Outdoor spaces get an upgrade at T.B. Watkins Homes

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


A local church is investing in outdoor spaces at the Theron B. Watkins Homes, a Housing Authority of Kansas City complex, in hopes of providing safe places for children and families.


Members of Central Baptist Church at 550 Garfield Ave. and a partner congregation from First Baptist Church in Gower, Mo., spent last week sprucing up the playground equipment, adding mulch, benches, picnic tables, charcoal grills, a soccer field and more.


Carson Myers, a resident of Indian Mound for about four years, is the outreach coordinator for Central Baptist. He and other members began working on the upgrades Thursday morning, and continued through Saturday. They celebrated the improvements to the park with a community barbecue on Saturday.


“We just spend a lot of time caring for the people here,” Myers said. “We just go around and ask, ‘What do you like about living in the neighborhood and what do you wish was better?’ I hear lots of things people like, but there’s things that consistently, that people – especially in this area – have said they wish there was more to do for the kids and wish there were better facilities.”


The church members started brainstorming what they could do to serve the community and care for the people who live there.


“This is something that got pointed to over and over again, the basketball court area and the playground, and we just started dreaming,” Myers said.


He began coordinating volunteers, supplies and donations. The two congregations funded the project, along with Christian fundraising organization Send Relief, which is part of the North American Mission Board.


There is a playground in front of Clymer Community Center, surrounded by a chain link fence. The volunteers added two benches inside the fence and spread new mulch. Outside the fence they added two charcoal grills and two picnic tables.


“Just a good way to build community, to come out and have a place to do cookouts together,” Myers said. “They didn’t have anything like that previously on site.”


Two basketball goals were removed years ago, but the asphalt pad remains. There, a group of about 20 volunteers and a handful of youth from the neighborhood painted children’s games like hopscotch and foursquare on Saturday. They also had soccer goals donated, which they installed and added new nets.


While they began the physical work just last week, the paperwork for the project started in January. Myers has enjoyed coordinating with the Housing Authority staff on site.


“It’s just one extra thing on the plate for them, but they’ve made a lot of time and effort to coordinate with us,” Myers said.


Theron B. Watkins served on the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners from 1941 to 1948. Named in his honor when it was completed in 1954, the T. B. Watkins Housing Complex still stands as a testament to his service and dedication.


Watkins was the stepfather of Bruce R. Watkins, who became the first African American elected to the City Council in 1966. Watkins served two terms before being elected twice as Jackson County circuit clerk and running for mayor of Kansas City in 1979. The elder Watkins motivated countless individuals to commit their time and funds to community projects, including the city clean-up campaign of 1940, fundraising for construction of The Paseo branch of the YMCA, and organizing the Gateway Athletic Association, a youth sports organization.


The southern portion of T.B. Watkins at 13th and Vine St. has 210 units of affordable housing, ranging from one to five bedrooms. There are an additional 75 three- and four-bedroom townhome units to the north. The residents have access to many services provided by community partners such as daycare services and a Head Start program, tutoring programs and the Pythons Drill Team, the LINC after school program and a computer lab.


“I think, practically, it’s just something positive for [the kids] to spend their time on,” Myers said. “Trouble isn’t hard to find, boredom is nobody’s friend. Just providing stuff for kids to be outside, spending their time well, being able to enjoy being kids.”

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.

  • Former State Representative, County Legislator plans to run for KCMO City Council in Fourth District race

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Henry Rizzo, former Missouri State Representative and former chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, has announced […]


    SCARRITT SCHOOL

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    The vacant former Scarritt Elementary School on Anderson Avenue, which closed in 2010, will be sold by the district. Proposals […]


    Solarize your home and save money

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Brought to you by Jerusalem Farm Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below! Enter […]


    Legal Aid helps neighborhoods restore abandoned homes

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor In Northeast Kansas City’s historic neighborhoods, preserving the aging housing stock is a priority for those […]


    KC CARE provides health services for all

    July 6th, 2022
    by

    Northeast News KC CARE Health Center began serving the Kansas City community in 1971. They were known as the Westport […]


    Northeast area public pools and spraygrounds

    July 5th, 2022
    by

    CONCOURSE PARK FOUNTAIN 200 Benton Blvd Open year round. BUDD PARK POOL 5600 Budd Park Esplanade Summer 2022 Season June […]


    Kansas City’s Most Wanted

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    KC Crime Stoppers has partnered with The Northeast News to help track individuals in Northeast KC on the Kansas City’s […]


    Vacant Scarritt School slated for reuse

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Scarritt Elementary School at 3509 Anderson Ave., closed in 2010 during the “right sizing” of […]


  • Welcoming KC hosts International Food Tour to celebrate cultures on Independence Ave.

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Welcoming KC hosted this year’s KC International Food Tour in Historic Northeast, a day of celebration […]


    State Representative earns Missouri Horace Mann award

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher State Representative Ingrid Burnett (D-19) was awarded the 2022 Horace Mann Award Thursday evening at a reception […]


    American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918-1939

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content The Kansas City Museum’s collections of historical materials are an important means of advancing the Museum’s mission and […]


    Community partnerships at the heart of Mattie Rhodes, NEAT Mission

    June 29th, 2022
    by

    Sponsored content Once again the Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast facility at 148 N. Topping is sponsoring a series of community […]


    Man sentenced to 28 years for double homicide in 2019

    June 28th, 2022
    by

    By EllieAna Hale Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced June 27 that 25-year-old Mario Markworth was sentenced to 28 […]


    Pedestrian suffers critical injuries in early morning hit and run

    June 23rd, 2022
    by

    Update: The female pedestrian has succumbed to her injuries according to KCPD. A female pedestrian who was standing in the […]


    Cafe Cá Phê hosts fundraising yard sale

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna Hale Editorial Assistant Cafe Cá Phê hosted a Yard Sale Pop-Up Event on June 17 to fundraise and support […]


    World Refugee Day celebration brings together the stories of a diverse community

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    EllieAna HaleEditorial Assistant On June 18, the North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library hosted the city’s annual World […]


    Community Calendar

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    FRIDAY, JUNE 24 –Welcoming KC Presents the International Food Tour. $30 per person. CLICK HERE MORE MORE DETAILS SATURDAY, JUNE […]


    Sewing Labs welcome international textile recycler

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Sewing Labs of Kansas City, a nonprofit teaching the legacy of sewing for employment, entrepreneurship, […]


    Students make change in Northeast

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Students from the Ryogoku Soccer Academy are creating change in their community, one project at a […]


    Troost gets creative with business collective

    June 22nd, 2022
    by

    Aniaya Reed Editorial Assistant The Troost Market Collective (TMC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create equitable economic […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


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