April 23, 2022

Jackson County Parks + Rec is pleased to announce the grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly remodeled Sam & Lindsey’s Playground on Saturday, April 30. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Hartman-Heritage Trailhead on the Little Blue Trace located at 20149 E. Jackson Drive, Independence, MO.

“As a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, I look forward to welcoming children of all abilities to play, explore and be happy at the new and improved Sam and Lindsey’s Playground,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “The two children who bear the playground’s name were tragically stripped of that innocence and it is in their honor that we continue our commitment to provide a safe place for kids to simply be kids. I am in awe of the strength of Sam and Lindsey’s mother Tina, who has graciously worked with our Parks + Rec Department to ensure we are putting our best foot forward on behalf of her beloved children. Together, we will celebrate Sam, Lindsey and all the children of Jackson County.”

The playground was built in 2008 in memory of siblings Sam and Lindsey, 7 and 8, who tragically lost their lives at the hands of their father. Over the years, the playground has provided a sense of comfort for Tina Rinne as she continues to celebrate her children’s lives.

“I want to thank Jackson County Parks + Rec for upgrading Sam and Lindsey’s Playground and making it user friendly,” said Tina Rinne, Sam and Lindsey’s mother. “The color is awesome and I cannot wait to see everyone playing on the playground. I know my children would have thoroughly enjoyed being here.”

Ms. Rinne will be joining County Executive White and Jackson County Legislator Tony Miller at the playground re-opening and ribbon cutting. The new, accessible playground is designed with age-appropriate sections for children aged 2-5 and 5-12 and replaces equipment that was originally built and installed in 2008. Full of color, the remodeled playground includes slides, swings, climbers, activity panels and even a unique “sound chamber” where kids can create their own music. The playground also offers commemorative benches, picnic tables and bike racks.

“It brings me great joy to know that we are doing our part to keep the memories of Sam and Lindsey alive,” said 3rd District At-Large Legislator Tony Miller, who also serves as chairman of the Land Use Committee. “In their absence, they have brought smiles to many children over the years and we can only hope that they too are beaming with excitement about the new features we’ve added to the playground. I’d like to thank Sam and Lindsey’s mother Tina and our Parks + Rec Department for their collaboration on this meaningful project. May this playground be a place of joy and remembrance.”

“This playground honors Sam and Lindsey, as it represents love, happiness and the fun of children at play,” said Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman.

Sam & Lindsey’s Playground is located at the 10.9-mile marker on the Little Blue Trace, the longest trail in Jackson County at 15.5 miles, which begins at the Blue Mills Trailhead in Independence and travels southwest along the river to Phelps Road in Kansas City.