KC Parks News

  1. Director McHenry Celebrates 40 Years with KC Parks

    11260397_978687125484425_733491678_nKC Parks employees paid tribute to Director Mark McHenry for 40 Years of Service to Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation at an Awards Breakfast held May 20 at the Swope Park Bandstand.

    More than 200 employees unveiled specially-designed T-shirts featuring a caricature of Director McHenry in a surprise tribute. Special guests including current and former Parks Board Commissioners, City Manager Troy Schulte, and National World War I Museum and Memorial Director Matt Naylor commented on Mark’s accomplishments, leadership and dedication to our City and KC Parks.

    Deputy Director Terry Rynard summarized, “Mark started as a summer intern and helped Vernon Jones build the original animals at Penguin Park. He was also responsible for the construction of the new Zoo, eight new community centers, the Village at Shoal Creek, the improvements to Brush Creek, I am not sure how many fountains–but certainly the first two up north and the Bloch Fountain–renovations to Liberty Memorial and World War I Museum. He averages 75 hours of work a week so in man-hours he has really worked 75 years!”

    A total of 25 employees celebrating 390 years of continuous service to KC Parks were recognized at the breakfast including:

    South Region: Marcus Hunter

    Community Centers: Jon Lindsay
    Lakeside Nature Center: Kimberly Hess

    Central Region: Karen Redmond
    Forestry: Roy Howard
    South Region: Gregory Harris

    Community Centers: Anthony Parks

    Planning: Jimmi Lossing
    Park Facility Maintenance: Cecil Winters

    Central Region: Michael Music
    Central Region: Marcel Chism
    Loose Park Gardens: Christi Huffhines
    South Region: Kenneth Monroe

    Community Centers: Kristin Harmon

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

    South Region: Mark Danielsen

    Community Centers: Lesa Lewis
    Community Centers: Helston Singleton

    Park Facility Maintenance: James Smith
    Planning: William Warren

    South Region: Edward Rollins

    Park Facility Maintenance: Barbara Scott

    Director: Mark L. McHenry

  2. {NEWS} KC Parks Public Pools Opening Delayed


    Cool temperatures will prevent Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation from opening public water parks and major pools this weekend. The following facilities will open when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees per Health Department regulations.

    The Springs Aquatic Center, 9400 N Congress

    The Bay Water Park, 7101 Longview Rd.

    Swope Pool, 6700 Lewis Rd.

    Budd Park Pool, Budd Park Esplanade &  Denver Ave.

    Grove Park Pool, Benton Blvd. & Truman Rd.

    Brush Creek Community Center, Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. and Cleveland Ave.

    Line Creek Community Center, 5940 NE Waukomis

    KC Parks Spraygrounds, with the exception of Longview Tract at The Bay Water Park, will open on Saturday as planned.

    Follow @KCMOParks on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

  3. Registration Opens for Mayor’s Nights

    MN All BWMayor’s Nights, the annual summertime slate of youth-focused activities promoted by Mayor Sly James, start next week and promise activities throughout the warm-weather months.

    “Registration is open now, and I encourage all young people to sign up and invite their friends to join, too,” James said. “These events are held at our community centers and many other locations, and they provide the opportunity for teens and young adults to play sports, dance, expand artistic horizons and just have fun.”

    Registration is open and can be completed by visiting http://kcmayor.org/mayorsnights. On that site, registration can be completed using an online form or by downloading and printing a paper form that can be completed and turned in at any participating community center.

    To promote Mayor’s Nights:

    • Mayor James, City Council members and other city officials will visit the Country Club Plaza on Saturday, May 16, to distribute flyers about Mayor’s Nights, beginning near the J.C. Nichols Fountain at about 8 p.m. The flyers include a quick guide about curfews that will be in force from May 22 to Sept. 27.

    “There are special curfew rules in effect beginning the weekend of Memorial Day through the end of September,” James said. “I and other city officials, including council members, want youth and their parents to understand both the curfew rules and the Mayor’s Nights options available to them.”

    • A Mayor’s Nights Kick-Off is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 22, at Tony Aguirre Community Center, 2050 W. Pennway.

    Mayor’s Nights includes four major initiatives:

    Club KC — Youth ages 11-18 can enjoy live DJs, dancing, basketball, swim parties, video games, arts, robotics, digital literacy empowering speakers, guest celebrities, concessions and much more from late May through early August. Partners in 2015 include Arts Tech KC, Atkins Group, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Guadalupe Center, Kansas City Public Library, KC Hoop, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Swope Park Corridor, and YMCA.

    Night Hoops — Night Hoops, founded in 1992 and the longest-running Mayor’s Nights program, is an eight-week evening basketball league for youth and adults that not only focuses on basketball, but also offers youth-enrichment activities, job and professional development training and mentoring. The 2015 partner is Kansas City Keys.

    Night Kicks — This eight-week evening soccer program for both youth and adults is modeled after the World Cup Soccer tournament. The 2015 partner is Guadalupe Center.

    Night Nets — Night Nets is an eight-week evening volleyball program for both youth and adults. The program also offers educational enrichment on topics such as health and wellness, financial literacy and more. Night Nets is managed by Kansas City Parks & Recreation.

    Registration for Hoops, Kicks and Nets closes June 6. Registration for Club KC is open all summer. Registrants will receive a free Mayor’s Nights VIP Card, which is required to participate in Mayor’s Nights events. Holders of a VIP Card from previous years need not register again.

    An important objective of Mayor’s Nights is to give youth and young adults a wide variety of beneficial alternative activities during the summer evening months when more stringent youth curfew rules are in effect.

     “I used to love to hanging out with friends when I grew up in Kansas City,” James said. “Mayor’s Nights and Club KC provide a place for teens and young adults to do the same in a safe and fun environment.”

     Kansas City’s more stringent curfew is enforceable from May 22 (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend) to Sept. 27 (the last Sunday in September) and will be supported by an appropriate increased police presence.

     For minors 15 and younger, the curfew is set at 10 p.m. For minors ages 16 and 17, the curfew is set at 11 p.m. in most parts of the City.

     The City’s five entertainment districts — the Plaza, Westport, Downtown/Central Business District, 18th and Vine, and Zona Rosa — have a special curfew during summer months that requires anyone under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 9 p.m. during those summer months.

  4. Fourteen Year, $2 Million Loose Park Rose Garden Project Completed

    Hare & Hare Plan

    Hare & Hare Plan

    The fourth and final phase of the Rose Garden restoration project was completed in December, 2014 at  a cost of $403,000.  All 66 stone pillars encircling the rose garden were restored and new redwood cedar pergolas placed atop the structures. The bronze plaques announcing the garden, but stolen during  the 1940s, were replicated and placed at each main garden entry.

    The purpose of the restoration plan, conceived in 2000, was to restore the entire rose garden to reflect the original design developed by the firm of Hare & Hare in 1931.  The process took 14 years to complete with the assistance of hundreds of donations from the Kansas City community. Corporations, Foundations, trust funds and individuals contributed  $2 million to fund this endeavor. The Kansas City Rose Society wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to all those who donated to preserve this historic  Kansas City treasure.

    Major donors include: The Helen Blackman Foundation, Martha Jane Starr Field of Interest Fund,William T. Kemper Foundation, Helen S. Boylan Foundation, J.B. Reynolds Foundation, Victor Speas Foundation and the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.

    Plan to join a celebration of this historic restoration on Sunday, May 31 for Kansas City’s Official Rose Day!

  5. Starlight Theatre Opens 2015 Broadway Season with Million Dollar Quartet

    million dollarThis Memorial Day weekend, the legendary music of four rock ‘n’ roll icons will reverberate throughout Starlight Theatre and its Swope Park surroundings as Million Dollar Quartet kicks off Starlight’s 65th Broadway season. From May 22 to May 24 at 8 p.m. each night, the spirit and sounds of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash will transport Starlight audiences back to Dec. 4, 1956 and the famed Memphis recording studio of Sun Records.

    The Tony Award®-winning Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by the events of that December evening when an auspicious twist of fate brought together Presley, Lewis, Perkins and Cash for the first and only time. The music and magic they made at Sun Records’ storefront studio, where producer Sam Phillips launched each of their careers, would go down in history as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions of all time.

    “The music of Million Dollar Quartet is outstanding, the story is captivating, and audience members leave humming the tunes,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “I’m thrilled that we’re able to launch our 65th anniversary season with a musical set in the same decade that Starlight began. This is a show that people love the first time and then want to see over and over again.”

    Million Dollar Quartet brings to life that legendary night with a compelling tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, humor and celebration. Its electrifying score features such timeless hits as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more.

    After opening at Chicago’s Apollo Theatre in November 2008, where it continues to play to packed houses today as the city’s longest-running musical production ever, Million Dollar Quartet played on Broadway from April 2010 through June 2012. The show added London West End credits in 2011 and a Las Vegas production in 2013. The national tour coming to Starlight is in its fourth successful year, with more than 60 U.S. cities on the 2015 route.

    Million Dollar Quartet in 2013 won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical and received Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. The show also received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor.

    The show is directed by Eric Schaeffer and features a book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. The design team includes Derek Lane, scenic design. Howell Binkley, lighting design; Jane Greenwood, costume design; Kai Harada, sound design; and Chuck Mead, musical arrangements and supervision.

    Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $12 to $92. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132.  All performances begin at 8 p.m.

    Discount prices for groups of 15 or more are available by contacting group sales manager Staci Shute at 816.997.1137 or staci.shute@kcstarlight.com.


  6. {NEWS} Successful May 2 Exhibition Reception Points to Fresh Vision at the Kansas City Museum

     A successful opening reception for the exhibition titled Divining the Museum:  Visions of Past, Present and Future, which is on display from May 7 through June 13, 2015, was held May 2 at the Kansas City Museum located at 3218 Gladstone Blvd in Kansas City, Mo.

    More than 80 people were in attendance at the event where they learned about the upcoming slate of exhibition tours that are free and available on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, May 7-30, and Wednesday-Saturday, June 3-13. The reception included performative readings that told stories inspired by the layered history of the Museum and its myriad inhabitants over the years. The ongoing exhibition, Divining the Museum, showcases contemporary artwork, by local artists and students of the Kansas City Art Institute, including installations, sculpture, ceramics, and photography alongside a selection of original historical objects from the Museum’s collection. Divining the Museum stimulates curiosity, dialogue, and dreams of the future Kansas City Museum and is the first exhibition of 2015; it sets the tone for the year, aiming to honor past aspirations and boldly face existing ones.

    This year, the Museum is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a public museum, and Anna Marie Tutera, executive director, said plans are in place to actively engage the neighborhoods in the Historic Northeast, the Kansas City arts and culture community, and the greater public as the Museum’s restoration and rehabilitation efforts rev up.

    “As we look ahead to the future of the Kansas City Museum, Kansas City Parks and Recreation is taking the excellent work that has been done already with regard to past restoration and planning, and focusing on how to create a functional and premier museum site,” Tutera said.

    With new leadership in place at the Museum, and with solid themes, concepts, and approaches from the 2010 Interpretive Plan, the work ahead will also expand the vision of the Museum to serve local, regional and national visitors to the Kansas City Museum, as well as integrate existing and forward-looking museum and historic preservation best practices to the design. During the planning, the Museum is keeping the site open and active as much as possible to continue the vital connection with the community.

    The Museum has hired International Architects Atelier, a local architecture studio committed to design excellence through exploration, experimentation, and innovation. International Architects Atelier is providing professional design along with managing and coordinating all of the important aspects of the current planning and future construction. For more information about the Kansas City Museum, the current exhibition, or future planning, visit www.kansascitymuseum.org.

    Located at 3218 Gladstone Boulevard in the Historic Northeast community of Kansas City, Mo., the Kansas City Museum is comprised of five original buildings, including the mansion Corinthian Hall, which was built in 1910 as a private residence by lumber magnate, civic leader, and philanthropist, Robert Alexander Long.

    The private residence became a public museum in 1940, and Corinthian Hall and its estate stand as both a monument and palimpsest of Kansas City history. It is owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and operated and managed by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation. This true American palace offers an architectural, artistic, and historic legacy rooted in a deep sense of place and creative vision. Currently under renovation, Corinthian Hall and the buildings that comprise the Kansas City Museum reveal visible and enduring traces of the past, as well as the promise of what is to come. The Collection contains more than 100,000 artifacts and several thousand more archival materials that interpret Kansas City and regional history.