KC Parks and Rec department improves area playgrounds

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Tamara Nelson, 5, plays in the water games at Gillham Park on June 14, 2022, as a heat wave engulfs Kansas City.

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Kansas City Parks and Recreation recently announced that the agency will spend $6.3 million on park improvements and upgrades in locations across the city. Part of those upgrades include a new aquatic center at the Southeast Community Center in Swope Park, which will cost about $3.2 million.

The new aquatic center will have a brand new swimming pool, with the following elements:

  • Entry at zero depth, which is the slope at the beginning of the pool, facilitating the entry of people

  • Spray characteristics

  • A deep zone for doing lengths

  • Swimming lessons

  • Lifeguard training

  • New pool equipment

Construction will include repairs to the roof of the community center and will be completed by the end of 2023.

Where else gets upgrades? Check out the list below.


Construction of the spray field at Elmwood Avenue and E. 23rd St. begins this summer, and a new playground will be built and opened around the spray field.


KC Parks will replace the playground at 8299 N. Congress Ave.


KC Parks is replacing the walking paths around this historic northeast park and adding two park shelters and two playgrounds.

Budd Park is located at St. John Avenue and Brighton Avenue, right next to Northeast Junior High School.


KC Parks is expanding the parking lot and adding a new soccer field, new trails and a new playground.

This park is at N. Antioch Road and Winn Road.


KC Parks is repairing the building and parking lot and will be upgrading exercise equipment at the community center at 10401 Hillcrest Rd.


The Waldo Playground at 75th St. and Holmes Road will be upgraded.


The city will also spend $1 million in a local game announced by Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to build a bridge for residents who live on the north side of Brush Creek. The bridge will make it easier to walk to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

“Children in every neighborhood in Kansas City deserve to have the best park facilities, and these projects will improve playgrounds and community centers in every city council district,” the council chairman said. KC Parks administration Jack Holland in a statement.

Joseph Hernandez is a member of The Star’s duty journalism team. A Kansas City native, Hernandez is a graduate of Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously wrote for the Columbia Missourian and The Pitch.

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