KC Parks News

  1. Send the Kids to Starlight’s Frosty Fun Days on December 29-30

    FrostyFunDays_2014Students ages 6 to 10 can warm up their imaginations and performance skills over winter break by participating in Frosty Fun Days at Starlight Theatre. Now in its third year, this interactive day camp gives students an opportunity to explore the world of musical theatre.

    This year’s sessions are offered indoors at Starlight on Monday, December 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 30. Students may register for one day or both. Each day’s agenda is packed full of theatre games, storytelling, music, dance and movement. Campers even make props and create a piece of live theatre to share with their new friends during each day’s finale – the Shivery Showoff!

    The registration fee for one day is $45, or $81 for both days (a 10% discount). Camp runs 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily with before and after care available for an additional fee.

    The teaching artists for Frosty Fun Days are:

    • Stephanie Charlton. Stephanie, the Movement/Music Teaching Artist for Frosty Fun Days, has been involved in the arts ever since she could walk. She studied theater performance at Johnson County Community College under the guidance of Beate Pettigrew and Sheila Philip. For the past 11 years, Stephanie has performed locally and nationally with such companies as the Seem to Be Players (American Tall Tales National Tour), Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (The Who’s TOMMY, Ragtime), The Mystery Train and Theater for Young America (Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears). In addition to performing, she is a teaching artist with The Coterie and teaches a theater class at the downtown Central Kansas City Library branch.
    • Derek Jensen. Derek, the Acting Teaching Artist for Frosty Fun Days, is in his second year as theater teacher at Topeka High School, where he currently co-sponsors the school’s thespian chapter, directs the winter play and serves as assistant director for the musical. A 2008 graduate of Emporia State University, Derek taught middle school drama in Dodge City for three years and was technical director at Olathe Northwest High School for two years. He previously was a teaching assistant at Starlight’s Spring Break and Act Like An Animal camps.

    Sign up soon so your aspiring young artist can ditch those winter doldrums at Starlight!

    Click for more information and to register for Frosty Fun Days.

  2. Employee Service Awards

    Thirty-five Parks and Recreation employees were recently recognized for their collective 730 years of continuous service to the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Thank you for your dedication!

    Financial/Procurement Services: Chesere Gayhardt

    Community Centers: Jon Lindsay
    Lakeside Nature Center: Kimberly Hess

    Central Region: Karen Redmond
    Forestry: Roy Howard
    North Region: Michael Reed
    South Region: Peter Gross and Gregory Harris

    Planning: Jimmi Lossing
    Park Facility Maintenance:Cecil Winters

    Financial/Procurement Services: Mary Zonnooz

    Community Centers: Laretha Robinson, Linda Myles, Kristin Harmon, and Christopher Anderson

    Central Region: Michael Music and Marcel Chism
    Loose Park Gardens: Christi Huffhines

    Park Facility Maintenance: Ed Shaw
    Planning: Rebecca Hadjian and Richard Allen

    Community Centers: Helston Singleton and Lesa Lewis

    Park Facility Maintenance: James Smith

    Central Region: Norma Haynes, Bobby Jenkins (retired)
    South Region: Edward Rollins
    Forestry: Daniel Hambrick

    Planning: Robin Holt-Wolf

    Community Centers: Larry Robinson

    South Region: Bryan Edwards

    Park Facility Maintenance: Dale Naset and
    Barbara Scott

    Administration: Diana Tinnin

    Director: Mark L. McHenry

  3. 2015 Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest

    kid roseLet the beautiful roses in the historic Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden inspire your child/student to write an original Valentine poem!   Submissions are to be postmarked by February 14th, 2015.

    How to write:  Each original poem MUST include the word “rose” at least once.  The poem must be typed or legibly hand-written on 8 1/2 x 11- inch paper with the child’s name, school, grade, and city.  Parent phone number and email address should be on the back side of the paper.   (Be sure to keep a copy for your child!)

    Who can enter:   All children in the greater KC area in grades 3 through 8.  Only one entry per child, please.  Winners will be chosen in three categories: grades 3 and 4, grades 5 and 6, and grades 7 and 8.

    How to submit:   Mail poems to KCRS Poetry Contest, Loose Park Garden Center, 5200 Pennsylvania, KC, MO  64112.  Entries must be postmarked by February 14th, 2015.

    Winners:   There will be one winner for each category.  Each winner will receive a cash prize of $50.00 and a certificate of achievement signed by Mayor Sly James, KC Parks Director Mark McHenry, and KCRS President JoAnn Stultz.  Winning poems will be published on the KCRS website on February 28th!!

    Judges:  Poet Alarie Tennille, author of Running Counterclockwise and poet Al Ortolani, author of Waving Mustard in Surrender.

    The Kansas City Rose Society is a 501 c-3 not-for-profit corporation.  For more information please go to www.kansascityrosesociety.org or contact Arlyn Silvey at  816-803-5653.



  4. History of The Fairy Princess

    The Fairy Princess first appeared in 1935 at Kline’s Toyland and delighted children until her reign ended with its closing in the 1970s. In 1987, The Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall revived The Fairy Princess tradition which continues the first three weekends of December.

    10817884_395621693935362_1036558786_nTo past generations of Kansas City children, the holidays meant a visit with the fabulous Fairy Princess at Kline’s Department Store, 1113 Main Street. There, in Kline’s wondrous Toyland, yesterday’s youngsters told their fondest holiday hopes to the Fairy Princess. But the beautiful Fairy Princess did much more than listen. Being magical, she waved her wand to make a surprise gift appear for each child. This gift was a delightful prelude to the holidays when children received toys on their wish list.

    The Fairy Princess tradition began in 1935 when Kline’s first opened its Toyland. The brand new toy department incorporated the latest trends in child development. As Kline’s officials informed the “modern mother and fathers” of 1935, “we consulted child psychologists and child experts” because “we wanted toys that would help your child develop a more alert mind, a healthier body and a happier disposition.” And, as an additional incentive to lure modern parents to Kline’s, they presented the Fairy Princess. A child could visit Santa at any department store, but only Kline’s featured the unique Fairy Princess.

    In the following decades, the white-gowned, lovely Fairy Princess continued to fascinate children as some aspects of the presentation changed. Yet, it mattered little whether the surprise package slid down a chute, revolved on a turntable, appeared behind doors in a fairyland tree or lie in a festively decorated trunk because the Fairy Princess’ magic remained the same. Amazingly, so did the 25 cent fee Kline’s charged for a visit with the Fairy Princess from the 1930s through the 1960s.

    The 1960s brought more and more children to this popular holiday attraction. Kline’s new branch store in the Ward Parkway and Antioch Shopping Centers increased the number of children this retailer could delight. To reach even more children, Kline’s sent the Fairy Princess to pediatric wards in area hospitals and to some public schools. Kline’s kept making the holidays special with the Fairy Princess until the late 1960s, shortly before the business closed in 1970.

    To re-create one of the treasured traditions of downtown Christmas, the Kansas City Museum brought back the Fairy Princess tradition in 1987. The mission of the Fairy Princess event is to recreate this Kansas City historic event with an air of wonder and excitement. The event is part of local history and something children and adults of today enjoy.

    In 2006, Zona Rosa and Kansas City Museum formed a partnership to help the Fairy Princess spread her joy to children at the new Northland shopping district.

    (Reprinted from Kansas City Museum website)

  5. Tis’ The Season Gala at BRW

    Tis' the Season 2014 Press FlierThe Friends of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum are hosting the 4th Annual Tis’ the Season Gala at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum, Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. that evening.

    The event will feature an eclectic mixture of music and dance.  The evening will feature the world renowned McFadden Brothers, who will dance in their legendary style.  Guests will also have an opportunity to have comedy relief from local comedienne, Ann Parker  and hear the melodious sounds of vocalist, Sheila Alexander.  Heavy hors d’ouevres and cocktails will be served.  Holiday attire is requested.

    The event will also include a special grand opening of the original exhibition, Charlie Parker: The Man, the Music, & Kansas City.  This unique exhibition features rare photographs and artifacts from the life of Charlie Parker.  In addition the exhibit includes Charlie Parker puppets and marionettes from the Paul Mesner Puppet Collection.

    This year’s co-chairs are Mr. Ollie Gates and Senator Yvonne S. Wilson, (ret.) and tickets are $50 per person.  Proceeds from this affair will benefit the Cultural Center’s museum exhibitions and educational programming.

    For more information, contact Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum at 816-513-0700.

  6. {NEWS} J.C. Nichols Fountain Undergoes Renovation

    WATCH: KSHB 41 News Story
    LOOK: Facebook Photo Album

    WHO: City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation and City of Fountains Foundation

    WHAT: Renovation of J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

    WHEN: Beginning December 2, 2014

    WHERE: Mill Creek Park, Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. and J.C. Nichols Parkway

    PROJECT: The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain is undergoing major renovation this winter. A fence will be placed around the fountain and the sculptures will be removed in order to replace the concrete bases. In addition, the fountain interior will be cleaned and repaired, and a waterproof coating applied. Damaged coping stones around the fountain will be repaired and/or replaced.

    When the sculptures that form this fountain were originally brought to Kansas City in the 1950s, one of the small fish sculptures (called “Dolphins”) was missing. Many years earlier that piece had been separated from the others, and sold by the heirs to the abandoned Long Island Estate where the fountain originally was located. Its whereabouts were not known at that time. By the time the fountain was dedicated in 1960, a replacement sculpture was created and placed in the fountain, in the northeast quadrant. In 2008, the long-missing original sculpture came to light, and was brought to Kansas City in 2010 to eventually be reinstalled in the fountain.

    Part of the present renovation project will include the restoration of the original “Fourth Dolphin” sculpture into the fountain. The Replacement Dolphin, which has been a part of the fountain for over 50 years, will be placed on a separate display nearby. The project will be completed in time for Fountain Day, April 14, 2015.

    SUPPORT: The renovations are made possible by generous contributions to the City of Fountains Foundation’s Wish Upon a Fountain Campaign from the following: Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation; Water’s Edge Aquatic Design; JE Dunn Construction; and Grundfos Pumps Corporation.

    The Wish Upon a Fountain Campaign goal is to generate $2.9 million in donations and pledges to restore nine fountains deemed in critical need of major repairs, and to preserve and endow the City’s 48 fountains, all of which need, or will soon need, repairs and upgrades that exceed the City’s limited maintenance budget.