Janet Majerus—Bequest

Her Gift Ensures the Zoo's 'Great Work' Continues

Janet MajerusDid you see that bird? How many times have you been in the great outdoors when someone spots a beautiful bird, but you missed it. Well, that doesn't happen to Janet Majerus too often. She has a keen eye and is always on the lookout for that next rare spotting.

As an avid birder, Janet has traveled to many parts of Europe, the continental United States and, of course, all corners of Minnesota for the opportunity to spot and document 1,001 unique birds. Quite a feat! That number tells you just how serious she is about birding.

Janet grew up on a farm in Bellechester, Minnesota, and at an early age joined the order of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She later left the convent and took a job as a teacher in Farmington, Minnesota.

When she retired in 1998 and moved to Rosemount, Minnesota, she started traveling and made her way to all seven continents. In 2008, with the encouragement of some good friends, she began birding in the Lebanon Hills park system and other places in Dakota County. She was hooked!

Janet also was encouraged by a good friend, Wynn Johnson, to become a volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo. Being a Thursday volunteer is a perfect fit for her as she enjoys the combination of nature and education. She loves working in Discovery Bay because the children really get involved with the animals in this area. The Northern Trail has so many bird feeders and the observation deck gives her viewing of all the birds she needs for her count.

When it was time for Janet to create her will she, of course, considered her family first, but having no children, she decided to include her siblings, the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Minnesota Zoo Foundation in her will. These are the people and places that are most important to her and she wants to honor them by remembering them in her estate.

Janet chose to include the Minnesota Zoo Foundation because she wants to play her part in making sure the Zoo is here for years to come and to support the great work that is done here. "There are so many creative and innovative things happening at the Zoo, and I want to make sure this work continues," Janet says. "Creating my will was easy, and I review it periodically to make sure it reflects my wishes accurately. I don't want to leave this to chance."

If you are interested in learning about how to include the Minnesota Zoo in your will, please visit our planned giving website or contact Amalie Frankel at 651.539.6518 or Amalie.Frankel@mnzoo.org.