Since it was founded the Roanoke Park Conservancy has worked with the parks department to seek PIAC funding for improvements throughout the park with great success. These requests have aligned with the 2011 Master Plan, and benefited from the strong support of nearby neighborhoods. The focus of the past few years has been improving the "south meadow," the lobe of the park southwest of the community center. These improvements include: renewing the tennis courts, new sidewalks, additional lighting, and entry pillars and signage.
The Roanoke Park Conservancy's 2020 PIAC request was only partially funded. Our 2021 request repeated and refined some elements, and added exciting new components.
We hope to add amenities to the tennis court / playground area including: a path around the back side of the tennis courts to view the cliffs and a planned pollinator planting; and a hand-pump water play area on the north corner of the tennis courts, and a big slide coming down from the stairs north of the tennis court. Because of the unique natural setting (bluffs, caves, and springs) we feel this provides a unique and inclusive play opportunity for all ages and abilities, especially younger children in Kansas City’s urban core. More fun, and more ways to enjoy Roanoke Park.
Click the image below for a pdf of the 2022 request. Our 2021 video presentation at the top of this page includes explanation of the South Meadow elements. The Karnes Curbs issue is this: Several springwater seeps are leaking water onto the sidewalk across from the Karnes playground and onto the roadway. In winter these become dangerous ice patches. A double curb in envisioned to direct water to the existing stormwater inlet near the western end of this series of seeps. Apart from the springwater issue, the existing curbs are failing.
The PIAC committee granted funding for improving the cave entrance with bat-friendly grating and interpretive signage! Additional funding was sought and awarded through a Missouri Department of Conservation Community Conservation grant. We're currently working with the parks department to coordinate the project.
Roanoke Park Conservancy board member Patrick Faltico reached out to our Urban Trail Co trail steward Scott Lillis with the idea for a connection to the upper trail just below W. Roanoke Drive, "The Layover." Patrick thought trail users would appreciate a connection from the top of the stairs, as an option to having to drop all the way to Karnes. They got started clearing the corridor on the morning of June 19, 2021.
Local BSA Troop members answered the call to put in some volunteer time. Conservancy board member and Jackson County Legislator Scott Burnett spent some time discussing local government with them for a merit badge requirement then met them at the trail site. Patrick had string trimmed some of the corridor and the boys helped by pulling and trimming other plants, picking up litter and moving rocks and logs.
A videoographer from KCMO Parks was there to document the scene. Check out that great video above! We can't emphasize enough how much Roanoke Park, and all of our parks, rely on the work of volunteers.
This wasn't the first time scouts have helped out. Another trail connection over by the Coleman Highlands Spring was the Eagle project of Ethan from Troop 16, working at that time with Brett Shoffner. In the same area, the bat boxes and the old roadbed planting were Eagle projects. Scouts have also helped multiple times with seeding efforts, most recently helping collect river oats seed last year, part of which went to KC Wildlands.
See you on the TRAILS!
A native serviceberry memorial tree was planted in the spring of 2018 by the parks department within view of the current location of Dance in the Park. Enjoy the blooms it has in spring and its elegance in all seasons, and give thanks for neighbors who add beauty and life to the park. A multi-trunked serviceberry was chosen for it's delicate features. Can a tree dance?
(2018's drought conditions haven't been kind to this new tree but we believe it will bounce back.)
Here's a memorial page from Bridging the Gap with more information about Judy.
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.
Enjoy the park, and stay safe. While Kansas City's mask mandate has been lifted, our area's vaccination rate and the emergence of new variants calls for maintaining caution to reduce transmission. Please enjoy the park responsibly by spreading out. The Westport-Roanoke Community Center is open again with normal hours after its recent construction closure. Please click their link above and call for the latest info. Here are the latest KCMO COVID-19 updates from the city. To avoid damaging trails, check Trail Status before biking or hiking off road. ("Rozarks" = Roanoke Park's 2.5 miles plus Rosedale's 3.5 miles.)