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Groundbreaking Announced for Splash River and Nature Play Expansion at Hutchinson Zoo

Hutchinson, Kansas – The Friends of the Zoo Board of Directors will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Splash River and Nature Play Expansion on Wednesday, June 8th, at 3:30 p.m. at the Hutchinson Zoo, 6 Emerson Loop East, Hutchinson, Kansas.

To continue to address the needs of the Hutchinson, Kansas community, the Zoo is building a Nature Play expansion as a no-cost, safe and welcome place for children and families, increased accessibility for multiple modalities, and a local gathering spot to build community pride.

The Nature Play expansion retrofits the former parking lot into a natural-looking splash river, inclusive play elements, and green space with shaded seating. All these additions will be adjacent to the North American River Otter Exhibit that opened in the summer of 2020. This project is supported in part by the Land and Water Conservation Fund with completion in fall of 2022.

About Hutchinson Friends of the Zoo:

The Hutchinson Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) has been the primary fundraiser of private support for the Hutchinson Zoo since 1987. During that time, this organization has been integral in funding many significant projects, including the Welcome Center and Gift Shop (2002), which also houses offices for staff and volunteers, as well as a conference and break room; the Wildcare Rehabilitation Center (2007), which serves the greater community by treating and caring for injured or abandoned local wildlife and returning them to the wild; the construction of the North American River Otter Exhibit (2020), a new anchor for the Zoo experience and is driving new interest and attendance. In addition to significant projects, FOTZ membership and fundraising support educational programming, gift shop, marketing management, train rides, building rentals and events.

About the Hutchinson Zoo:

This year the Hutchinson Zoo celebrates 25 years of accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums! Located in Carey Park, the Zoo’s collection includes over 160 animals. Many are species native to North America. Additionally, the Zoo’s local wildlife rehabilitation program at Cargill Wild Care annually treats approximately 700 animals.

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