Launching pad for fun

Posted April 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm

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By JOE JAROSZ
Northeast News
April 2, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On Sunday, March 30, the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association kicked off its crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the first phase of a playground near the tennis courts in Concourse Park. The afternoon included a bounce house, barbecue, live music and a makeshift 50 foot slide. Using whiteboard panels and burlap sacks, children, and even the adults, got an idea of what the first attraction to the new and improved park will look and feel like.

Amanda Stinger, chair for the playground committee and board member on the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association board of directors, said a few years ago, the association started to get the ball rolling on the possibilities of a new park. After getting quotes on equipment and coming up with ideas, Stinger said the decision was made for a nature themed park, with neutral colors that would be accessible to children of all ages.

The eventual goal, Stinger said, is to remove the basketball court and replace it with a playground, resurface the current tennis courts to house a basketball court, tennis court a small soccer field and a multi-use court. Also included is tables and benches for small gatherings.

“We want this to be a destination park for not just people in the Northeast but from all over the city,” Stinger said.

The goal of the crowdfunding campaign is $20,000. The playground committee recently received a grant from Community Capitol Fund that would cover a portion of the playground expenses. Stinger said the slide, which she hopes to break ground on in late May, is the first step for the playground. The crowdfunding campaign ends April 30, 2014.

“We have this hill and it just seemed natural be creative with it,” Stinger said.

Tracy Gardner, a Northeast resident for the past 10 years and a volunteer for the playground committee, said something like this park has been lacking in the Northeast area. She added parks like Independence Plaza and Budd Park are not conducive to young children.

“That’s a problem that we hope to fix with this park,” Gardner said, adding Sunday’s festivities were a sign of what the community wants. “The community is together for this and this park will bring the community together.”

Heather Gary, a northeast resident out on a stroll with her two children, stopped to check out the fundraising party. While she was interested in what was going on, her children were excited to check out the makeshift slide.

“I think it’s fun and it’ll give the kids more to do,” Gary said.

You can donate or get more information on the crowdfunding campaign by visiting http://neighbor.ly/projects/playground-in-historic-scarritt-renaissance.

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50 foot slide. Above is an artists 3D rendering of the park when it comes to completion. Submitted Photo