Phase 2 of the Wright Park Zoo master plan project is seeking the public's input for concept and creation.

The public can access the survey in English at s.surveyplanet.com/URJ6TcXcy or in Spanish at s.surveyplanet.com/surM5gYxC.

The survey will show four concepts under consideration for making changes and upgrades to Wright Park Zoo, city officials said.

During Final Friday activities, there will be a public engagement session from 5 to 7 p.m. at Eryns’ Downtown Center, 509 N. 2nd Ave.

A second session will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the City Commission Chambers, 806 N. 2nd Ave.

According to city public information specialist Abbey Martin, the four concepts for the zoo were created by Felis Consulting, which will be testing the concepts via the survey and engagement sessions.

"Plans have been in the works for some time now to start a master plan for the zoo," said Dodge City Director of Parks and Facilities Troy Brown. "We solicited requests for qualifications mid-July of 2018, and the funding was officially made available at the beginning of January 2019."

The survey testing of the concepts was made after a two-month period of community engagement and surveys of the master plan.

"Concept testing allows us to measure the appeal of certain aspects of concepts, as well as the concept’s experiential story overall," said Felis Consulting owner Stacey Ludlum. "Our goal is to create a zoo that is a reflection of the uniqueness of the Dodge City area — its rich history, beautiful natural ecosystems, and population diversity — to serve the community as an economic driver that enhances the quality of life of residents.

"Having feedback from the community on the specific elements within each concept will inform our decision-making to ensure the zoo is appealing and accessible for all, while also being realistically operational for the foreseeable future."

Ludlum added that the addition of revenue generation is one concept that is being tested "very carefully."

"The zoo currently has no revenues," Ludlum said. "Testing the appeal of that idea allows the planning team to understand what value the residents and tourists would place on an improved zoo."

Once the final master plan is complete and a project schedule is created, the project will be planned for implementation across the next 10 years.

For those who are able to attend the public engagement sessions, city officials encourage everyone to provide additional input and ask any questions they may have.

 

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.