Seal of Little Rock

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020

City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s): Susan Altrui | (o) 501 661 7208 |(c) 501 351 0273 Joy Matlock | (o) 501 379 1859 |(c) 501 352 1471

Little Rock Civitans Name Stage at Little Rock Zoo in Honor of 100th Anniversary

The Little Rock Civitan Club has provided a sponsorship for the Little Rock Zoo’s newly constructed stage at the Zoo’s elephant habitat. The stage will be formally named the Little Rock Civitan Elephant stage.  The sponsorship for the gift was given in celebration of the Civitans’ 100th year anniversary which will be celebrated in August.

The new stage will be used for entertainment and animal encounters. Prior to its construction, the Zoo rented staging equipment for Boo at the Zoo, Wild Wines, Zoo Brew and other events to host bands and performances. The addition of the permanent stage saves the Zoo funds and allows the Zoo the opportunity to host many more activities and events. Due to restrictions from COVID-19, special events at the Zoo have been placed on hold until further notice.

The Little Rock Civitan Club has been a long-time partner of the Little Rock Zoo by having helped build its first Kiddie Zoo in 1953 and by bringing the Zoo its first train. In the mid-1960s, Civitan Dr. W. R. Alstadt donated the Old Woman That Lived in a Shoe and Civitan Doctor Charles Robert furnished the Pumpkin exhibit, two popular play structures enjoyed by children at the Zoo for years. The Civitan Club built a nursery in the 1970s and assisted the Zoo in acquiring two giraffes by conducting a state wide fundraiser. In the 1980s, the club was instrumental in improving the Kiddie Zoo and waterfowl area and also contributed to the Bringing Down the Bars campaign that raised funds for a new big habitat. In the 1990s, the club donated funding to help build the Civitan Amphitheater Stage and the Civitan Pavilion. Along the way, the organization has helped fund numerous other capital projects for upgrades to Zoo exhibits and projects, too many to list.

“No organization has such a long, dedicated history of giving to the Little Rock Zoo as the Little Rock Civitan Club,” said Zoo Director Susan Altrui. “Members of the Little Rock Civitan Club worked for years and spent hours raising funds and volunteering at this Zoo. They love this Zoo and what it means to Arkansas’s families. We are so fortunate to have them as our continued partner,” said Altrui.

Markham Howe, president of the Little Rock Club and a former president of Civitan International said, “Our members are excited that this is the lead project for our 100th anniversary. We cherish our long relationship with the Zoo.”  Howe added, “Seeing the faces of children light up when they experience the Zoo touches our hearts. The Zoo makes a difference in our community.”

Long time Little Rock Civitan member and former Little Rock Zoo Board of Governors Chairman George Mallory stated, “I am proud of the Little Rock Civitans’ long support of and partnership with the Little Rock Zoo.  I am honored to see this collaboration result in another wonderful addition to the Zoo’s landscape that will continue to serve the people of Arkansas.”

About the Zoo

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.  With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information, visit