The Roeland Park City Council this week cleared the way for the installation of several new additions to R Park and determined to have a community forum to get more citizen input on the city’s parks.
A new schematic for the design of R Park shows the potential for a number of changes at the park, including the possibility of a sand volleyball area, a shelter, basketball court, soccer fields, bocce ball, a natural play area and more. The design was produced by a group of volunteer architects. The council had not approved funding for a professional design firm to help in the layout of the future park amenities.
A citizens fundraising group collected the money to buy park benches, picnic tables, bike racks and trash receptacles for the park. Five of the benches area being installed currently and the council gave permission for the remaining 13 items to be installed by public works next spring. The council has discussed several times how to proceed with placing the new park additions and some citizens have expressed concerns about the delay.
Mayor Joel Marquardt said that the latest design for the parks was the result of several rounds of input, but it is likely to get some modification. Residents who want to give feedback on the future of the park, the mayor said, might find it most productive to base comments on the latest schematic.
A much older design for the park is considered out of date by park advocates and the city. Since then, the citizens group also raised funds for a limestone walking path through the park that has been installed, and is working on a drinking fountain.
Marquardt said a plan for the park would provide a basis for future donations so they could be placed without looking disjointed. A landscape architect’s perspective on trees would still be valuable as well, Marquardt said.
Changes also have been proposed for Nall Park.