Members of the public are invited to a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 17 for the new primate and flamingo habitats and animal health facility construction projects at Lee Richardson Zoo.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the grassy area to the west of the lion habitat at the zoo.

While staff will break ground at the site of the new animal health facility, the ceremony jointly recognizes the start of construction for all three projects. All three improvements at Lee Richardson Zoo are the first projects to be funded from the countywide sales tax that voters approved in the election of November 2017. The flamingo habitat and the animal health facility are solely financed by the sales tax revenue.

The new primate habitat will house three lemur species and is projected to be completed in approximately 10 months. It is a result of funding by Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo, a Mariah Fund grant to FOLRZ and the countywide sales tax. The Mariah Fund is a 501(c)3 Private Foundation that provides capital funding to non-profit organizations for communities across Western Kansas. Their funding support is for the exclusive purpose of enhancing regional tourism through both targeted and collaborative efforts. The new primate habitat is the latest of a number of FOLRZ supported improvements at the zoo since 1975.

These new habitats and expansions will add to the well-being of the zoo’s new lemurs and the flamingos through the construction of larger and more naturalistic habitats, and for all the Lee Richardson Zoo animals with a new animal health facility, according to a press release from the zoo.