June 26, 2021

This month, Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has proudly welcomed back the return of his signature summer program “Kids to the Parks” following last year’s cancellation due to the Coronavirus. The program provides an opportunity for youth in the urban core to explore and enjoy the Jackson County Parks + Rec system, the third-largest county parks system in the country.

“Since 2016, I have made it a priority to introduce kids from inner city neighborhoods, just like where I grew up, to a new world of adventure that’s right in their backyard,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “Kids to the Parks eliminates the barrier to access our parks and as a result, we have had a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of youth over the years. I will never forget one of many experiences with the children, one of whom asked on a trip to Longview Lake Beach if there were sharks in the water! For the record, there are no sharks at the swimming beach, but such curiosity allows our parks staff to combine education with fun. It is my hope that every child walks away with an unforgettable experience that brings them back to the parks with their family and friends.”

In its 5th programmatic year, Kids to the Parks will host 18 exciting excursions to county parks from June 8 to July 29. The program will reach over 200 children from eight participating organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (Independence, Wagner, and Hawthorne Units), Crittenton Children’s Center, Guadalupe Center, Hillcrest Community Center, Mattie Rhodes Center and Whatsoever Community Center.

Each community agency can choose two of the following activities during their visit:
A “Day on a Boat” at Lake Jacomo (includes a pontoon boat ride and the chance to take out a canoe, kayak or pedal boat)
“Pirate Cruise” on Longview Lake
“Historic Tour” of Missouri Town 1855 or Fort Osage National Historic Landmark
A “Day on a Beach” at Longview Lake Beach
A “Sand Cinema Movie Night” at Longview Lake Beach

New this year is Jackson County’s Golden Glove Baseball Camp, a free one-day event set for Thursday, July 29, at the Frank White, Jr. Softball Complex. Hosted by County Executive White, an 8-time Gold Glove award winner, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs, all participating youth will receive a baseball glove and t-shirt courtesy of Sports America.