Who we are
The Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park is comprised of eight dedicated Roeland Park citizens. This grassroots group formed in 2014 after the City of Roeland Park announced it was removing development projects such as the planned improvements to R Park due to the loss of income tax revenue from the scheduled closing of the local Wal-Mart. Our mission is to raise funds and work with the City Parks and Trees Committee to improve the mental, physical and social well-being and overall wellness of the community. Thanks to the efforts of Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt, City Council and members of the community like you, we are well on our way to reaching this goal.
Since our founding, many more people are have become auxiliary members of the group through their efforts to help plan and run fundraising events, volunteer at events, bake for bake sales, donate supplies, and brainstorm ideas. In 2014, 73 businesses and 84 individuals donated towards the revitalization of R Park. Thanks for everything you do!
Citizens Fundraising Initiative for R Park members
I have lived in Roeland Park since 1973. My daughter, Leslie, attended Roeland Park School, now the site we know as R Park. I am a part of the Citizen’s Fundraising Initiative because I love nature, enjoy the out of doors and feel that “green spaces” are very important to a city. Parks are “alive”. They are used for play, exercise, sanctuary, and nature loving. They are a place where people can meet who might otherwise never cross paths, and say hello. They are a place for neighbors to get together for an occasion or simply because they are sharing an amenity the city offers. It costs nothing to go to a park and can be healthy time spent in the outdoors.
I retired in 2012 from a manufacturer’s rep. company, as project manager. I now have time to contribute to my community in Roeland Park and am glad this opportunity was presented to me.
My name is Sara Coe and I’ve lived in Roeland Park for 11 years. I am originally from Iowa and moved to the KC area 13 years ago for a teaching job. My husband and I were drawn to Roeland Park because of its location to our jobs, the affordability, and the wonderful neighborhood. We love how close we are to everything and joke that we don’t like to venture any further south than 75th street. I became involved with the citizens group because I have always felt strongly about the former school property being a park. When we first moved to our home, the school building was still there and there were many discussions about what should be done. We love that the area has become a park and spend a lot of time there each week. We have met so many people there. It definitely gives Roeland Park a small town feel. Rarely does a visit go by where I don’t meet someone new or see someone I know. I’m excited about the prospect that we can develop this space into a beautiful area for our children to enjoy. I’m so happy to be involved in this work knowing that our city is benefiting. Roeland Park is the place to be and R Park is one of the many ways that we are proving that!
Gretchen and Ardie Davis
We have been proud to call Roeland Park our home community for more than forty years. It was a great place to raise our daughter, Sarah, and son, Lee, who went to Roeland Park Elementary School and today live in the KC metro area. We are the proud grandparents of five wonderful grandchildren. Parks, greenspace, walking trails, the arts, public sculpture and other amenities that encourage healthy lifestyles and citizen interaction are important to us and to the health and image of the Roeland Park community. As citizens we feel a responsibility to do our share toward making Roeland Park a safe, healthy, and vibrant city for residents of all ages. Ardie’s professional career was in public and private sector management, teaching, and communications. As a retiree he’s a freelance writer with a primary focus on barbecue. Gretchen was a teacher for over 35 years.
Judy and Tom Hyde
We have called Roeland Park home for more than forty years. Our daughter Kate attended Roeland Park Elementary School and lives in the KC metro area. Judy has a background in art and worked for the school district Technology Center for 18 years. She is a member of Roeland Park’s Sustainability Committee, and is active in a variety of creative endeavors, including Heartland Writers for Kids and Teens. Before his retirement, Tom worked both in management and, most recently, as a technician in the service industry sector. He is on the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Because of our shared love of nature and our commitment to Roeland Park’s continuing vitality, we feel privileged to be part of this citizen collaboration working toward the enhancement of R Park.
While she has only live in the city for a little over 3 years, Sarah is passionate about the Roeland Park community. She has found it to be an extremely welcoming area with an inspiring group of citizens of great values. She loves the green space of R Park and thinks it is important for the city to have such a gathering space. She is excited to be a part of the citizens fundraising group working to bring the park’s plans to fulfillment.
She enjoys nature and the outdoors and spends a lot of time walking her dog in the area, especially through the new trails in R park. She works in management for a marketing firm in Lenexa.