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KC Parks News

  1. NEWS: 200 KC Volunteers To Build Playground in Six Hours

    Partners Join Forces to Create a New Playground at Hyde Park

    225 volunteers from CarMax, Cornerstones of Care, City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreationand the local Kansas City community


    More than 225 volunteers from CarMax (@CarMax), Cornerstones of Care(@CornerstonesKC), City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation(@KCMOParks), organizers from KaBOOM! (@kaboom) and Kansas City residents will join forces to give area kids a new playground to explore, imagine and create. The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in August.

    A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain expander, friend maker and muscle builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It enables children to learn, grow and simply enjoy being a kid.

    Currently, many of the toddlers in the Hyde Park and Old Hyde Park neighborhoods do not have a dedicated safe and accessible place to play. This playspace will bring Kansas City one step closer to becoming more playable, by making it easier for kids to get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. A playful child has unlimited potential, and in building this playground together, more than 1,500 Kansas City kids will have the play-filled childhood they deserve.

    Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids because KaBOOM! believes #playmatters for all kids.

    The CarMax Foundation has provided the majority of the funding for the playground through its national partnership with KaBOOM!, supporting The Foundation’s commitment to furthering the cause of children’s healthy living. The project is among 33 playgrounds The CarMax Foundation and KaBOOM! will build across the country by the end of 2018 – a $5 million investment.

    Wednesday, October 26 (Times approximate)

    8:30- 9 a.m.: Kick-off ceremony
         10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Best viewing of playground construction 
    1-2:30 p.m.: Final construction phase
    2:30-3 p.m.: Ribbon-cutting ceremony

    Hyde Park, 3790 Gillham Road Kansas City, MO  64111


    • Before and after shots
    • Volunteers assembling, carrying, and installing brightly colored playground equipment
    • Volunteers moving 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
    • Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground

    Cornerstones of Care: Cornerstones of Care is a family of human service organizations dedicated to strengthening children, families and the communities. It positively impacts the health and well-being of communities by delivering prevention, treatment and support services at its Gillis, Ozanam, Marillac and Spofford campuses. Learn more about its collective impact at cornerstonesofcare.org.

    City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation: Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation provides facilities, programs and recreational opportunities for the community that contribute to an aesthetically pleasing environment and enhanced quality of life. The department maintains 220 parks, 12,242 acres of parkland, 158 miles of trails and bikeways, 29 lakes, hundreds of athletic fields and tennis courts, 103 playgrounds, and five public golf courses.  Miles of scenic boulevards and parkways crisscross the city, where 48 fountains and 119 monuments and sculptures surprise and delight. Ten community centers, along with five museums, provide the setting for socially equitable and community-driven programming.

    The CarMax Foundation: The CarMax Foundation is designed to enrich the communities where our associates live and work and has donated more than $30 million since 2003. Funding programs are made available through a portion of CarMax, Inc.’s pre-tax profits. CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for 12 consecutive years, is the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, CarMax currently operates 160 superstores in 79 markets. The CarMax consumer offer features low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles, and superior customer service. During the 12 months ending February 29, 2016, the company retailed 619,936 used cars and sold 394,437 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com  For more information about The CarMax Foundation, visit foundation.carmax.com.

    About KaBOOM!: KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

  2. KC Parks Director McHenry Elected to Leadership of National Organization

    Mark L. McHenryMark L. McHenry, director of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation, was sworn in as President-Elect of the American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration (AAPRA) at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Congress and Exposition held earlier this month in St. Louis, Missouri. He will assume presidency of AAPRA in October of 2017.

    AAPRA was established in 1980 and is dedicated to advancing the knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; encouraging scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators to enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; promoting broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and conduct research, publish scholarly papers and/or sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration that advances the profession.

    The membership is made up of practitioners and educators who have served at least 15 years in a high level of administration in a park and recreation agency or as a recognized educator in parks and recreation administration. They also must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession; displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of public parks and recreation or assumed leadership with a keen desire to contribute to the advancement of the field. The Academy is limited to 125 active members nationwide. The Academy, in partnership with NRPA, administers the National Gold Medal Awards which honor agencies that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services.

    Mark McHenry is the director of Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation, appointed in 2003, becoming the seventh director in the 124 year history of the Department.   Mark has more than 40 years of experience in the Parks and Recreation profession serving in various capacities.

    McHenry holds a Parks Management Degree from Texas Tech University and a Master of Public Administration degree from UMKC. He completed studies in the Graduate Program for Senior Executives from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Executive Development Program, at Indiana University.



    kcmkcfdwebcopyThe Kansas City Museum opens a new exhibition on Saturday, October 15, 2016 in the Carriage House of the Kansas City Museum (3218 Gladstone Blvd., KCMO 64123). In the Line of Duty: A History of the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department from 1868-1968 explores stories of courage and dedication that comprise the heritage and development of the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department (KCFD). From its humble beginnings in the late 1800s to international fame, and from technological triumphs to tragic losses, the KCFD has over 100 years of proud service to its community.

    In the Line of Duty will focus on the first 100 years of the KCFD, from 1868-1968, and is presented by the Kansas City Museum in collaboration with the Kansas City Fire Historical Society (KCFHS), led by its president Paul Ferguson and curated by KCFHS historian Ray Elder—a retired KCFD Captain. Featuring historical objects and archival materials from the collections of the Kansas City Museum and the KCFHS, as well as items on loan, the highlight of the exhibition will be a restored 1927 Ahrens Fox fire truck from the KCFHS.

    “The partnership with the Kansas City Fire Historical Society is very important to the Kansas City Museum, and we were honored to work closely with Paul Ferguson and Ray Elder on this exhibition. In the Line of Duty opens as the Museum introduces a new mission that focuses on offering exhibitions, programs, and experiences that reflect Kansas City’s evolution and spirit, and engage visitors in unfolding stories about Kansas City’s vibrant history, cultural heritage, and pride” Anna Marie Tutera, Executive Director of the Kansas City Museum, said.

    An exhibition opening reception for the public will be on Friday, October 14 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. At this reception, Northeast News Publisher Mike Bushnell will unveil and dedicate a permanent memorial to fallen firefighters John Mesh and Larry Leggio, who died in a structure fire after a building collapsed in this Historic Northeast on October 12, 2015. The memorial is imported Black Indian Granite measuring almost four feet square and weighing 700 pounds. It will be laser etched with images of both Mesh and Leggio and will bear their badges with numbers as well as a short dedication to both firefighters. The project was undertaken by Mike Bushnell, who covered the fire, General Manager of Snyder’s Supermarket, Pence Enterprises, and IAFF Local 42, and other local businesses.

    In the Line of Duty runs through March 25, 2016. Self-guided exhibition tours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday at the Kansas City Museum. For more information, visit kansascitymuseum.org.

    Located at 3218 Gladstone Boulevard in the Historic Northeast community of Kansas City, Missouri, the Kansas City Museum is comprised of five original buildings, including the mansion Corinthian Hall, which was built in 1910 by Robert Alexander Long. The estate became a public museum in 1940. It is owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and operated and managed by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. The Collection contains more than 100,000 artifacts and several thousand more archival materials that interpret Kansas City’s local and regional history.

  4. Brush Creek Art Walk Exhibition

    bcaw2The public is invited to view the 2016 Brush Creek Art Walk Exhibition now on display at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Avenue. Seventy “plein air” artists participated in the Brush Creek Art Walk held September 16-18 along the banks of Brush Creek, on the Country Club Plaza and in Loose Park.  The juried exhibition consists of 90+ paintings created on-site during the three-day event.  Most of the pieces are for sale and proceeds support the Brush Creek Art Walk Foundation. The exhibition runs through October. View the accepted works online>>

  5. KC Salute to the Military

    militaryKC Parks is participating in Visit KC’s marketing campaign targeted towards active and veteran military families. The campaign, KC Salute to the Military,kicked-off October 3 and culminates with Veterans Day on November 11. In appreciation to our military families, KC Parks will offer the following discounts throughout the duration of the campaign:

    25% off green fees to active military and veterans at KC Parks  five public golf courses>>

    25% off court fees to active military and veterans at the Plaza Tennis Center>>

    $100 off All Access Passes for active military and veterans at KC Parks Community Centers (Adult All Access – $200/annual; Senior All Access – $100/annual)>>

    Thank you for your service!


  6. Waldo Water Tower Lit Pink in October

    pink-towerWaldo Water Tower
    KCMO Councilmen Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus have worked with KC Parks to turn the Waldo Water Tower in Tower Park pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among American women affecting roughly 240,000 women as well as 2,600 men each year and over 40,000 people die of breast cancer yearly. It is leading cause of cancer deaths in women ages 15-54. Councilman Taylor stated, “We want to honor those that have battled breast cancer by turning the Waldo Tower pink for the first time ever. We need to find a cure now, so the next generation will not need to fight this battle.” The Waldo Tower will be lit in pink throughout the month of October.
    Pink Ribbon Road Show
    Additionally, KC Parks will partner with Jackson County and the American Cancer Society to host the launch of the Pink Ribbon Road Show in Ilus Davis Park on October 17. Download Pink Ribbon Road Show Flyer>>