Debra Foster


  • Master of Architecture, 1991, University of New Mexico
  • 22 years professional experience in architecture
  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology, with Honors, 1973, Michigan State University
  • 10 years professional experience in zoology
  • GreenWay Alliance board member for 20 years / past president

With professional and academic credentials in both Zoology and Architecture, Debra brings a unique background to her work with Foster Design Associates. Her first career was spent as a Zookeeper, Aquarium Keeper, and Curator, at zoos in Florida and Minnesota. She managed a raptor and seabird rehabilitation program for two years, in addition to caring for mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates in more traditional zoo and aquarium exhibits.

Since moving to a career in architecture, Debra has focused on public architecture and planning. Her experience developing zoo master plans and animal exhibits has given her expertise in pedestrian and operational circulation systems, signage and wayfinding, and the importance of integrating casual gathering places for people in public venues such as parks and zoos.

Recent projects include the Andover Parks System Master Plan; landscape and enhancements   for the Redbud Railtrail in Andover; streetscape enhancements for a block of Main Street in Hutchinson; and a public restroom / FEMA community tornado shelter in Andover’s Central Park. Previous projects include Cornerstone Park in Andover;  Vietnamese Community Memorial on the riverbank in downtown Wichita;  Hutchinson Linear Parks Master Plan;  and a Park System Master Plan for Maize.

Zoo projects include the master plan for a native animals exhibit sequence at the Grand Park Zoo in Seoul, South Korea;  a new master plan and exhibits designs for the Puerto Rico Zoo in Mayaguez;  and a master plan, exhibits designs, and educational graphics text for the African Savanna Exhibits at the Toronto Zoo.

Debra also spent two decades volunteering with the GreenWay Alliance, a local nonprofit organization that works to support parks, bike paths, and greenways in south central Kansas. She is strongly networked with local community activists interested in parks and pathways issues.