TOPEKA (KSNT) – Gage Park could see new improvements starting as early as January.

Shawnee County kicked off its Vote Gage Park campaign. As part of the General Election on Nov. 8, voters have the chance to decide whether to change how the county pays for improvements, renovations and even some additions in Gage park.

If voted on, the campaign will replace property taxes with a sales tax at an increment of .02% of a penny. These taxes would fund all improvements for the park, zoo and the Children’s Discovery Center.

“When we can improve the park as a whole, we become a greater tourist attraction,” President of the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Dene Mosier said. “It’s a richer experience for the families who live here, and it’s really a win for the whole community.”

Gage Park has been in Topeka for over 100 years. Advocates say maintaining the park will ensure it remains a great place for people to spend the day.

“The Vote Gage Park campaign is about really continuing the value of this park into the future,” Topeka Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said. “This way, countless generations will be able to feel about this park the way we do today.”

Educational programs are a large part of the interactive experience at Gage Park. From sensory-friendly programs to animal education, the new sales tax would fund program improvements and make room for more.

“This means opportunities, exhibits and experiences that would be impossible without these dollars,” Mosier said. “This really does change the trajectory of what we can offer, and the caliber of experience that we can create both for our community as well as the visitors to our community.”

County leaders are emphasizing the importance of this vote. They say Gage Park has a long history in Topeka and improvement plans like these are important for preserving that for visitors now, and in the future.