TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A switch in management at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is bringing bigger and better opportunities to the community, according to Director Brendan Wiley.
The Topeka City Council voted to allow the nonprofit organization Friends of the Topeka Zoo to oversee the zoo’s operations. This will allow them to think outside the city’s budget and restrictions, instead allowing them to think of new investments, projects, ways of generating more revenue and long-term plans for the zoo, Wiley said.
“What people should see here is expanded hours of operation, more things to do, a continuance of building more infrastructure projects and a more generalized and better feeling that this is a zoo that’s on a great, positive track,” Wiley said.
The city still owns the zoo and will continue to pay Friends of the Topeka Zoo funds from their budget.
People visiting the zoo won’t notice anything drastically different at the zoo immediately, but a few years down the road there should be some changes, Wiley said.
During the transition, the biggest challenge Wiley said they will face is adjusting to having no restrictions and knowing their abilities are almost endless.