Youth Advisory Council

The Hutchinson Zoo is searching for eleven inspiring youth leaders from across Reno County to form the zoo’s Youth Advisory Council. Nominations and applications (PDF) are being accepted now through May 1st, 2017 via email.

Leadership Program

The Hutchinson Zoo Youth Advisory Council will offer youth from diverse backgrounds a chance to participate in a leadership development program centered on conservation while acting as ambassadors for the zoo and serving as leaders in their own communities. The Council is being created to elevate youth voice and contribute to zoo programming, while providing young people with a unique opportunity to be drivers of their own ideas from conceptualization to implementation and reflection. “The Youth Advisory Council offers an excellent opportunity for leadership development through student-led projects focused on conservation and the local community,” said Ryan VanZant, Zoo Director.


The Hutchinson Zoo is seeking nominations of students from local high schools; applications will also be accepted for three at-large positions. Interested students should be mature, self-driven individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the community. Council members will be required to demonstrate a strong commitment to exploring the natural world and supporting conservation initiatives. Members will also be encouraged to represent the zoo in the community and at special events.

Students interested in applying or being nominated must be entering 10th or 11th grade in Fall 2017 and be committed to meeting monthly and as needed for projects throughout the year. Community, youth, and faith-based organizations are invited to encourage youth who are interested in applying to fill out an application. Please email them to Jessica Wright. The Hutchinson Zoo Youth Advisory Council members will be announced in late May, 2017.