The Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas recently awarded The Friends of Wright Park Zoo a grant of $2,500.


According to Friends of Wright Park Zoo, the money will be used for the zoo’s future as well as for the group’s operating costs.


“This will help FWPZ operate more effectively as we look forward to the expansion of the zoo,” said FWPZ treasurer Dave Linsenmeyer in a news release.


Wright Park Zoo plans for expansion continue as the zoo redesign is the next step in the phase, according to city officials. Funding for the redesign is underway.


Friends of the Zoo will be working closely with the city throughout the process.


Dodge City Commissioners approved a 10-year master plan for possible future improvements and expansion of Wright Park Zoo in 2019.


According to city officials, the 10-year plan for the Wright Park Zoo would be for renovating or replacing all exhibits and buildings of the existing facility.


“The money will help us make necessary immediate updates and improvements,” said FWPZ president Jill Ewy in a news release.


While smaller updates are possible with grants, significant updates to the zoo will depend on future fundraising and logistics.


Friends of Wright Park Zoo is comprised of an elected board that includes Ewy and Linsenmeyer as well as vice president Krista Amaro, secretary Jennifer Waldron and contracted zoo veterinarian Jennifer Wipf.


If anyone is interested in joining Friends of Wright Park Zoo, contact Ewy at jillatfwpzoo@gmail.com.


If anyone is interested in making a donation to Friends of Wright Park Zoo for planned improvements, a donation can be made through the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas by mailing financial gifts to P.O. Box 1313, Dodge City, KS 67801.


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