These Are Your Parks!

County & KCATA Partnership Introduces Parks To Kids From The City


Frank White, Jr. plans on arranging at least one more trip this year — just in time for the holidays — that will bring kids from the city to the parks in eastern Jackson County. "These kids are just going to be a little older," the County Executive said. "We're going to be taking a group of senior citizens from urban Kansas City out to Christmas In The Park."

Featuring more than 300,000 lights, including 175-plus animated displays, strung throughout the Longview Lake campgrounds, Christmas In The Park is one of the region's most popular — and colorful — yuletide attractions. It'll brightening the holidays late this year Nov. 23 through New Years Eve

During his State of the County Address in February, White announced his intent to use the county's extensive parks system as a unifying force between urban, suburban and rural Jackson County. This summer Jackson County and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) teamed up to arrange days at the beach for three different youth groups from urban KC neighborhoods. The KCATA provided buses; the county gave the groups free admission to Longview Lake Beach.


"My point is that our parks can tie us together as a county. Our parks can be our unity." 

- County Executive Frank White, Jr.
Feb. 19, 20016 State of the County Address

"We can't bring the parks to the kids in Kansas City, but we can bring the kids to the parks."

"We can't bring the parks to the kids in Kansas City, but we can bring the kids to the parks," County Executive White said as children from the Whatsoever Community Center ran onto the beach June 21.

He announced his intent to continue the program and expand upon it in 2017 during today's County Legislative meeting. He also thanked the KCATA for its enthusiastic support. Many, if not most of the children, who participated this summer had never before been to a park in eastern Jackson County.

When Tyrone Moore, the Area Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, told the children in his charge they'd be going to the beach in early August, they thought that would mean taking an hours-long trip. They were unaware the beaches in eastern Jackson County were mere minutes away.

"That let me know we need to get the kids out of their community more to see what Jackson County — especially eastern Jackson County — has to offer them," Moore said, over the sounds of the boys and girls in the water Aug. 4

"A lot of these kids have never been to a beach or seen a lake, so this is a lot of fun," KCATA President & CEO Robbie Makinen. "I'm glad the County Executive came up with this idea to give these kids this kind of opportunity. We're just blessed at the KCATA to be a community partner in this."

"We can't bring the parks to the kids in Kansas City, but we can bring the kids to the parks."