KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Children enjoy basketball and the playground at Harris Park, named for the man who enjoys sitting on his steps across the street and watching his neighborhood transform into a community.
"It’s just something that needed to be done, I had the mind I had the resources I had the drive, I had the determination to get this done and I was able to do it,” Chris Harris said.
Harris hasn’t always lived in that home, he tore down his old home to build the park that spans the entire block from East 40th to East 41st St. and continues to clear overgrown lots on the other side of the street.
Soon he’ll tear his house down once again to build a 9-hole pitch and putt golf facility across the street from the park.
“When I was growing up as a kid I didn’t have that opportunity to play golf, and as I’m getting older I kind of like the game. I thought it would be a great idea to bring golf into the community, educate our kids and educate our adults because a lot of people in our area just don’t have the opportunity to play golf.”
Companies have already designed the course and are helping with fundraising for the estimated $500,000 it will take to build. The PGA has told Harris they could help with equipment and instruction.
As Harris walked by the spot where he first took a leap of faith and brought in a wrecking ball to his home he said: “the journey and the dream is actually coming true.”
Even if few realize whose dream it’s always been.
“I thought this was a little city thing, so he did the courts and all that?" T.J. Butterworth asked. "That’s a man stepping up for his community right there, that’s something to be proud of in our city.”
A groundbreaking date for the golf course hasn’t been set. Harris hopes there’s a phase two of the project that would improve the park adding soccer, volleyball, and pickleball.