February 2012


 Parks 'n Play eNews

  A monthly update from Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation

Winter on Cliff Drive by David Remley.
Winter on Cliff Drive by David Remley.


"The Bay" Wins as Name of New Water Park

KC Parks new outdoor aquatics center in South Kansas City has a name!  The Bay was chosen by residents in a poll conducted by KC Parks last month. 


Residents were asked to vote for their favorite of three name choices --The Bay, The Lagoon and the H2Ozone--for the new facility.  There were 534 votes cast online and by paper ballot and the winner, by a slight margin, was The Bay.


The new $7 million facility is under construction and will open Memorial Day weekend. The water park is located on the site of the former YMCA and current Longview Tract park/spraygrounds at 7101 Longview Road.


The Bay has a 1,000 person capacity and will feature a six-lane lap pool, a zero entry leisure pool with playground and slide, a 900-foot long lazy river with waves, two water slides, and a swirl bowl slide. Swim classes, water aerobics, splash 'n play and river walking programs will be offered. 
Other improvements have also recently been added to Longview Tract including a playground, football fields, shelter houses and walking trail.
View the video of the July 2011 groundbreaking for the aquatics facility from the City's Weekly Report.
KC Parks: Longview Aquatics Center Groundbreaking
KC Parks: Longview Aquatics Center Groundbreaking
Vol 6, Issue 1
Green Ball


City of Kansas City, Missouri




To improve the quality of life by providing recreational, leisure, and aesthetic opportunities for all citizens, and by conserving and enhancing the environment. We will accomplish this mission by providing quality programming, making the best use of existing resources, developing a supportive and influential constituency, developing effective collaborations and partnerships, and acquiring and preserving natural features.


Kansas City, Missouri 

Parks and Recreation

4600 East 63rd Street

Kansas City, MO 64130



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Join KC Parks Volunteer Program

Volunteers making snacksVolunteers help the City and KC Parks provide valuable services to our citizens. Each year, volunteers provide hundreds of hours of service to parks, programs and community centers and are essential to our department's success. Volunteers work in a variety of roles including:

  • Rehabilitating animals at Lakeside Nature Center
  • Adopting a park through our Partners in Parks program
  • Providing tutoring, athletic coaching and mentoring to youth at community centers
  • Planting flowers and helping with landscaping on park grounds
  • Assisting with the special events such as the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, Wilderness Run or Party in the Park

Volunteering with Parks and Recreation can be a fun and rewarding experience for all ages. If you would like to volunteer with Parks and Recreation, please visit the Volunteer page of our website. You can also call Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Jones-Lacy at 816-513-7509 for more information.

2011 Year in Review Available Online

2011 YIR Cover2011 was an exciting year of change and accomplishment. The election of a new Mayor and Council in March led to the appointment of a new Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners- President Jean Paul Charaund, McClain Bryant, Allen Dillingham, Aimee Gromowsky and David Mecklenburg- in July.


Highlights of the year include our department's recognition as one of four finalists for the National Recreation and Park Association's prestigious 2011 Gold Medal Award. Another exciting honor for our department came in June as the KC Parks Dragon Boat Racing Team, "Blazing Paddles", were crowned champions of the Business Division in the Dragon Boat Festival & Races on Brush Creek.


Read about additional achievements in the 2011 Year in Review which also features the winners and commissioned photographs from our inaugural Green Exposures Photography Contest & Exhibit -- yet another 2011 success.  Download the 2011 Year in Review.


Green Works Provides Environmental After School Program 

Green Works ECOSGreen Works in Kansas City, a local nonprofit, runs an environmental education program for high school students at the Brush Creek Community Center. The Environmental Connection Opportunities for Students (ECOS) program includes classroom instruction and experiments, hands-on projects, guest speakers, field trips and service learning opportunities.


Students learn about Kansas City's most serious environmental problems including the combined sewer system, our declining urban forest, ozone levels, and solid waste and recycling. Students visit the water treatment plants, ride on the Missouri River, visit local green businesses and plant trees and native plants. Last year students helped plant trees, shrubs and native plants along Brush Creek, and replanted the flower bed at the west entrance of the center.


Students who graduate from the program are encouraged to stay involved through an alumni group. Alumni choose projects they want to tackle and this year the students have created t-shirts with water quality messages, helped with green architectural designs, built duck and bat houses to protect urban wildlife and are working on a waste reduction campaign at a Kansas City high school. The alumni group helps students maintain connections with professionals in Kansas City's environmental community while learning community organizing skills and practical applications for their ECOS education.


For more information, contact Jesse Chapman, Green Works Program Director at 816-590-9465 or jesse@greenworkskc.org. Learn more at www.greenworkskc.org.

Parks Commissioner Bryant Named 2012 Rising Star

Commissioner McClain BryantBoard of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, McClain E. Bryant, has been named a 2012 Rising Star by KC Business magazine. The program honors outstanding Kansas City leaders under the age of 40. An independent panel of area business and civic leaders selected the exclusive group of 34 individuals based on professional accomplishments and philanthropic commitment. 


"The Rising Star awards give us the opportunity to highlight Kansas City's next generation of business and civic leaders," says Julius Karash, Executive Editor of KC Business and Commercial Journal magazines. "This year's program was particularly competitive. I was personally inspired by their accomplishments, commitment and philanthropic endeavors."


Ms. Bryant is an associate in Husch Blackwell's Kansas City, Mo., office, where she practices in the areas of Government Compliance, Investigations & Litigation and Governmental Ethics & Election Law. Active within the Kansas City community and invested in civic matters, Bryant was appointed by Mayor Sly James to the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners in July 2011. In addition, she is an At-Large Member of the Democratic National Committee's Youth Coordinating Council and a Regional Lead for Gen44 , assisting with the fundraising efforts for the Obama 2012 presidential campaign. McClain is also a Board Member of Urban Summit Young Professionals, a member of the Lyric Opera Circle and a Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City Associate VIP. Missouri Lawyers Weekly named her a 2011 "Up & Coming" Attorney and she also received The George Washington University Black Alumni Association's 2011 IMPACT award.


Rising Stars are profiled in the February 2012 issue of KC Business 


Parks Spotlight: Union Cemetery


Union Cemetery by Bruce Mathews

Union Cemetery was established in 1857 by the joint efforts of the citizens of the towns of Kansas and Westport, hence the name "Union." The main entrance was originally at the present location of 28 Street Terrace and Main Street. At that time there was a toll-gate in front of the entrance where fees were collected for the Westport Turnpike. Also at that location stood the sexton's cottage which was built in 1883. In 1929 the cottage was moved to the inside of the present front entrance, restored, and furnished in the Victorian style.


When Union Cemetery was established, it was thought that the 49 acres would accommodate all the deceased in Westport and Kansas City for all times. Little did city leaders suspect that Westport and Kansas City would become one community and that Union Cemetery would lie in the midst of a busy metropolitan area.


Through the years, the size was reduced from 49 to about 27 acres, and in 1937 the property was deeded to the city of Kansas City. The Parks and Recreation department now maintains the grounds. On October 31, 1985, the cottage was destroyed by vandals. The cottage was rebuilt by the Women in Construction of Kansas City and rededicated in October of 1990.


The famous and infamous rest here. Veterans from every war from the Revolution to Vietnam are buried here, including those who fought for both sides during the Civil War. Those who lived, worked, raised families and contributed to making the area a great place to live rest here as well.




227 East 28th Terrace, 27 acres of land south of Crown Center and east of the Liberty  Memorial



Cemetery is open Monday-Friday, 7:30am to 3:00pm; Saturday-Sunday, 8:00am-5:00pm 

Sexton's Cottage is open every Wednesday, 9:00-11:00am and Friday, 1:00-3:00pm 



Visit the Union Cemetery Historical Society's website





Bird SeedLakeside Nature Center has a Need for Seed!
The Lakeside Nature Center in Swope Park is in desperate need of bird seed,  wild birdseed, black oil sunflower seed, raw peanuts, suet, millet, sunflower chips, and niger seed. 
Lakeside Nature Center is one of Missouri's largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities.  Contact the center at 816-513-8960 if you can help out.
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Disability Icon  The Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department facilities and programs are available to people of all abilities.  If accommodations or individual supports are needed to participate, please contact Carrie Randle, Inclusion Facilitator, at (816) 513-0730.