Archive for Friday, August 9, 1996


August 9, 1996


The picnic shelter, play field, playground equipment, restrooms, parking lot, lighting, walkways, water fountains, ball diamond, tennis court and basketball court are all done.

Now it's time to party.

Saturday morning, the Lawrence Department of Parks and Recreation will celebrate the grand opening of its neighborhood park development at Prairie Park, 2811 Kensington.

The $375,000 project was financed with portions of the city's share of a one-cent countywide sales tax passed by area voters in 1994.

Playground equipment -- developed mainly from recyclable materials -- was made possible with a $15,000 contribution by Wal-Mart and the "E" Patrol, which gained funds by recycling milk jugs.

Several groups collaborated to make the project possible, said Fred DeVictor, the city's director of parks and recreation. The city, the Lawrence school district and a residential developer all swapped land in the area to improve access to all three uses: the park, Prairie Park School and nearby homes.

A green strip between homes and Mary's Lake improved drainage and retained a natural section of trees, DeVictor said -- part of a continuing preservation of unique geographic features.

"It's the only lake in our park system, and the ... Kansas Biological Survey has recorded an impressive number -- 180 species -- of flowering plants in the virgin prairie area," he said.

The grand opening celebration will include representatives from the city, the school district and Wal-Mart. Refreshments will be served, and the public is encouraged to attend, said Vicki Cummiskey, the city's communications coordinator.

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