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April 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Parks + Rec invites you to enjoy a day of fun for the entire family at its annual Children’s Day & Sheep Shearing event on Saturday, May 1 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

What: Children’s Day and Sheep Shearing 

When: Saturday, May 1 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where:    Missouri Town 1855
8010 East Park Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064

Cost: Adults - $7, Children (5-13) - $4
Seniors (62 and older) - $4, Children 4 and under - Free

On-site: Jenna Peterson Riley, Jackson County Parks + Rec

Contact: (816) 524-8770

Spring has sprung and it is time to celebrate! Visit Missouri Town 1855, an open-air living history museum spread across 30 acres, and learn about life in the 19th century. Children will delight in the time-honored games and crafts typical of the mid-1800s including stilts, egg races, tin punching, log sawing, and more. The whole family will enjoy listening to period music, touring the heirloom plant gardens, and meeting our heritage breed livestock, including our team of oxen – Studebaker and Weber! 

Alongside our Children’s Day festivities, Missouri Town 1855 will also feature its resident flock of sheep receiving their spring haircuts. Living history interpreters dressed in historical clothing will demonstrate the complete process of wool production from sheep to shawl.

Concessions will be available to purchase. Masks and social distancing are required. For additional information, call (816) 229-8980 or visit online at

About Missouri Town 1855

Missouri Town 1855 is a historic site and living history museum, owned and operated by Jackson County Parks + Rec, with over 25 authentically furnished structures dating from 1820 to 1860 on 30 picturesque acres. Professional interpreters, dressed in 1850s attire, bring history to life for all who visit. Missouri Town 1855 is located in Lee’s Summit, MO on the east side of Lake Jacomo in Fleming Park.



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February 25, 2021

Wyandotte County, KS Joins Johnson County, KS and Jackson County, MO in Removing Closing Time Restrictions on Bars, Restaurants, and Taverns

Jurisdictions Focus on Bringing Consistency for Area Businesses While Still Guarding Public Health

Leaders with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri announced changes today regarding operating hours for bars, restaurants, and taverns in those counties. David Alvey, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert, and Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a joint statement:

“We continue to work together as a region to follow the data and take appropriate steps to protect public health. Harmonizing our COVID rules regarding bar and restaurant closing times makes life simpler for businesses and residents. We are encouraged by the progress our region is making in fighting the virus, but we also know the fight is not over, and people need to continue to wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated.” 

Both the Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD) and the Jackson County Health Department issued new Health Orders reflecting this change. Johnson County amended an existing Health Order (see details, below). 

“Business owners and operators in our region have gone to great lengths to comply with and implement health protocols to keep their staff, customers, and the community safe since the start of the pandemic,” said David Alvey, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. “Our primary goal has been and remains containing the spread of COVID-19, while simultaneously working to help residents, businesses, and the community manage and retain a sense of normalcy during these challenging times. As such, I’m pleased that the latest public health data is allowing for further relaxation of existing Health Orders for local operators, and that this is being done jointly between Wyandotte, Jackson, and Johnson Counties in an effort to provide consistency and uniformity for both businesses and patrons. While service hours are being expanded, it remains the responsibility of everyone to do so in a safe and controlled manner, working to ensure employees and customers continue to mask up, maintain social distancing, disinfect, and work to protect the public health.”

“Successful partnerships require humility, respect for one another, and sacrificing one’s individual interests for the whole. Not all leaders, especially elected ones, are able to do that. However, I am grateful that from the very early days of this pandemic, we have stood united in our commitment to science and united in our belief that we can be most effective in protecting our communities when we work together,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “While we have relaxed some restrictions in our order, we cannot let our guard down. The UK variant has been found in wastewater systems in eastern Jackson County, Kansas City, and in wastewater originating in Johnson County. Studies show this variant spreads more easily and quickly than others, which could lead to a surge in more COVID cases. Moving forward, it is imperative that mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing are practiced vigorously until we can all get vaccinated.”

“Our local public health order as well as the cooperation of our residents and business community have helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert. “We encourage everyone to continue to wear masks, physically distance and avoid crowds, but feel that removing this time restriction on our restaurants and bars will help that sector of our business community serve its clientele. We encourage them to do so in the safe manner they have been by following gathering, capacity, and physical distancing protocols.”

Details about the New Wyandotte County Local Health Order (LHO 2/25/21)

The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, February 26. Under a previous health order, restaurants, bars, and taverns were required to close by 12:30 a.m. Under the new order:

  • The closing time restriction has been lifted. Restaurants, bars, and taverns may remain open until their pre-pandemic closing time.
  • Once closed for the evening, these businesses must remain closed until at least 6 a.m. each day. Restaurants can operate between their pre-pandemic closing time and 6 a.m. for drive through or delivery services only.  

Additional protocols remain the same as outlined in previous orders, including:  

  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns must still restrict customer capacity to no more than 50 percent of building capacity.
  • During business hours, patrons must remain seated to the greatest extent possible, and all patrons must be masked except when actively eating or drinking. 
  • Parties of guests (whether indoors or outdoors) are limited to no more than eight people. 
  • Guest parties must be socially distanced at least six feet apart. 


Details About Revisions to Johnson County, KS Local Health Order #002-20

On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Johnson County Board of Public Health approved the removal of curfews and closing times for restaurants, bars, night clubs, and other businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption that are currently included in Section II, paragraphs (4) and (5) of Johnson County Board of Public Health Order No. 002-20. This was effective immediately. No other changes were made to the order, which lasts through March 31, 2021.

Details About the New Jackson County, MO Local Health Order

The new order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, February 26 and does not apply in the cities of Kansas City, Missouri, or Independence, Missouri. Under the new order:

  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns can resume normal operating hours to serve food and alcohol. Indoor and outdoor seating at tables remains limited to no more than 10 people.
  • Gatherings under 50 people are no longer required to submit a Gathering Protocol.
  • Any gathering exceeding 50 people must submit a Gathering Protocol at least seven (7) business days in advance of the event. The Gathering Protocol must be approved by Jackson County and easily accessible to all attendees.

Gatherings include, but are not limited to, non-essential business activities such as weddings, funerals, lectures, meetings, parades, fairs, festivals, sporting events, and performances. Jackson County’s mask mandate and 50 percent capacity limit for all businesses that are frequented by the public remain in effect.

Jackson County residents and businesses can learn more by visiting the health department online at, by phone at (816) 404-6415, or via email at

Wyandotte County residents can learn more online at, or by calling 3-1-1. 

Johnson County residents can learn more online at

Media Contacts:

Janell Friesen, Unified Government Public Health Department Public Information Officer, ‪(913) 428-9622,

Jody Hanson, Johnson County Director of Public Affairs and Communication, (913) 715-0730,

Marshanna Smith, Jackson County, Missouri Public Information Officer, (816) 878-1930,

Kayla Parker, Communications Coordinator, Jackson County Health Department (816) 404-8424,




June 25, 2021


Jackson County announces grand opening for phase two of Rock Island Trail


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County is excited to announce the grand opening of the much-anticipated phase two of the Rock Island Trail. The “Ride the Rock” ribbon cutting celebration will take place on Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. starting at the brand new stadium trailhead, located at the Truman Sports Complex, Lot L, accessible through Gate 3 off of Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., Jackson County Parks + Rec and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) invites local officials, community members and media to celebrate the occasion and enjoy a great day on the trail. Additionally, guests will have an opportunity to leave their mark on the project by signing a piece of rail from the historic Rock Island line. The rail piece will then be displayed at to-be-determined Jackson County Parks + Rec facility. 


What:         Ride the Rock - Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Rock Island Trail Phase Two


When:        Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m.


Where:       Truman Sports Complex Trailhead
Lot L, Accessible through Gate 3 off of Blue Ridge Cutoff


The second phase of the Rock Island Trail is seven miles long and runs from Brickyard Road in Kansas City, through Raytown, to the Truman Sports Complex. Combined with phase one, which opened in June 2019, the entire trail is 13.5 miles in length. With completion of the Rock Island Trail, Jackson County now has more than 150 miles of trails in its parks system for people to enjoy.

The new trail segment includes three new trailheads and parking areas, the preservation and re-use of four former railroad bridges and five new trail-only bridges, including the new Wildwood Bridge, which at over 300 feet in length is one of the longest trail bridges in the region.

“The County had a vision to revitalize and energize our community in a way we have never seen before, and now that it has finally come to life, I am so proud and excited to celebrate this major accomplishment,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “With the support of the Legislature, our visitors will enjoy an experience like no other on the Rock Island Trail, including riding a bike all the way from Lee’s Summit to a game, concert or event at the Truman Sports Complex. I am deeply grateful to our Parks + Rec leadership, Rock Island team, contractor and partners for their hard work and perseverance to see this beautiful project through to the very end.”

“We are very excited to open phase two and celebrate the completion of the Rock Island Trail,” said Rock Island Project Manager Matt Davis. “This project transformed a blighted railroad corridor into a beautiful place for Jackson County residents to exercise, recreate and connect with their community. We are proud to finally share this wonderful amenity with the community.”

Following the County’s ribbon cutting ceremony, visitors can walk or bike the Rock Island from the stadium trailhead, encountering other fun activities along the way, including a dedication of the Raytown Chamber Trailhead at Noon.

Total construction costs for phase two of the trail was $11.6 million, paid for by Jackson County with generous grants from the Missouri Department of Transportation and Kansas City, Missouri. Radmacher Brothers Construction of Pleasant Hill, Missouri built all 13.5 miles of the trail for Jackson County.

Jackson County acquired the 17.7-mile Rock Island Railroad Corridor in May 2016, in partnership with the KCATA to preserve the corridor for multi-modal transportation opportunities. Additional information about the Rock Island and other Jackson County trails can be found online at




CBIZ’s Carolyn Watley Appointed to Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees 

Kansas City, MO – January 27, 2021 –  The Office of Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., in partnership with the Appointments Project® today announce Carolyn Watley’s appointment to the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees. Watley’s appointment is the first following the announcement of the Project’s expanded programming to Jackson County. Started in 2014, the Appointments Project® has successfully placed 140 women on boards and commissions, including 28 percent of those appointments represented by women of color.  

“Carolyn Watley is an exemplary choice for the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees and she’ll bring a unique set of experiences and perspectives to the decision-making table,” County Executive White said. “Carolyn’s appointment is the first in our collaborative partnership with United WE’s Appointments Project® to increase the number of women on county boards and commissions, and we’ll continue to ensure that we’re drawing on the talents and diversity of all our residents.”

The Appointments Project® serves as a talent bank, advisor and advocate for women seeking opportunities to lead their communities and works to attract diverse, qualified applicants for appointed positions on boards and commissions. The Appointments Project® formula trains and mentors women through the process of applying for these positions, fast-tracking their ability to get appointed at every level of government.

“We created the Appointments Project® so boards and commissions could reflect the communities they serve,” said Wendy Doyle, United WE President & CEO. “The Appointments Project addresses the gender disparities in local civic leadership and we know Carolyn’s passion for serving her community will be a valuable addition to the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees.” 

Based on a growing number of success stories, the pipeline of women leaders is growing rapidly across the country. The Appointments Project® fills a critical need in creating a pathway to work with elected officials and better community representation that leads to better lives for all.  

A free public training event is planned for Tuesday, February 2, at 12:00 p.m. CT with local community partners Black Excellence KC, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Sisters’ Circle Greater Kansas City and The Links (Jackson County, MO Chapter). The event will be conducted via webinar and allows Jackson County women to learn about leadership opportunities and guides them through the process of applying for these positions. “We encourage and invite everyone to learn more and join us in unlocking women’s potential for civic leadership,” County Executive White said.

To learn more about the Appointments Project® and RSVP for the training, visit

About United WE

United Women’s Empowerment, or United WE (formerly the Women’s Foundation), aims to advance all women’s economic and civic leadership. Since 1991, we found and funded kindred spirit organizations and individuals who could advance women’s interests. Now we’re the bold voice of a new generation of empowered leaders. We unite people around unique ideas and pragmatic action that helps break down long standing economic, cultural and policy barriers to ensure a better life for all. Our work includes commissioning transformative research, supporting policy reforms, scaling our fast-growing Appointments Project® and advocating for reforms that honor the legacies of women. Join us. Visit and connect with @UnitedWomensEmpower on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Appointments Project®

To create lasting change for women and their families, United WE focuses on relevant research and strategic partnerships. In 2014, United WE established the Appointments Project® to empower women and strengthen communities by increasing the gender diversity of civic boards and commissions. Through a landmark study, United WE identified the barriers causing women to be underrepresented on civic boards and commissions and established the Appointments Project® to improve the number of women serving. For more information, please visit or follow us on social media (FacebookTwitter, Instagram: @appointmentsproject).





May 9, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. will express his support at Monday’s legislative meeting for “Our Healthy KC Eastside” (OHKCE), a community-based partnership and project to address vaccine hesitancy and health inequities in portions of Jackson County identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having exceedingly high socially vulnerable index scores. The meeting on Monday, May 10 begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Legislative Assembly Area on the 2nd floor of the downtown Jackson County Courthouse.

Led by Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the OHKCE project proposes the use of $4,998,014 in CARES Act funding to implement its innovative efforts. The project is proposed to take place June 1, 2021 – November 31, 2021 with primary goals to significantly increase vaccination intake and the use of prevention health services.

Building on nearly two decades of large-scale collaborative community studies, the organizers will fully engage community members in the multi-sectoral COVID-19 education, communication and vaccination project. The OHKCE project will also tap the University of Missouri Kansas City’s, Truman Medical Center’s and the Black Health Care Coalition’s extensive experience in providing health services in community and medical settings on KC’s Eastside.

In addition to County Executive White and Dr. Berkley-Patton, the following project partners will be in attendance to speak on the importance of the OHKCE program:

  • Dr. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., Chancellor, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Charlie Shields, President and CEO, Truman Medical Centers/University Health
  • Rev. Eric D. Williams, Pastor, Calvary Temple Baptist
  • Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, Dean, UMKC School of Medicine and member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee

These individuals, as well as the Chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, Dan Tarwater, will be available afterward for individual interviews with the media.  





March 18, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is announcing today a proposal that would provide millions of dollars to assist eligible households in Jackson County outside of Kansas City that are unable to pay current and past due rent and utility bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, Ordinance 5493 would authorize the use of $11,550,205 in grant monies the County received from the federal government to launch an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program would provide financial assistance and housing stability services to Eastern Jackson County families struggling financially. Households facing imminent eviction would receive priority assistance.

The Community Services League and United Way of Greater Kansas City have formed a collaborative partnership to implement and administer the County’s program.

“Many families are in dire need of help and this is our opportunity to provide a lifeline to them during these challenging times,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I am grateful for our local partners who share our commitment of housing stability and will assist us in getting these critical dollars to those in need as quickly as possible.”

Eligible households include renters who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and earn a household income at or below 80% of the county median income. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.

Funding applications will be available after the program is approved by the County Legislature. More information about the program including eligibility requirements, an application checklist and to sign-up to be notified when the application portal is open, can be found at Detailed program information is also readily available for Spanish-speaking families at

The $11.5 million grant is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which established a $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program for state, county and municipal governments. The amount of funding received is based on the County’s population, excluding the City of Kansas City, MO. 

KCMO received its own grant funding of $14.8 million directly from the federal government and is administering its own rental assistance program for households within city limits.





April 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement today in support of President Joe Biden’s intent to nominate Robin Carnahan, former Missouri Secretary of State, as Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA):

“I commend President Biden on his intent to nominate Robin Carnahan to serve as Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). In her time as Secretary of State, Ms. Carnahan focused on ensuring fair elections, including implementing Missouri’s first state-wide voter registration system and creating the Missouri Voting Rights Center. Since leaving office, she has effectively helped governments on all levels improve technology, enhancing the customer service experience and cutting costs. 

“Her impeccable credentials, commitment to public service and talent for using technology to make government services more affordable and accessible make her an outstanding choice to lead the GSA. I strongly support the President’s choice and am hopeful that members of Congress act swiftly in approving her nomination.”

The press release issued today by the White House can be found by clicking here.





May 10, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Today, the Jackson County Legislature approved $4,998,014 in CARES Act funding for “Our Healthy KC Eastside” (OHKCE), a community-based partnership and project to address vaccine hesitancy and health inequities in portions of Jackson County identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having exceedingly high socially vulnerable index scores.

“The Legislature’s support puts into action a truly remarkable program that will make a real difference in the lives of many people that will start today and be felt for years to come,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I am extremely grateful to every member of the Legislature, who share the vision that affordable, accessible and equitable health care is necessary in our urban neighborhoods whose residents are at a consistent disadvantage to living healthy lives. We are excited to start the program which I believe will change our community in ways we never imagined.”

Led by Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the OHKCE project is set to take place June 1, 2021 – November 31, 2021 with primary goals to significantly increase vaccination intake and the use of prevention health services.

Building on nearly two decades of large-scale collaborative community studies, the organizers will fully engage community members in the multi-sectoral COVID-19 education, communication and vaccination project. The OHKCE project will also tap the University of Missouri Kansas City’s, Truman Medical Center’s and the Black Health Care Coalition’s extensive experience in providing health services in community and medical settings on KC’s Eastside.



What: The metro’s CORE 4 jurisdictions will commemorate one year of fighting COVID-19. They will recognize the impact of the pandemic on our community, our efforts to slow the spread and everyone’s resiliency throughout the past year.

This event will also include the unveiling of a temporary installation that allows the public to contribute a memory, thought or honor connected to the pandemic.

Who: The top elected officials of the CORE 4 jurisdictions will make remarks. Health officials and city/county managers will be recognized for their efforts the past year.


  • George Guastello, Union Station (Emcee)
  • Jackson County Executive, Frank White, Jr.
  • Ed Eilert, Chairman, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners 
  • Mayor David Alvey, Unified Government
  • Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City, MO

When:  1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16

Where: Union Station Grand Plaza (30 W. Pershing Rd., Ste. 400, Kansas City, MO 64108)

Why: March 16 marks one year since the CORE 4 jurisdictions implemented measures to close restaurants, bars, and movie theatres for 15 days, and banned public gatherings (with some exceptions) of more than 10 people.  Less than a week later, the CORE 4 leaders held a joint news conference at Union Station to discuss their issuances of 30-day stay-at-home orders except for essential services.

For more information please contact:

  • Marshanna Smith, Jackson County, Missouri Public Information Officer, 816 878-1930,
  • Jody Hanson, Johnson County Director of Public Affairs and Communication, 913-715-0730,
  • Chris Hernandez, Kansas City, Missouri Communications Director, 816-787-1507,
  • Ashley Hand, Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas Director of Strategic Communications, 913-573-5544,




July 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  –  Jackson County Parks + Rec is pleased to announce today the reopening of the 18-hole Championship Course at the Fred Arbanas Golf Course. The course has been temporarily closed since April in an effort to successfully complete a labor-intensive greens restoration project.                                                   

The course grounds crew has effectively and efficiently performed the hands-on work necessary to bring the greens up to the playability standards golfers expect, including:

  • Hand-working the 4,500 square feet of sod laid down in the first phase of the restoration
  • Replacing small, damaged areas using a “hand plugger” for more than 1,500 sod plugs on the greens
  • Top dressing the greens
  • Smoothing the greens surface using specially-designed machinery and hand-whipping the sand to smooth out and level the green surfaces.


“I’m extremely grateful for everyone’s patience and our staff’s diligence to conduct the repairs necessary to reopen our Championship Course,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “Our community values this public amenity as much as we do, which is why we remain committed to transforming the Fred Arbanas Golf Course into the best municipal golf facility in the greater metropolitan area.” 

“I want to thank the golfing public for their continued support of the Fred Arbanas Golf Course. Our objective is always to offer a quality golfing experience,” said Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman. “I am pleased to announce that we have hired a new General Manager and Superintendent, Greg Addison, who served as General Manager for Great Life Golf in Kansas City, and Course Superintendent, Woody Moriarty, who comes to us from Blue Hills Country Club.”

“The Championship Course greens are dramatically improved and the facility is in great shape,” said General Manager and Superintendent Greg Addison. “I look forward to meeting the annual golfers of the course, welcoming new golfers and delivering a course golf enthusiasts can be proud of and most importantly, excited to play.”

To prepare for the reopening, the grounds crew has also been aerating and verticutting the greens, while continually mowing the fairways and tee boxes, as well as maintaining the Par 3 Course and Driving Range. 

The Fred Arbanas Golf Course, located at 11100 View High Drive, is owned and operated by Jackson County Parks + Rec. For tee times and information, visit or call (816) 761-9445.



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