The new Prairie Village park at 67th Street and Roe Avenue will bear the name of Laura Wassmer, the recently departed mayor who was in office as the city negotiated for the acquisition of the Faith Lutheran Church property back in 2016.
The city council on Tuesday approved a motion to formally name the park, which is slated to open later this year, Wassmer Park.
City policy dictates that new parks in Prairie Village are named after mayors who have completed at least one full term. Wassmer took over to fill the remaining couple of months of Ron Shaffer’s term as mayor when he moved to the Board of County Commissioners in early 2015, and then was unopposed in election to a full term that spring. She announced in April 2018 that she would not seek a second full term.
New mayor Eric Mikkelson said having the park named after Wassmer was very appropriate given her involvement in making it a reality.
“This one is particularly, I think, fitting because Laura was a champion of parks generally and of this park in particular,” Mikkelson said.
Council approves final designs, solar power for new park
The council this month also approved the installation of solar power infrastructure at the new park to power fixtures in the shelters and restrooms. The council voted 9-3 on Jan. 14 to use $20,000 in unallocated parks funds to pay for the solar installations. Councilmembers Andrew Wang, Brooke Morehead and Ted Odell were the dissenting votes.
The council in December accepted final design plans for the park, which will feature two playground areas, two shelters, a marker noting the site’s history as the former location of Faith Lutheran Church, and a bocce ball court next to a display garden.
The display garden will be kept up through a partnership with the Johnson County Master Gardeners. “The garden has the potential to be a seasonal canvas for the Master Gardeners and it is an exciting partnership,” said Prairie Village Senior Project Manager Melissa Prenger in a memo to the council last month.