From ‘sprayground’ to Grand Lawn, Prairie Village council gets detailed look at Meadowbrook park plan

Kelly VanElders of Landworks shows the Parks Master Plan for Meadowbrook to the Prairie Village City Council.
Kelly VanElders of Landworks shows the Parks Master Plan for Meadowbrook to the Prairie Village City Council.

The Prairie Village City Council on Monday got a look at the results of the compacted, intense process that has led to the creation of a plan for the 87-acre park on the Meadowbrook Country Club property that is expected to open to the public in 2017.

At the council meeting last night, Landworks Studio Director of Landscape Architecture Kelly VanElders presented the parks master plan, which is currently slated to come before the council for final approval Dec. 7.

Here’s a look at the most current overhead layout of the park (click to enlarge):


Among the highlights  of the plan are:

  • The storage shed adjacent to the main country club parking lot will be demolished and replaced with a “grand pavilion” shelter that can be used for gatherings and parties. The facility will feature prairie style architecture, with “broad, expansive planes laid at different angles,” VanElder said. A small restaurant or snack bar may be included as part of the facility.
  • The grand pavilion will over look the park’s main playground area, which will include a large rope climber and orb climber and stainless steel slide. VanElder compared the play structure to that at Valley Park in Grandview, Mo. The play area will also feature swings and a zip line.
  • A “sprayground” will sit near the play structures, and will feature water play areas that will be open during the warmer months.
  • South of the kids play areas will be a series of senior exercise features and a space for lawn games.
  • A “Great Lawn” will run southeast from the back of the clubhouse toward the main park drive and ponds. “This will be our one formal lawn space that will be irrigated and manicured,” VanElder said. The space could be the site of festivals or concerts, and will run the length of two football fields.
  • To the east of the great lawn will be unprogrammed open space that Landworks envisions could be used as practice space for sports teams. The space will not have any fixed infrastructure like soccer goals, but it will be graded so that teams can use it.
  • The main trail running around the perimeter of the park will have a rubberized top layer to make it an attractive loop for runners. VanElder said it will be approximately one mile long.
  • Natural play areas and native planting areas will be scattered throughout the park. “This is part of keeping with the ‘Meadowbrook’ theme,” VanElder said. “We wanted to keep some meadow there.
  • Two of the Meadowbrook tennis courts will remain while the other two will be converted into a set of eight pickleball courts.

VanElder also presented the council with the company’s latest take on the northeast corner of the park, which has proved a sticking point in negotiations between neighborhood residents and the developers thus far. Initially, the park plans called for a public road to stretch from Nall Avenue all the way through the park to Roe Avenue, where it would exit in the northeast corner of the property. But pushback from members of the Kenilworth neighborhood over concerns about traffic prompted the developers to replace that idea with a 30-stall circular parking lot and drop off point that would provide pedestrian access to the park trails.

Here’s a look at the current layout:


The lack of a public road at the northeast corner prompted concern from at least two councilors, Sheila Myers and Ruth Hopkins. Myers said the lack of a road there was a “red flag” for her.