June 07, 2010

News Release

For Immediate Release

Dan Kinney Park Dedication June 12

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will host a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 12, for the Phase I opening of its latest development, Dan Kinney Park, 2701 S. Blackman Road.

The 18.3-acre park will open with Phase I improvements, including the department’s first modern universal design playground, picnic tables made from recycled plastic, tree plantings, shade structures, open play field, walking trail and parking. The playground features play elements, such as bongo drums, elevated platforms, draw bridges, balancing apparatus, upper and lower body exercising elements, rock climbing wall, periscope and tube slides.

Future improvements at the park include the Dan Kinney Family Center in Phase II. The Rotary Club of Springfield North, in partnership with the Park Board and other donors, are also currently involved in a capital campaign to build an accessible “Miracle League Field” at the park for Phase II. The field will have a special playing surface allowing easy access for wheelchairs, individuals using walkers and anyone who finds it difficult to walk due to health issues and/or blindness. An Aquatics Center is planned for Phase III development at Dan Kinney Park.

The new park sits on a total tract of 121.5-acres, which is also home to Springfield Fire Station No. 12 and operations for City Utilities of Springfield. The Fire station has a community room and walking track available for public use.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to develop our first park east of U.S. 65,” said Director of Parks Jodie Adams. “Through partnership agreements with City Utilities, the Park Board was able to stretch county tax dollars with the shared use of this parcel of land on Blackman Road. We’re energized for the next phase of construction to begin and hope to have a timeline ready soon to announce future development at Dan Kinney Park.”

An in-park paved walking trail loops around the park, with easy connection to a future trail Jack Henry & Associates plans to develop on its adjacent campus. Jack Henry granted an easement for sanitary sewer service for the park, which saved tax payers a considerable amount of dollars for site development.

The park is named for retired Director of Parks Dan Kinney, one of only three to hold the position in its 97-year history. Kinney served as director for 35 years, serving as Assistant Parks Director from 1971 to 1977, and was named director in 1977. Under Kinney’s leadership, the parks system grew from 33 parks and recreation facilities in 1971 to 88 in 2005, with more than 75 miles of linear park trails. Kinney led the department to NRPA Gold Medal status during his tenure, one of the highest recognitions a department can receive.

Approximate project cost for Dan Kinney Park Phase I development is $915,581, plus utility work. Nesbitt Construction, Inc. was the general contractor and Hood-Rich, Inc. was the architect for the project. This is a project of the 2006 voter-approved 1/4-cent County-Wide Parks Sales Tax.

Blackman Road improvements continue, north of Battlefield Road to Sunshine Street through summer 2010. The park will remain open during these improvements. However, access to the park will be affected at some point this summer when improvements from the park’s entrance to the south (to Battlefield Road) switch to improvements to north of its entrance (to Sunshine Street).

*Directions to site: Access to the park is currently only available from the north. From Sunshine Street and U.S. 65 – Take Sunshine west past Sam’s Warehouse to Blackman Road. Turn south on Blackman Road and continue to park on right.

For more information, media contact: Jodie Adams, Director of Parks, 417-864-1329; or Miles Park, Superintendent of General Services, 417-864-1326.