© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mahomes' Foundation Is Renovating Kansas City's Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park — Here Are The Plans

Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation
The proposed design for Kansas City's Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park includes accessible slides, swings, a merry-go-round and more. The parks department and designers are now seeking public feedback on their initial proposal.

Initial design proposals for the park have been released to the public. Residents now have a chance to weigh in with their own ideas and suggestions.

Martin Luther King Jr. Square Park is one step closer to being the home of Kansas City's newest inclusive playground, thanks to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his foundation.

The design team behind the park's renovations presented their initial proposals in a virtual meeting. Now, members of the public are invited to give feedback and respond to those designs — while there is still time to adapt them.

“This park and its location really have the most opportunity to create a space where children of all colors, all backgrounds, all abilities can come together and play,” said Kristin Seifried, of playground equipment and design company Kompan.

Mahomes’ 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is funding the project. The foundation first approached Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation with the idea in September. Gunter Construction won the $1-million contract to do the work.

“I thank and appreciate Patrick for his continued investment in our community, and his commitment to social and racial justice — yet another reason we are so privileged to have him here in Kansas City,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said at the time in a statement.

The park is at Swope Parkway and Woodland Avenue, just south of Brush Creek, and is on a series of avenues that the parks department is considering renaming in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As it stands, park designs include a rope bridge and skywalk, wheelchair accessible slides and merry-go-round, swings with a variety of seating options, music-making panels, and some play features built into an existing hill. Areas of the park that have equipment would also feature surfacing that allows make them wheelchair accessible.

“We want children of all abilities playing together,” Seifried said, “and that benefits us all as a whole."

The parks department is using an interactive online map to let people see the design proposal and submit their ideas for the park. Another virtual community meeting is scheduled for Feb. 22, when the design team will present an updated set of plans informed by the feedback.

Parks department landscape architect Richard Allen said they are actively seeking funding for the design and construction of a bridge that would connect the park to the existing Brush Creek Trail. Allen said sidewalks and crosswalks will be built on the south side of Brush Creek from Cleveland Avenue west to The Paseo.

To help raise funds for the project, the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is offering a limited number of personalized Legacy Bricks.

Construction on the project is tentatively slated to begin March 15. The team hopes the park will be ready for the public in the fall.

More information about the project can be found on the parks department website.

As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.