The Keeper of the Plains site will remain open as improvements are done to the grounds around it, a city official said Monday.
Although some parts of the site will be temporarily closed, the statue will still be viewable, and the Keeper plaza will remain open, said Alan King, Wichita’s director of public works and utilities. The contractor will make the site available for weddings and other events planned during the project, King said.
The work will begin later this week or early next week.
The Keeper statue is one of the city’s most popular destinations and stands where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers meet.
The work will enhance the experience for visitors, King said.
The project includes new fire sensors to increase safety and viewing, he said. The Keeper statue is illuminated by lights and by pots that emit flames. The improvements will allow for flames even during high winds, King said.
Other work will include adding stone pavers and ornamental fencing.
The project will cost about $108,000 and will be completed by mid-December, he said.
The Keeper of the Plains statue was created by Kiowa artist Blackbear Bosin.