New Kid-Designed Playground Unveiled at Parkwood Park

Published on August 17, 2023

Parkwood Playground Ribbon-Cutting Group Photo 8.17.23

Source: Joint Press Release from Unified Government of Wyandotte County/ KCK, Vibrant Health, KABOOM, and The CarMax Cares Foundation
Press Release Date: 8/17/2023

Press release logos for Parkwood Playground Event

Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS, Vibrant Health, The CarMax Foundation, and KABOOM! Unveil Kid-Designed Playground at Parkwood Park 

Community joins forces with nonprofit to advance playspace equity in Kansas City, KS

KANSAS CITY, KS - Today, kids at Parkwood Park in Kansas City, KS are celebrating as the city debuts a kid-designed, community-built playground. The months-long collaboration between Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS, Vibrant Health, The CarMax Foundation, and KABOOM! culminated this week as more than 150 volunteers built the new playspace that will spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for 300 of kids each year at Parkwood Park.

“Playgrounds are safe spaces where kids develop crucial physical, social and emotional skills”, said Unified Government Parks & Recreation Director, Angel Ferrara. “This is a much needed upgraded for the park, thanks for our community partners!”

The new playground was a collaborative effort by community members, including kids, who presented creative ideas for their dream playground during a Design Day in June.

“Vibrant Health is excited to be part of building a new playground in the Northeast Area of Kansas City, Kansas,” says Matthew Kleinmann, Director of Community Development for Vibrant Health. “Emphasizing the vital role that neighborhoods play in shaping health outcomes, this project not only supports our vibrant community building efforts, but it also helps residents of all ages in Wyandotte County have improved access to safe spaces for physical activity and play."

Playing is the essence of childhood and is a critical developmental need that provides countless physical, social, and mental health benefits. However, far too many children, especially in communities of color, do not have a place to play near where they live or learn. KABOOM! is working to end playspace inequity; ensuring that kids have access to quality places to play, something that should be part of every child’s life. The new playground at Parkwood Park, designed with the neighborhood’s unique needs and aspirations in mind, brings Kansas City one step closer toward ending playspace inequity and ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to experience the joys and benefits of play.

“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at Parkwood Park and ensure that kids in Kansas City have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn, and unlock their greatest potential.”

The CarMax Foundation has provided the majority of funding for the new playground through its $3.9 million partnership with KABOOM!, furthering its commitment to ending playspace inequity. Over the past decade, the Foundation has invested $17.5 million to create 200 playspaces and counting across the country with the volunteer support of more than 11,000 CarMax associates.

“CarMax is proud to partner with local communities where we live and work to provide access to playspaces for children who need them,” said Jason Ancarrow, president of The CarMax Foundation. “It’s exciting to help bring a playground to life that was designed by and for the community and our associates are energized by volunteering together and alongside the families that will enjoy the playgrounds for years to come.” 


Parkwood Playground Park Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Photos - 8/17/2023

Parkwood Playground Ribbon-Cutting Group Photo 8.17.23

Parkwood Playground site photo

Parkwood Playground Volunteers

Bridge Painters Parkwood Playground

Parkwood Playground Painters

Volunteers Parkwood Playground

Volunteers at parkwood playground build

Parkwood Park Build Day

Parkwood Playground benchmaking

Parkwood Playground Volunteers 8.17.23

Parkwood Playground Shelter Painting

Mayor Garner Speaking Parkwood Playground Build

ACA B. Cobbins and Gordon Criswell at Parkwood Playground Build

Parks and Rec. Staff at Parkwood Playground Build

Parkwood Playground build sign

Group Photo Parkwood Playground Build Event

Ribbon Cutting Group Photo 8.17.23

A Special Thanks to all the Amazing Community Partners, Volunteers, and Corporate donors! 




About Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas was consolidated in 1997 and roughly serves a population of 169,000 county and city residents and employs over 2,100 employees. The consolidation allowed the community to take a new and bold approach to many issues, including economic development. Unified Government encompasses Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas, Edwardsville and Bonner Springs Kansas, and a portion of Lake Quivira. Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas continues to see a lot of investment from the private sector as development continues across the entire community. To learn more about the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas at

About Vibrant Health
Vibrant Health is a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center operating four locations in Wyandotte County. Vibrant Health provides primary medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and women’s health care for children and adults. Serving 20,000 patients annually, Vibrant Health’s mission is to provide access to respectful, empowering, culturally sensitive and appropriate high-quality health care for the community, regardless of socio-economic obstacles. Recognizing that the health of our community occurs upstream in our built and social environments, Vibrant Health is proud to lend its support in building this playground at Parkwood Park as we work together to build a healthier, more vibrant community. This initiative underscores Vibrant Health’s commitment to holistic well-being, addressing play space inequity, and promoting children's physical and mental health. Learn more about Vibrant Health at, and follow us on social media at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn

About The CarMax Foundation
The CarMax Foundation promotes the causes associates care about to impact the communities where they live and work. Together with CarMax, Inc., the Foundation has donated more than $90 million since 2003. Funding programs are made available through a portion of CarMax, Inc.’s pre-tax profits. CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used autos, revolutionized the automotive retail industry by driving integrity, honesty and transparency in every interaction. The company offers a truly personalized experience with the option for customers to do as much, or as little, online and in-store as they want. During the fiscal year ended February 28, 2023, CarMax sold approximately 810,000 used vehicles and 590,000 wholesale vehicles at its auctions. In addition, CarMax Auto Finance originated nearly $9 billion in receivables during fiscal 2023, adding to its nearly $17 billion portfolio. CarMax has over 240 stores, more than 30,000 associates, and is proud to have been recognized for 19 consecutive years as one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. CarMax is committed to making a positive impact on people, communities and the environment. Learn more in the 2022 Responsibility Report. For more information, visit

KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


A special thanks goes to the corporate donors that provided breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the volunteers.

  • Starbucks KCK Legends Location
  • Chick fil a - Mission, KS Location 
  • Hy-Vee Grocery - Mission, KS Location 
  • Lamar's Donuts - Mission, KS Location 

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