Celebrating the Chief Justice's accomplishments and empowering women to achieve their ambitions.

A World-class Japanese Garden - The 2-acre garden will be a place for quiet reflection on the beauty of nature and the art of living in harmony with one another and with all things.  The garden will feature 22 varieties of trees, 24 varieties of shrubs, 11 varieties of ornamental grasses and bamboo, ten ground covers, six bridges, two gateways and a central water feature supported by  smaller pools and streams.  The Gallery and Event Center integrates peacefully into the garden.  The Gallery will appropriately recognize the accomplishments of Kay McFarland and offer an experience that empowers women to achieve their ambitions.  The Event Center will seat 320 people at round tables and features an operable glass wall designed to let the landscape in – a perfect place for weddings and meetings.

Kay's life and accomplishments created a legacy.  Her story will be told at Kay’s Garden to inspire future generations of women to aspire the same way she did.


During the last years of her life, the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center had the privilege of working with retired Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay McFarland on the design of a world class Japanese garden.  Upon her death, Kay established a living trust to make the lead gift for Kay’s Garden and establish a permanent endowment to maintain Kay’s Garden into perpetuity. Those funds will ensure the development and sustainability of the garden for years to come.  With Kay’s lead gift covering just more than two thirds of the $6.6 million dollar project, the Kay E. McFarland Charitable Trust and the Friends of the Topeka Zoo have begun the process of raising the remaining two million dollars needed to complete Kay’s Garden and the supporting Gallery and Event Center.

For information on how to support Kay’s Garden, contact Zoo Director Brendan Wiley: (785) 368-9131.