Today, U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) hosted a press conference at MLK Park to highlight the $2.8 million in Community Project Funding he secured to build a pedestrian bridge that will connect communities on the north and south banks of Brush Creek and allow pedestrians to safely reach the playground. The pedestrian bridge at Brush Creek is one of ten community projects Congressman Cleaver championed and was able to secure funding for that will directly benefit residents of the Fifth Congressional District.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us to build bridges, not walls, and that’s what we’re doing here today. This bridge will connect Kansas Citians to their schools, their homes, and their communities. It’s a sign of beautiful rebirth in this neighborhood. It’s a sign of development, of a vision for the future, and a plan to make that vision into a reality,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Thanks to KC Parks, the Kauffman Foundation, and the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, the newly renovated MLK Park is a gem in our community that properly honors the legacy of Dr. King. I first proposed renaming Brush Creek Park after MLK in 1976, when I was the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. Nearly fifty years later, it brings me great joy to see the community investments in this park as we continue working to bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice.”
“Since it opened last summer, the playground at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Square Park has quickly become a favorite Kansas City family destination,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas. “While the park includes inclusive play equipment for children of all ages, the lack of foot access to the park has been a challenge for families who live in the neighborhood. I applaud Congressman Cleaver for his work to secure funding for a pedestrian bridge, which will help the Kansas City Parks Department and 15 and the Mahomies Foundation continue to provide a safe and exceptional park experience for all Kansas City children and families.”
“This bridge will provide exponential improvements to communities around Brush Creek- unlocking access to new opportunities and of course the amazing new MLK Jr. Park,” said City Manager Brian Platt. “We are so thankful for Congressman Cleaver’s continued investment in and focus on the east side of Kansas City over the last few decades.”
“The pedestrian bridge will connect communities, schools, and affordable housing on the north side of the creek to MLK Park ensuring that adjacent neighborhoods have increased access to this destination park and the health and social benefits outdoor recreation offers,” said KC Parks Board President Jack Holland. “Neighborhood parks provide the heartbeat to our beloved city. We are grateful to Congressman Cleaver for bolstering Dr. King’s mission of bringing not just equality, but equity to the Brush Creek Cultural Corridor. Thanks also to the Kauffman Foundation and the 15 & the Mahomies Foundation, whose generosity made this wonderful park, playground, and trail possible!”
“We are thrilled to see more improvements being made to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Square Park,” said 15 and the Mahomies Executive Director Marques Fitch. “It was always our goal to make this location a special place for Kansas City residents to enjoy. We are thankful for everyone that helps continue this mission.”