Kaw Point Park Gardens

Kansas City, KS

Yellow and black bumble bee on purple coneflower
Yellow and purple flowers in green foliage
Field of purple coneflowers

Top image: Click arrows
to see additional photos.
Photos: Craig Thompson

Size: Five beds (three beds sized approximately 3 x 7 feet and two beds sized approximately 4 x 8 feet) and 25,000 square foot woodland area

Year established: 2017

Year inducted: 2022

Category: Volunteer managed

Entrance Fee: Free

Description: The Kaw Point Park Gardens project was created to control erosion on a steep 25% slope. A stormwater grant through Wyandotte County, KS, funded the project. Several volunteers helped create the gardens, and West Star Energy donated a track hoe and excavator to help with the project.

The native plants in Kaw Point Park Gardens consist of five beds located below the boardwalk at the park. Three beds are in full sun. Each of these beds is approximately 3 x 7 feet. A flagstone path was created near these beds to provide the public and volunteer gardeners easy access. The other two beds are approximately 4 x 8 feet and are in partial shade.

In 2020, Friends of Kaw Point Park (FOKPP), Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation, and more than 40 volunteers cleared invasive bush honeysuckle from a woodland area and replanted with native woodland flowers, sedges, grasses and trees. Hundreds of plants were planted in a 25,000 square foot area. In 2021, an additional 200 understory native trees (8 species) were planted (with funding provided by a Unified Government of Wyandotte County Stormwater Education Grant administered by MARC). Botanical Belonging, Tonganoxie, KS, helped coordinate this project.

Friends of Kaw Point Park board members and volunteers meet monthly from March to November; work days consist of pulling weeds, deadheading, and picking up trash in the gardens and the park. In the winter months, a majority of the plants are left standing. Little bluestem and other native grasses are left standing for wildlife. Purple coneflower, sunflowers, and other tall-stemmed flowers are cut to leave a portion of the stem behind to serve as nesting cavities for native bees..

What Makes this Garden Excellent: Kaw Point Park Gardens demonstrates the use of native plants on a steep slope to control erosion and stormwater runoff.

Examples of Wildlife Spotted Here:
Monarch Butterfly
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
American Goldfinch
Baltimore Oriole
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Five-lined Skink

Ten Great Native Plants to See Here:
Andropogon gerardii (Big bluestem)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Asimina triloba (Pawpaw)
Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)
Cornus drummondii (Rough-leaved dogwood)
Liatris aspera (Rough blazing star)
Opuntia humifusa (Prickly pear)
Phemeranthus calycinus (Rock pink)
Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem)
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Aromatic aster)

Signage: FOKPP was awarded a grant by the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation to fund the “Historic Native Plants” project. Lewis and Clark identified several plant species on their expedition, some of  which still grow at Kaw Point Park. FOKPP identified 20 native plant species that were originally described in the Lewis and Clark journals and placed interpretive signs to identify these plants. Each sign provides a QR Code linked to additional information on the FOKPP website.

Accessibility: A flagstone path near the native beds provides the public and volunteer gardeners easy access.

1403 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City, KS 66115

39°6’59.7″N 94°36’38.0″W
39.11659, -94.61054

For More Information:
Contact person: Craig Thompson (cthompsun@gmail.com)

Visit the Friends of Kaw Point Park website.

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