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.
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"My point is that our parks can tie us together as a county. Our parks can be our unity."
Off The Bus & Heading For The Beach
County Executive Frank White, Jr. greets the kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs as they step off the bus.
A dip in the waters of Longview Lake on a muggy day is cause to smile for the kids from the Guadalupe Center.
A little boy from the Whatsoever Community Center experiences a going-to-the-beach ritual, being buried up to his neck in the sand.
View From On High
This girl from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City gets a view of the beach from atop a friend's shoulders.
Kids from the Whatsoever Community Center enjoy a day out of the classroom and out of the heat as they enjoy the refreshing waters of Longview Lake.
Splish Splash Some More
These kids from the Guadalupe Center stir up the water as they enjoy their day at the beach.
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."