the Same Book” series, sponsored by the Arkansas Center for the Book a the Arkansas State Library. This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

This event is currently sold out. But a wait list is being maintained.

See the stars through a CALS telescope

While the US may not be currently sending astronauts into space, there are still opportunities to learn more about the stars. To help inspire that, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has a Telescope Program with telescopes available for CALS patrons to borrow.

The telescopes are 4.5” Orion StarBlast Newtonian instruments and will gather several hundred times more light than the unaided eye and magnify up to 56 times.  These small, portable scopes are particularly suited to observing the moon and the brighter planets, such as Saturn, Jupiter, and under proper conditions some “deep sky” objects can be observed as well, such as star clusters.

The CALS Telescope Program began in 2016 when the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society helped CALS procure funding for the program from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and then modified the original collection of 16 telescopes for public use. There are now over 40 telescopes available.

Since the program began, hundreds of CALS patrons have participated in the program, checking out telescopes to take home and attending educational events to learn about the night sky

SYNRG takes to the South on Main stage tonight

SYNRGSouth on Main is excited to welcome SYNRG to its stage on Saturday, July 20.

Show begins at 9 pm. Purchase advance tickets for $10 or pay $15 at the door.

Tickets do not guarantee a seat. To reserve a table, please call (501) 244-9660.

SYNRG Band is one Arkansas’ most fun energetic musical ensembles which specializes in an array of styles of music, through vocal and instrumental arrangements.

Shock the Rock tonight with world record Tesla Coil presented by Museum of Discovery

See World’s Largest Tesla Coil Shoot 60-Foot Bolts of Lightning at “Shock the Rock”Fans of famed inventor Nikola Tesla – as well as all science and technology aficionados – are invited to witness the world’s largest Tesla Coil in action at “Shock the Rock!,” a Tesla-themed, free event that begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. “Shock the Rock!” is powered by Entergy and presented by the Museum of Discovery.

Greg Leyh, a California electrical engineer and scientist, completed construction of the 40-foot Tesla coil tower in October 2018 and will display its awesome capabilities in Little Rock after his world-record device is featured at a Nikola Tesla birthday party celebration July 13 at the Tesla Science Center in Wardenclyffe, NY.

Entergy is the presenting sponsor of “Shock the Rock!,” and other sponsors include Landmark PLC; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; Meadors Adams & Lee; VIP2; Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort; and the McKibbon Group. Their support will help offset the costs to divert the coil’s journey back to California and to stage the event.

This is the third time Leyh has built the world’s largest Tesla coil, each exceeding its predecessor in height, power and the ability to produce what Leyh calls “lightning on demand.” At “Shock the Rock!” Leyh’s latest world-record coil will be centered on the large concrete pad at the western edge of the Clinton Center grounds cordoned off from the crowd, ensuring zero danger from being on-site to watch the awesome power of 60-foot bolts of lightning.

Pre-“Shock the Rock!” festivities will begin at 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. Museum of Discovery educators will present electricity-related demonstrations and host hands-on, interactive activities with guests at the event from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The 40-foot Tesla show will begin at 8:45 p.m. and will last 45 minutes. Food trucks will be on site, and beer and other beverages will be available for purchase. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers and outside food or drink will not be permitted. The public is encouraged to bring ear protection. Museum of Discovery will also provide earplugs at no charge.