Wichita parks

Wichita Park and Recreation Department

Wichita’s park system is set to grow in the coming years.

The last time the city approved a Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces plan was in 2008. But a lot has changed since then—namely, the economy.

At a City Council workshop this week, the parks department outlined a new plan to reinvest in its current parks and expand into sites in east and west Wichita.

City of Wichita

City officials, along with Parks and Recreation, are seeking public feedback regarding the Aquatics Master Plan.

The plan, announced last month, calls for the replacement of four of the city’s 10 swimming pools--McAdams, Orchard, Boston and Linwood--with water playgrounds. 

In addition, Edgemoor Swimming Pool will be renovated and will open again 2020. The remaining five pools will be updated over the next seven years. The Parks and Recreation Department plans to spend $18 million on the changes.

Wichita.gov

A city park in west Wichita will receive some upgrades after City Council members approved an expanded budget for the project.

Buffalo Park, near Central and Maize, is set to receive a new pavilion, an interactive splash pool, added parking and what more green space.

The city is allocating an additional $400,000 to the project, which is expected to cost well over $1.5 million. The city has secured a $250,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will be used for the project.

Hugo Phan

A large plot of land near the intersection of 29th Street and Maize has been donated to the City of Wichita. As KMUW’s Sean Sandefur reports, the plan is to use it for wetlands preservation.

Hugo Phan

The opening of a “pop-up park” in downtown Wichita could be pushed back to September.

wichita.gov/facebook

Wichita Park & Recreation officials announced a change in the name of the department’s mascot on Monday. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

The mascot was introduced as Buddy the Bison in late April, but officials were later notified that Buddy the Bison has an existing trademark. Troy Houtman, the Director of Park & Recreation, said the bison's name was changed to Barry to avoid trademark infringement.

Does Wichita Have Enough Parks?

Jun 5, 2013
Ty Nigh / flickr Creative Commons

 A report released Wednesday from The Trust for Public Land on the nation's park systems ranks Wichita 34th out of the 50 largest U.S. cities.

ParkScore rates city park systems on a scale of zero to five park benches, with Wichita earning two. Wichita scored well on median park size but was hurt by low marks for park and playground access.