Prairie Village officials break ground on Weltner Park renovations

Former Prairie Village Mayor Sue Weltner (in white top) broke ground at the park bearing her name with current members of the governing council in a ceremony Wednesday evening.

Prairie Village officials broke ground Wednesday night on the renovation of Weltner Park, a $315,000 project that will bring an extensive playground to a space that previously only featured a basketball and volleyball court.

The improvements are part of the upgrades suggested by Prairie Village’s Parks Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2009.

Park designer Doug Pickert explained the plan for the part to the crowd of elected city officials and city staff. The renovations include the addition of traditional playground equipment, as well as a natural play area similar to that added last year at Franklin Park. The trunks and large branches from two oak trees that had to be cut down to make way for the rerouted Cambridge Street will be used in construction of the natural play area.

Indigo Design's Doug Pickert explained the renovation plans to the crowd.

“It’s a simple program we put together, but it’s a beautiful setting, and I think it’s going to be well used,” Pickert said.

Former Prairie Village Mayor Sue Weltner, who the park is named after, used the occasion to extol the virtues of a strong parks system.

“When I was mayor, my biggest concern was keeping maintenance of the city up,” she said. “And parks go right along with that, because the amenities draw people in and keep values up.”

The target completion date for the road work on Cambridge Street is Oct. 1, with the park scheduled to open shortly thereafter.