KAY’S GARDEN: $6.6 million Japanese garden opens at Topeka Zoo Thursday

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kay’s Garden, the new Japanese garden at events center at the Topeka Zoo, is set to open Thursday. The two year project was expected to be finished around July 4, but weather and coronavirus delayed construction.

The $6.6 million project includes a large Japanese garden with walkways through out. There is a large lake with a dock and waterfall. There is also a new events center, which is the largest events venue at the Topeka Zoo.

Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said Kay’s Garden is something unique for the Midwest.

“There’s really not many true authentic Japanese Gardens like this,” Wiley said. “This is a project that will draw people to our community, bring additional sales tax to town and really we’ll see the benefits from this year over year over year.”

Wiley said the garden is designed to be most beautiful during the winter. There will be different plants blooming throughout the year and Wiley said it’s only supposed get better as it matures.

“We want people to keep this in mind,” Wiley said. “Three years, five years, seven years down the road, just how much different it’s going to look with that maturity. This garden isn’t expected to fully mature for about 70 years.”

Wiley said they hope to have a larger celebration for Kay’s Garden in the spring.

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