Kids laugh. They play in the sand. They splash in the water. Sounds like just another typical summer’s day at Longview Lake Beach, right?
Except many of these children have never before experienced the simple fun available to them through Jackson County Parks + Rec. Until now.
“We can’t bring the parks to the kids in Kansas City, but we can bring the kids to the parks,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., smiling as he soaked up the sun — and the children’s laughter.
Jackson County and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) teamed up to give 28 boys and girls from the Whatsoever Community Center — located on Kansas City's east side — an afternoon at the beach Tuesday. The KCATA provided what can be a major barrier preventing city children from enjoying the nation’s third largest county parks system: transportation.
"I can guarantee for these kids this is a first," said Whatsoever Executive Director Charlie Gaseich. "For most of them their whole world is that six square-block area around our center. There's nothing like this in our neighborhood."