New trees to be planted in R Park

Wireless Zelkova tree

This Wireless Zelkova tree was planted by the playground to bring some shade to that area.

The City of Roeland Park is planting seven new trees in R Park for shade and biodiversity as part of a $3,000 grant it received from KCP&L. The grant is part of KCP&L’s third annual “Energizing our Environment Microgrant Program.” The grant application was written by the parks committee and the Citizens Fundraising Group that has raised money for R Park improvements over the years.

Installation of a drinking fountain

The installation of the R Park drinking fountain for people and dogs was completed in early June, 2016. This drinking fountain is a cooperative venture by The City of Roeland Park, Jan Duncan who owns Synergy Construction Company in Roeland Park and Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park.

The City of Roeland Park collaborated with Water One to provide the work of running the pipe under the street, tying into the service line, and installing a backflow preventer. Jan Duncan is generously donated materials and crew to dig the trench and lay the water line across R Park, construct a concrete location pad, and install the drinking fountain as his gift to the City. Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park, with the help of generous residents and businesses raised the money to pay for the drinking fountain itself.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this drinking fountain project to make it a reality in R Park.

Drinking fountain

Enjoy the new drinking fountain in R Park! Tell your dog friends that water is waiting for them, too!

Benches, picnic tables, trash receptacles and bicycle racks

In September, 2014, a team of five citizens was granted permission by the Parks Committee to research vendors and develop recommendations for a suite of products which included benches, picnic tables, trash receptacles and bike racks. The team interviewed parks directors from neighboring cities and landscape architects who work in the business for recommendations. The Parks Committee selected one option to move forward which was approved City Council.

Five benches were installed in October, 2015, bringing some creature comforts to the park. Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park purchased 18 amenities during the spring and summer of 2015, thanks to the many donations from citizens and businesses in Roeland Park. The City’s Public Works Department did the installation. The remaining five benches, three picnic tables, four trash receptacles and one bike rack were installed in the spring of 2016. A recycling bin was installed in the summer of 2016. The amenities, made of ipe wood and powder-coated steel were chosen by the Parks and Trees Committee for their durability, low maintenance, sustainability, good design and comfort. Ipe (ee-pay) is one of the most dense woods on earth as well as being resistant to bugs and rot. These handsome amenities will last 25-50 years and will weather to a pewter gray in color.

R Park bench

New signs added to R Park

R Park welcome sign

Three new signs have been added to R Park to welcome visitors as well as provide a map of the park. The main sign (pictured above) is placed close to the main parking lot. There are also signs in the northeast and southeast corners of the park.

Construction of a walking trail

In March of 2014, the Parks and Trees Committee prioritized the construction of a .46-mile walking trail through R Park. Starting in that same month, the Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park worked alongside City Council to coordinate a fundraising campaign, hold two fundraising events and secure a grant from the Sunflower Foundation of Kansas.

After more than eight months of hard work the construction of the trail was completed in November, 2014. The beautiful limestone trail was constructed by Synergy Construction Company at a cost of $28,600.

A ribbon cutting was held in December with Mayor Joel Marquardt and citizens of Roeland Park were able to officially walk on the new trail together.

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