KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A highly visible but long-neglected part of the Kansas City, Missouri, parks system is getting a make-over, and officials say that they hope to get it done in time for the city’s big moment in the national spotlight.
Crews have begun ripping out overgrown brush and cleaning up Penn Valley Park near downtown in hopes of making it an attractive place for residents and visitors alike, and officials say that they hope to have the work done in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, set for July at Kauffman Stadium.
The $7 million project also includes cleaning up the lake on the west side of the 175-acre park, improving Penn Valley Parkway-which runs through the center of the park, and cleaning and repairing the Liberty Memorial tower.
The park, which is home to the city’s iconic “Scout” statue, has become known in recent years as the home of the annual Rockfest heavy metal concerts, but otherwise attendance at the park is often sparse, and it has a reputation as a high-crime area.
Officials say that the project, which they hope to have done in time for All-Star Week and the expected 100,000 visitors, should help to pump new life into the 109-year-old park.