We're excited to welcome former Coleman Highlands resident and New York Times best selling author Gillian Flynn back to the park she used to play in as a kid.
Thank you for all your enthusiasm about our new play space! We really appreciate all the support and positive feedback. We can’t wait to see you and your family on April 30th! Please invite your neighbor and come down to the corner of Madison and Karnes in Roanoke Park for a great celebration that day.
Thanks to all the people whose good ideas came together to make this playground a reality: Hufft Projects, phronesis, Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation and especially all the park neighbors.
Click for a gallery on facebook. This is a rendering from the playground equipment manufacturer. The real thing is actually cooler!
Cleanup Event April 16th, 2016, 9-12 am. Come help!
Read about how an MDC Habitat Grant was awarded to the project for background and initial plans.
Those plans culminated on May 16, 2015 when 815 native plants were planted.
Throughout the latter half of 2015, Chris DeLong kept the site weeded by pulling the unfortunate infestation of barnyardgrass that threatened to overwhelm the plantings in the wetland area. Our friends at Taylor Creek Restoration Nursery say that the barnyardgrass should reduce over time. Let's hope.
Most of the plants installed in May appeared to thrive. The area southwest of the deeper pool turned out to stay much wetter than expected, so not all of the "medium moisture" plants put there did well. The more successful plants included the pickeralweed, cardinalflower, blue lobelia and mistflower. The nodding bur marigold that was already there put on a show of yellow flowers. One of the swamp milkweed plants even bloomed, which was exciting for year one.
More park visitors began making the site a stop on their ramblings through the park. Unfortunately many saw fit to walk straight up and down the hill adjacent to the spring, limiting the growth of plants in that area. (Please Leave No Trace and Stay on the Trails.)
The spring continued to be visited by a great many birds. A pair of mallard ducks called it home in the springtime and a great variety of birds were drawn in by the water, and the many insects buzzing around.
Brett Shoffner put more work into the trails at the spring source, making a more sustainable rock path where the trail on the lip of the hill crosses the springwater. Again, please stay on the trails to protect our new plantings.
About 140 more plants have been ordered to fill in the site further, including:
April 23rd, 2016, 9-12 am - Volunteers from Unbound will help plant ~90 of the above plants.
May 7th, 2016, 9-12 am - The remaining 48 of the above plants will get planted. Come help!
The wintercreeper from which the area is being reclaimed was pushed further back from the spring area. This will be an ongoing project.
Staying semi-green through the mild 2015-2016 winter were the irises, clumps of smooth rush, many of the sedges, and the golden ragwort (which appears to have reseeded itself rather freely.)
Interepretive signage will be installed on site this spring as required by the MDC grant. See the gallery at right for a preview. Thanks to KCMO Parks for producing and installing it.
A bonus sign regarding the geology of the park and the spring will be installed near the park bench at the top trail. Thanks to Dr. Gentile from UMKC for consulting on this sign to make it as accurate as possible.
Roanoke Park is an important historical Kansas City asset. Its value is greatest to its closest residents. Time and neglect have taken a toll on our neighborhood park. The wooded ravines have lost important trees and the rugged cliffs have become hidden by invasive plants. The park's beauty has become marred. Comparing old photos with more recent ones confirms that the park is not as enticing as it once was.Even when Kansas City was not in such dire financial straits, city resources for the park have been sparse. Many neighborhood parks are being recognized for their value as neighborhood assets and sanctuaries of peacefulness in urban areas. This trend is sweeping the nation and the globe as neighborhood groups join together to support local parks that have suffered from urban decay and government neglect.Our efforts on behalf of Roanoke Park are a public/private partnership initiative to honor the history and plant the future of Roanoke Park. We do this for the betterment of our city, and especially the neighborhoods that share Roanoke Park.