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Change Agent July 5, 2009 Change Agent

Kansas City has a vast variety of neighborhood playgrounds all with different needs depending on where they are located in the city. While the city is known as the City of Fountains it is the park department that is responsible for keeping the main boulevards, fountains beautiful, and playgrounds well manicured. The parks department does not have a large budget and at times has had to cut back and scale down improvements to neighborhood parks. Westside Park playground, in the West Plaza neighborhood, is one of those parks. A major concern of this parent is that the equipment is out dated; the wood chips have broken glass and trash in them, the dogs and neighborhood cat use it as a their private litter box, the play equipment is not handicap accessible and most of the equipment has peeling paint. Westside Park is one of those parks where funding came up short. With the help of West Plaza Neighborhood Association board, neighborhood volunteers and grant money it would transform an outdated, unsafe, and much needed makeover of the play ground into a handicap accessible and environmentally friendly safe playground in the park. Westside Park is situated on the west side of the city in mid-town. It is bordered by the state line on one side, residential home on the other three sides. It is situated on nine beautiful acres of land. It has a baseball diamond that is always in use for a neighborhood game or organized leagues. But what gets the most use is the playground area. From early morning to late evening kids and their parents can be seen using this area of the park. Since it is the only large green space in the area, it is used by dog owner too. The overuse has taken its toll on this beautiful park. The first step in organizing a playground make over is to assess the needs of the

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