Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More information on Friday's Arbor Day celebration

On Tuesday, we posted a flyer about this event.

Here's more information.


Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC) will host a tree and shrub planting beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Waterway Park on Friday, April 27, to commemorate Arbor Day and showcase recent and forthcoming improvements to the park.

Unified Government Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon will be on hand to help dedicate one of four new trees being planted, the first of over 150 new plants and trees to be installed.

Among the volunteers to help with the planting are area school-children from McKinley Elementary, who, after learning about the history and importance of Arbor Day all week in the classroom, will take a small break and help plant shrubs and flowers at Waterway.

“CHWC is pleased and honored to make these improvements to Waterway Park, a historical neighborhood park in the middle of our downtown” said CHWC Executive Director Donny Smith. “Due to a wonderful collaboration with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Greater Kansas City LISC, this park is now an example of how local partnerships can work together for the good of the community.”

What was once a beautiful, lush park, Waterway succumbed to neglect and disrepair over the years. At one point, nearby residents dubbed the park a “black hole,” due to the lack of grass and illegal dumping. In 2006, CHWC, with the help of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and a grant from KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment), began plans to renovate the park and return it to its past glory.

Debris, which had been dropped off and buried in the park, was excavated and removed, soil was replaced, and fresh grass was planted.

New sidewalks spanning the perimeter of the park were installed, forming a walking trail that is frequently used today by nearby residents.

In the summer of 2010, three rain gardens were planted to help beautify the park, as well as reduce storm-water runoff. Planned improvements in 2012 by CHWC include:
  • 630 foot path winding along natural wetlands area with nodes along the way for educational purposes
  • Outdoor bathroom
  • Additional benches near playground area
  • Exercise stations along the perimeter sidewalk
  • New solar powered lighting 
  • New water fountain 
“Waterway Park is a great urban park that provides a gathering place for neighbors of this community,” said Steve Curtis, CHWC Community Organizer. “The addition of more trees, plants, shrubs and wheelchair accessibility to the playground and shelter areas means all members of our community can now enjoy its many benefits.”

Waterway Park is located at the intersection of 11th and Grandview in Kansas City, Kansas. The event is free to all.