Sprayground set to open August 9

Construction of the sprayground at 41st and Gillham/Kenwood is almost complete! There will be a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, August 9, at 11 a.m. Further details on this event to come.

For more information from KC Parks, click here.

For previous blog posts concerning the sprayground, click here.

To view details about the original proposal, published in 2015, click here.

City Auditor’s Office recommends strengthening sustainable maintenance of Parks Department’s natural resources

The City Auditor’s Office released an audit of the Parks and Recreation Department’s environmentally sustainable practices for parkland maintenance. The audit focused on whether the department maximizes the use of environmentally sustainable practices to manage its natural resources.

Auditors concluded that the department has a few sustainable practices to preserve and restore parkland ecology. These practices include the planting of some native or regionally appropriate species, the removal of invasive species, pest management in parkland, and environmental planning for natural areas. Beyond these practices, the department’s park landscape maintenance activities largely focus on park aesthetics in the form of ornamental annual flowers and turf grass, both of which are not environmentally sustainable. Auditors determined that the department does not incorporate sustainable practices into many of the activities required to maintain these landscape features including watering, fertilizer and pesticide use, and mowing activities. In addition, although the department has incorporated some environmentally sustainable practices in its policies related to pesticide application, it does not always follow them.

Auditors also determined that the department does not have measurable goals to guide sustainable management of parkland. Most parkland does not have an environmental resource management plan to guide staff and contractors in the sustainable maintenance unique to a park or park type. Additionally, the department’s operations and maintenance manual does not incorporate sustainable maintenance practices.

The audit includes recommendations to strengthen the department’s sustainable maintenance of parkland natural resources. Management agreed with the recommendations.

View the complete report online at http://kcmo.gov/cityauditor/.

For more information, please contact Douglas Jones, City Auditor, at cityauditor@kcmo.org or (816) 513-3300.

Construction work on the Gillham Park Sprayground

Construction began yesterday on our new sprayground.  Neighborhood meetings were held in November 2015 to get input from the four GRIP (Gillham Road Improvement Project) neighborhoods. An online survey was made available to the neighborhoods at the same time.  Based on neighborhood input, the design consultant presented a conceptual design of the proposed sprayground at the January 2016 Hyde Park Neighborhood Association meeting.

The project received $100,000 PIAC funding in May 2016 for design work.  The design consultant prepared construction documents for the sprayground so it was ready to be built once adequate funding was made available.  In May 2017 the project received an additional $290,000 PIAC funding.  The final amount to begin construction, nearly $400,000, was donated by a local Kansas City family foundation who wishes to remain anonymous.

GRIP Poll

The below items for the Gillham Road Improvement Plan (GRIP) have already been completed. In the poll, which can be found by clicking here, please rank which of the remaining items are of the highest priority to you and your neighbors.

Complete:

  •  Build of Play Area 2-5 years at 38th
  •  Tennis court improvements at 39th
  •  Build of Play Area 2-12 years at 41st
  •  Spray Ground at 41st (to complete fall 2018)
  •  Pedestrian Trail along Kenwood
  •  Removal of Swimming Pool Restrooms
  •  Improvements to Lower Pedestrian Trails 42nd to Brush Creek
  •  Addition to Pedestrian Trails 36th to 38th

To read the full GRIP, please visit this link: https://hydeparkkc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Develop-Presentation.pdf

Funding Secured for Gillham Park Sprayground

We are happy to announce that KC Parks and Recreation were able to secure private funding to cover the remaining amount of funding needed to build the sprayground in Gillham Park! They are currently finalizing the contract documents with the contractor, Mega Industries. Stay tuned for more updates on when they anticipate starting work!
For more information on the spray park and how it plays in to the Gillham Road Improvement Project, please visit this page of our website, published during the proposal period in 2015.