parks

Managing the country's more than 400 national parks, trails, sites, memorials, and more, takes the help of more than 20,000 men and women employed by the National Park Service, which is celebrating it's centennial birthday in August. For some, preserving all that history and heritage is more than just a job, it's a passion!

Monte Gross

Take a Saturday morning bike ride along the Kansas side of the state line and you’ll see plenty of people playing tennis, soccer and jogging in Johnson County. Ride a bit farther north to Wyandotte County, though, and it’s clear that outdoor recreation is a much rarer phenomenon.

On a map, the counties appear to have about the same amount of parks and recreational space. But over several decades, Wyandotte County’s parks fell into a state of neglect and disrepair – to the point of being ignored by many residents.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. Since it was first reported in September, Sean Owens and his group of volunteers have uncovered the entire staircase. 

West Terrace Park sits on the edge of a bluff on the west end of Kansas City's Quality Hill neighborhood.

It offers a scenic overlook of the West Bottoms, the Kaw and Missouri rivers, and downtown Kansas City, Kansas. 

In the 1960s, parts of the park — including a road, a grotto, and a staircase, were demolished for the Interstate 35 extension. Over time, the history and grandeur of what was left of the park was covered by mud, graffiti, trash and invasive bush honeysuckle. 

But Kansas Citian Sean Owens, who has admired the park since he was a kid, wants to uncover, cleanup and restore this park to its original beauty.

On a stormy April weekend, three kite-fliers were at the Overland Park Arboretum for Kite Fest. The event has been known to draw upwards of one thousand people, but these girls were the last kite-fliers standing, the most committed to getting their kite in the air.  This postcard takes you on their cloudy-sky adventure.

Listener42 / https://flic.kr/p/662EaZ

The memories of our childhood playgrounds remain with many of us as adults. A recent study of Kansas City's parkland revealed that low-income areas have fewer playgrounds in their parks than high-income areas.

Five Stories Behind KC Neighborhoods And Parks

Aug 2, 2013
maltoodle / Flickr

Ever wonder how neighborhoods and parks around the city got their names? Host Monroe Dodd was back during Friday's show with a panel of guests to tell the stories behind the names of public spaces and communities in Kansas City.

Chris Prewitt / KCUR

The Kansas City area has had its fair share of rain and clouds these last few weeks, but blue skies and sun are on the way just in time for National Trails Day

In celebration we put together this handy list of some of KC's best hiking trails: