PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- A unique collaboration between a developer and municipality means more green space for Prairie Village.
Loose Park is one of the most well known parks in Kansas City, Missouri. It has 75 acres of green space. Now, it has a rival. Saturday, Johnson County Parks and Recreation unveiled Meadowbrook Park, with more than 80 acres of green space.
It used to be the Meadowbrook Country Club and Golf Course at 91st and Nall. It was an area only a select few could access. But as of Saturday morning, it's now open to everyone.
Children yell on slides and climbing walls, from swings and zip lines. It is a sound that will echo at 91st and Nall for years to come.
"This was a very unique opportunity for us," explained the Deputy Director of Johnson County's Parks and Recreation District Jeff Stewart.
He's worked to bring the newest park to fruition.
"In Northeast Johnson County, it’s very difficult to find large tracts of land for green space that we could repurpose for the community here," Stewart said. "So this is unique because it’s not something that we’ll be able to do very often in the future."
The area used to house the 135 acre Meadowbrook Country Club and Golf Course. Now, 60% of that land is green space.
More than 80 acres is now playgrounds, pickle ball courts, walking trails, and a sledding hill that will be the stuff of wintertime legend. Shelters dot the area. The old clubhouse now houses classrooms and event space.
Across a bridge, roughly 50 acres of the former golf course is now residential homes. Construction on that phase continues, because Prairie Village continues to grow.
And there is a need for green space for this area. On Saturday, Stewart said, more than a thousand people had already been to the park.
"It was about 25 minutes drive," said one of those people. Tiffany Ward came from Shawnee with her five year old son just to take a spin on the equipment.
Because for Boston, the toy this is a personal spin cycle, a space ship, and whatever else he dreams it can be. "For sure it was worth it and we’ll definitely be coming back," his mother said.
Because it’s not just a playground. It’s a place that produces smiles and future memories. It’s the stuff of childhood.