HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — The Hutchinson Zoo is getting a splash river and an expansion to their nature play.

On Wednesday, June 8, the Hutchinson Zoo held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new addition and expansion.

According to a post from the Hutchinson Zoo’s Facebook page, “To continue to address the needs of the Hutchinson, Kansas community, the Zoo is building a Nature Play expansion as a no-cost, safe and welcome place for children and families, increased accessibility for multiple modalities, and a local gathering spot to build community pride.”

The nature play expansion retrofits the former parking lot of the Zoo into a natural-looking splash river, as well as having inclusive play elements and a green space with shaded seating.

The new additions will all be adjacent to the Northern American River Otter exhibit, which opened in the summer of 2020.

The Hutchinson Zoo says the project is supported in part by a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It is expected to be completed in the Fall of this year.