By Paul Thompson
April 19, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Parks and Recreation department celebrated a historic anniversary in the Historic Northeast on the evening of Wednesday, April 12.
Kansas City’s annual Fountain Day celebration came to The Concourse this year, and City leaders like Mayor Sly James, City Manager Troy Schulte, 1st District Councilman Scott Wagner, and Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry were on hand to enjoy Prohibition-era Kansas City jazz from Grand Marquis, food trucks, revelry, and most importantly, The Concourse fountain.
“It’s one of my favorite events of the year, because it really does mark the beginning of spring in my mind when we turn on the fountains,” said Mayor James.
Heidi Downer of Parks and Recreation noted that the City was happy to be able to celebrate one of its oldest parks on what is a landmark anniversary for the department.
“As you may or may not know, this year is Kansas City Parks and Recreation’s 125th anniversary, and so we decided to bring it back home to one of the first parks,” Downer said.
At the event, Downer also teased a celebration that Parks and Recreation will hold at The Concourse later this summer.
“We absolutely are going to come back, for our Feast of Fountains,” said Downer. “I believe we’re going to have that one here in September again.”
In addition to food, music, and yard games, another highlight of the celebration was the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District’s unveiling of its new bright blue recycling bins, which will soon be distributed along the Avenue. The CID utilized grant funding to finance the purchase of the heavy duty recycling bins.
“In the very near future, those will be at 20 of the bus stops on Independence Ave.,” said Bobbi Baker-Hughes of the CID. “The CID is working in partnership with KCATA, Solid Waste, and the City to bring to the Avenue a recycle program.”
Baker-Hughes added that after conducting a study, the CID concluded that 75% of what is picked up on the Avenue is recyclable – that includes aluminum cans, water bottles, and cardboard. Ultimately the organization concluded that there are better places for those items to go to than the landfill.
“Already we collect 600 pounds of trash per week on the Avenue,” said Baker-Hughes. “So if we can reduce 75% of that 600 pounds from going into the landfill, we’re kind of excited about that.”
During his comments to attendees, Mayor James urged citizens to continue enjoying the top-tier parks system that’s maintained by the City of Kansas City, Missouri.
“These parks are landmarks in this city; they’re landmarks that we all get to enjoy,” said James. “They may not be the type of landmarks you see in D.C., but D.C. is known for their monuments; we’re known for our parks.”