At 75-acres, Jacob L. Loose Park is one of Kansas City’s most popular, beautiful and historical. The park is well-known locally as being a major site for the Battle of Westport where Confederate forces were routed by Union forces in the area in which the park is now located. It is estimated that 29,000 people were involved in the battle. The property at that time was owned by William Bent, a man who led wagon trains and traded with the Indians. Download Loose Park Map>>
Seth Ward bought the property in 1871 after William Bent’s death. In 1896 a group of people, many of whom had been members of the golf club near Hyde Park, incorporated the Kansas City Country Club and signed a lease with Seth Ward to use part of his property as a golf course for $1 a year plus taxes. The property included what is now Loose Park and was used as a golf course until 1927. In 1926, Ella Loose bought the property from the Hugh Ward estate (the son of Seth Ward) so that it could be made into a park to honor her husband, Jacob Loose. She gave the property to the city in 1927. Jacob Loose founded the Loose-Wiles Biscuit Company, which produced Sunshine Biscuits and other products. He passed away in 1923.
Kansas City’s municipal rose garden in Loose Park is the realization of a dream that began in 1931, when a group of citizens under the leadership of Laura Conyers Smith established the Kansas City Rose Society. The first garden contained 120 rose plants. Today, there are about 4,000 roses of nearly 168 varieties in the 1.5 acre garden. The garden recently underwent a $400,000 renovation project, which included planting 1,200 new roses and restoring the beds to the original plans.
A notable event in Loose Park was the Wrapped Walk Ways exhibit held in October 1978. Loose Park walkways were wrapped in gold fabric by artist Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude.
Caution: Feeding waterfowl may be harmful to their health! Regular feeding can cause dependency on people for food, conflicts with people and spread of disease.