Hutchinson Zoo to add amenities back into nature playscape

A $50,000 grant to the Hutchinson Zoo announced on Friday will allow the zoo to add amenities back into a planned splash river and nature playscape designed to make it more inclusive for the disabled.

The grant from T-Mobile is one of 25 “Hometown Grants” the company is awarding this year, and the only one in Kansas said Marketing Manager Troy Evans of Topeka, who traveled to Hutchinson Friday to announce the grant award.

The zoo broke ground on the new $350,000-plus play area last week.

Completion is targeted for September.

The project will retrofit a former parking lot into a 110-foot-long meandering stream, with adjacent green space and shaded seating.

Breaking ground on June 17, 2022 for the splash river project at the Hutchinson Zoo.

The expansion’s purpose, zoo officials previously explained, is to give children under age 10 a chance to safely observe, explore and investigate a “naturalistic creek bed.”

Though it will be a concrete splash pad with chlorinated water, it will be designed like a creek, with colored concrete and faux logs and rocks at various levels.

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