esidents across Platte County will begin to see three area parks take shape over the summer months. Platte Ridge Park, Platte Purchase Park and Green Hills Wildlife Reserve, have all received the attention of the Platte County Parks and Recreation staff, as well as outside partnerships, in an effort to develop quality parks for everyone across the county.
The 215-acre Platte Ridge Park, located one mile north of Platte City on Hwy. 371, is a joint effort between the county and the City of Platte City to bring the residents in the area a park they’ve been longing for.
“The partnership was instrumental in bringing the project to completion,” said Platte County Parks and Recreation Director Brian Nowotny. “The county was able to put in the resource of capital and the city came in and promised to maintain it once it was built.”
The City of Platte City is funding its portion through its parks 1/2 cent sales tax.
The $2.4 million phase one improvements will take place on brand new park land, according to Nowotny.
“This is one key project from the parks master plan,” said Nowotny.
“That plan calls for regional parks throughout the county and one area specifically identified was Platte City in the center part of the county.”
In Phase 1, Platte Ridge Park will see the construction of a soccer/football complex comprised of four fields, along with a concession/restroom area. Nowotny stated the Platte City Parks and Rec Department will not only be in charge of maintaining the park but also offering the programs.
“At this time there are no dedicated soccer/football complexes of its kind dedicated to those sports in this area,” said Nowotny.
The county received a $150,000 grant from the State of Missouri to go toward the development of the soccer fields.
Phase 1 will also bring the expansion of the pond to create a kids fishing pond. The pond will eventually be filled with fish provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
A new shelter house has also been constructed in the same spot where a farmhouse used to be erected that was owned by people from whom the county purchased the land. The shelter house will be available for family picnics and reunions and can be reserved through the City of Platte City.
In addition, the park will see the opening of a half mile walking path around the pond and the county commission has directed the parks and rec department to establish a playground area.
According to Nowotny, the first of phase of improvements is scheduled to be completed by early September.
In Phase 2, Platte Ridge Park will receive a baseball/softball four-plex, an extension of the walking path, as well as a playground at the soccer fields and a concession/restroom area.
The 140-acre Platte Purchase Park, located north of 152 Hwy. off Platte Purchase Dr., will see $2.3 million in funds geared toward its improvements.
The county, along with partners, City of Kansas City and the Clay/Platte Baseball Association, have each compiled their resources to address another high priority on the parks master plan.
Phase 1 will feature a brand new girls softball complex featuring four fields, a family park area with a shelter, a playground, one mile walking path and two open play areas.
“The softball complex is the first of its kind up in the area dedicated for girls softball,” said Nowotny.
“Open play areas are also something we are really lacking right now in Platte County and this will begin to address that need.”
The next phase will bring the restoration of a wetland area, extensions of the walking path by another mile, and improvements to the baseball complex, such as parking improvements, the addition of a new playground and dugout improvements.
“The City of Kansas City has committed to putting in $1.5 million into phase two of the park,” stated Nowotny.
Nowotny stated that the county is responsible for the initial improvements to Platte Purchase Park and then the other two entities will collaborate together on maintenance and operation.
Phase 1 is also expected to be complete the early part of September.
Also in the southern portion of Platte County is the 45-acre Green Hill Wildlife Preserve, located half mile north of 9 Hwy. on Green Hills Road.
Nowotny said that the county, with the help of the non-for-profit Friends of the Green Hills Wildlife Preserve, have partnered to make $1 million in improvements to the nature preserve. Of the $1 million, the county received a $200,000 grant from the State of Missouri.
The preserve, which is the home to the historic Day Cabin, will receive a few changes over the next couple of months.
In the first phase there will be the opening of a trail head, the construction of a shelter, the development of a one mile trail, and restoration of the upland prairie area.
In Phase 2, Green Hills Wildlife Preserve will receive an extension of its nature trails, and development of both indoor and outdoor classrooms on the site for educational purposes and recreational activities through the use of the Day Cabin.
“This project is a part of the balance of recreational approach to the county’s parks system master plan to provide both passive and active recreational opportunities,” said Nowotny. “These improvements will offer a passive nature-based recreational experience to make the master plan truly balanced and complimentary.”