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Our vision is to create fantastic play spaces within walking distance available to all. 



To decrease alcohol and drug use by teens in USD 290 by 8 percent by 2020, by prioritizing teens for increasing physical activity, social development, and play.

Our goals include the bold goal above, with the headline to read “Best Teen Park in the State of Kansas” when we are done.  We also are planning to do a “Hoppin’ Ottawa” campaign this spring to have fun, active play of hopscotch on our trails, institutions (city hall, schools, hospital), downtown and retail businesses, and anywhere we can encourage it!  We are also trying to raise funds for a new play area in an identified “play desert” by the desert mapping done previously.  We also have plans to add one more play pod along a trail, and if funds allow, one new full court basketball pad in a small park, and half-court in the “desert” park.  We are exploring both soccer golf and pickle ball as well.  We continue to work on our relationships with our partners and the City Commission to carry out our mission.



The purpose of the Play Task Force is to improve the health and welfare of the community through play. To support this mission, we want to provide great spaces and amenities increasing active play for all children to enhance family and community relationships, with special attention to special populations. We want to encourage all citizens in our community to play at work, at home, and in our parks, through partnerships with as many organizations as possible.


Key strategic objectives (selected from Parks Master Plan): 


1.1 Master Plan Teen Adventure Area, South Kanza Park Location- Include developing a teen adventure area, centered on the skate park/bike ramps/ in-line skating features. This could include a climbing wall, teen play area with boulders, zipline/slack line, basketball or other similar activities. This work will be in partnership with local youth and their desires for such an area. This should include collaborative work with the Tree Board as well. 2014 – City


1.2 Connectivity and Safe Routes to School – Improve sidewalks, cross-walks, traffic signals on Main St and at major street crossings, and sidewalk lighting. Ensure connectivity plan sufficiently address need for connection between schools, neighborhoods and parks/playground/trails and increase use of rail trails. Master plan identified need for better pedestrian circulation within multiple parks and trail systems. Ongoing 


1.3 School Playground Joint Use and Tot Lots – City should establishing a formal joint use agreement between the ORC and USD 290 with a clear plan for how those playgrounds will be made available during the week and on the weekend. As well as establishing tot lots in areas where families are otherwise dependent on school playgrounds in their neighborhoods. 2015 – City 


1.4 Master Plan Freedom and Walton Park – These neighborhood parks should include some play area as well as amenities desired by the neighborhood to increase their uses of the space. For Freedom park, this will largely be replacement or refurbishment, with Walton being all new amenities. In addition, this should include collaborative work with the Tree Board. 2015 – City 


1.5 Master Plan Forest Park, Lakeside and Kanza Park- Determine, what if any, additional amenities can be placed in Forest and Kanza Park, and where. Determine what amenities should be placed along with the pond in Lakeside, with particular work on a garden area, fishing, and outdoor nature features, along with walking path. This should include collaborative work with the Tree Board. 2015 – City 


1.6 Park Signage – Improve signage throughout the park system. Good directional signs and park entrance signs add to the branding and image of the City. 2015 – City 


1.7 Master Plan, Small Neighborhood Parks and City Park – Enhance “playability” of City Park by adding innovative play elements that tie to adjacent historic, art and cultural institutions. 


1.8 Lifecycle Replacement Program – Develop funding sources for park and facility amenities and infrastructure for items such as fencing, lighting, signage, backstops, benches, and parking lots to increase frequency of on‐going replacement. 2016 – City

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