Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor

June 27, the first public engagement “Open House” was held to garner input for three designs concerning improvements to Kessler Park’s North Terrace Lake.

Often referred to as “Green Lake” by Historic Northeast residents, this serene lake is only accessible from a busy Chestnut Trafficway or by hikers and bikers along Cliff Drive. To aid in access and provide additional outdoor recreation amenities, the Kansas City Parks & Recreation department is partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Confluence Landscape Architecture.

Held at Kansas City University’s Butterworth Center, attendees were allowed to view these three concepts and select the version they preferred. Each concept offers additional trails, lighting, rain gardens and fore bays, along with boardwalks and off-street parking.

On-hand to answer questions and gather input was Jake Colehouse — district supervisor with MDC — and Matt Evett, associate principal with Confluence. Each option’s price tag will vary due to the cost associated with components and labor, according to Evett. The scope of the selected option will be funded in phases of up to $250,000 — allowing this lake to remain accessible during each phase of construction.

Jake Colehouse, Missouri department of conservation, and Matt Evett, confluence landscape Architecture — discussed design details with attendees. | Photo by Dorri Partain

Jake Colehouse, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Matt Evett, Confluence Landscape Architecture — discussed design details with attendees. | Photo by Dorri Partain

In addition to basic lake maintenance to monitor water quality, sediment accumulation, erosion and aquatic vegetation, Confluence’s designs for each option includes entry monument signage, bike racks and pedestrian walkways that encircle the lake or access its island feature.

Missing from plans shown during the debut is an access point for MDC’s fish stocking program — which Colehouse said would be added to the final design submitted to the Parks board.  North Terrace Lake is included in their Urban Fishing Program and twice a year the lake is restocked with channel catfish and hybrid sunfish. The ecosystem of this lake is able to sustain natural replenishment of minnows, largemouth bass and bluegill species.

The final plan is expected to be selected by the end-of-July, so that it may be presented to the Parks board for approval in September. Phase One improvements are expected to begin spring 2025.

North Terrace Lake designs are available for viewing and input now through July 10 by accessing the following link: