Friends of Riverside Park and Zoo, or FORPAZ, was founded in 1976 for the purpose of funding those improvements to the Park and Zoo that fall beyond the scope of the City budget. The goal of the FORPAZ Board is to promote the educational influence and recreational value of our Park and Zoo for children and families in our community. We do this by funding projects that add aesthetic beauty to the grounds, add functionality to the facilities, and by supporting educational endeavors initiated by Zoo personnel. FORPAZ receives funds through memorial contributions and private donations as well as semi-annual fundraisers that target specific projects. We are a registered 501(c)(3) charity and all contributions are tax deductible.

FORPAZ hosts the official Park Opening every spring. Held the second Saturday in April, this annual celebration kicks off the busy summer months by welcoming area families back to the Park with fun, FREE, or low-cost activities like face-painting, train and carousel rides, a petting zoo, craft fair, and food vendors.

How can I support FORPAZ?
Your tax-deductible donation can be made in two ways:
1. Checks made payable to FORPAZ can be mailed to:
PO Box 9
Independence, KS 67301

2. FORPAZ online store




Forpaz logo

Projects funded all or in part by FORPAZ include...

  • Bear Exhibit Construction
  • Sculpture Garden Construction
  • 1982 Playground Renovation
  • Cougar Exhibit Improvements
  • Monkey Island Renovation 2016
  • 3 Eagle Scout projects for the zoo in 2016
  • Miniature Golf Course Construction 1995
  • Carousel Enclosure
  • New Playground Equipment in 2014
  • New Ticket Booth at Train Depot
  • Logan Fountain Renovation 2015-2016
  • Fire Truck Play Unit for Toddler Play Area
  • Purchase of two Companion Swings
  • Tortoise-Donkey Exhibit Renovations - 2019
If you would like to become a FORPAZ member, you may download our membership form or follow the links in our FAQ's.