Neighbors work to save Chouteau Courts playground equipment from destruction

Elizabeth Orosco
Managing Editor

A crew of neighbors worked together Thursday, Feb. 6 to help salvage the remaining playground equipment from being demolished at Chouteau Courts.

Members of Emerging Builders, a construction apprenticeship program, alongside Northeast residents, donned vests and hardhats to disassemble the playground equipment that is now surrounded by debris from the razed apartment buildings. 

Whitney Barnardo, former Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association president, said the attempt to save the playground equipment has been ongoing since July 2018. 

Barnardo said she put in a request to the Housing Authority of Kansas City to remove the playground equipment before demolition on the apartment buildings began, but was told there were other plans for the equipment. 

As the buildings started to be demolished during the last few months of 2019, Barnardo said she noticed the playground equipment was still there— sharing the same fate as the crumbled buildings. 

After reaching out to the Housing Authority once more, Barnardo said she was given permission to remove the playground equipment but was now under time constraints and less-than-ideal working conditions. 

“It’s unfortunate but I am hoping we are saving them from sudden death,” said Barnardo.

John Monroe, director of Planning and Development at the Housing Authority, said the intent was to use the equipment elsewhere. 

“When [the neighborhood] first suggested we give it to them, we all thought it was a great idea, but then our staff here decided they were going to relocate the equipment and use it at another public housing site. We have a lot of low-income families at other sites which need that equipment.”

Monroe said he was unaware the equipment had not been moved until Barnardo reached out one more time.

“I didn’t know it hadn’t been moved until I got an email saying the equipment was being destroyed. I was kind of upset about it, too, because I didn’t know. That was the whole plan, to reuse it; we certainly didn’t want any of it wasted,” he said.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, the crew of neighbors worked tirelessly to remove portions of the playground equipment. 

They are working to salvage one large playground set and a second, smaller set. 

Barnardo said if successfully removed and relocated, the equipment will be a great asset to families in the neighborhood.

“Look at how much Garfield Elementary changes the landscape for a lot of our community children… A lot of people don’t have money to spend on summer programs so having that playground equipment accessible makes a difference,” she said.

Barnardo said she has a few locations in mind as a location for the new sets, but nothing has been secured. 

Neighbors will be going back to the Chouteau Courts site again on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to remove the remaining equipment. 

Overall, Barnardo said the unity she has seen from neighbors for this common goal is a win for the community.

“At the end of the day, it’s a huge success story to just be able to say there are people who feel really passionately about this that are out there doing this. Going out there, sweating, and doing that kind of work for the greater good is very commendable.” 

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City pays $80k to house homeless experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

    14 hours ago

    Elizabeth Orosco Managing Editor On Thursday, April 2, the Kansas City City Council unanimously approved a contract that would pay […]

    Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Urges Missouri Governor to Issue Statewide “Shelter-in-Place” Order

    16 hours ago

    (JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri) – Yesterday in a letter to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, MAOPS President Steven Brushwood, DO, FAAFP asked the Governor to […]

    Local Bank steps up to aid Shut-In Seniors

    16 hours ago

    When the call went up from the Don Bosco Senior Center for help inreaching and feeding local senior citizens who […]

    First COVID-19 death confirmed in Kansas City

    April 2nd, 2020

    Kansas City, Missouri Director of Heath, Dr. Rex Archer, announced Thursday, April 2 the first confirmed COVID-19 death in the […]

    Shelter KC seeking donations to aid homeless during stay-at-home order

    April 2nd, 2020

    Shelter KC is seeking donations to help serve the homeless during the stay-at-home order.

  • Mayor Lucas outlines details on small business relief fund, who is eligible and how to apply

    April 1st, 2020

    Kansas City small businesses that need financial assistance during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order can now apply for a Kansas City […]

    KCPD members test positive for COVID-19

    April 1st, 2020

    Two KCPD members test positive for COVID-19.

    Small businesses adjust to shifting COVID-19 landscape

    March 31st, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher For all intents and purposes, business at PH Coffee prior to the COVID-19 outbreak was good. The […]

    Missouri Foundation for Health Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

    March 31st, 2020

    Courtney StewartMissouri Foundation for Health (ST. LOUIS, MO) – During this time of growing uncertainty, our commitment to improving the health and […]

    Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline sees 50 percent drop in calls

    March 30th, 2020

    DSS is reporting a 50 percent drop in Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline calls since March 11.

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.