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Management & Board
Governance Overview
Contact us
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The Conservancy exists to respect, protect, and rehabilitate Penn Valley Park, to preserve and restore the historic integrity of Kessler’s vision.

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Guiding Principles

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[tab id=1]Advocate for safe, secure, diverse, and equitable use of the park and serve as a citizen advisory board to the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners on all matters concerning the Park.[/tab]
[tab id=2]Inclusive use of the park by developing recreation programs for ALL.[/tab]
[tab id=3]People-focused by involving partners and ensure meaningful participation by the community.[/tab]

[tab id=4] Innovative by promoting sustainable strategies such as ecological diversity, green design, and best management practices.[/tab]


501(C)3 FORMED IN MARCH 2010

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The Penn Valley Park Conservancy was formed in 2010 by a group of concerned citizens as a private public-benefit 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to advocate for, promote and protect historic Penn Valley Park. In 2012 the Conservancy signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Board of Parks & Recreation Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri, establishing a public/private partnership similar to that of other park conservancies.

By 2010 the George E. Kessler designed “rugged picturesque park” was far from picturesque. The park landscape conditions were in desperate need. Years of reduced maintenance and lack of removal of the invasive trees and bush honeysuckle choked the landscaping and hid the limestone cliffs. The legacy park’s infrastructure was crumbling. In addition, accessibility to the park was significantly reduced by road changes that increased vehicular traffic along the park edges and through the park.

Since its inception, the Conservancy has organized biannual volunteer bush honeysuckle removal days. In addition the organization has raised public and private funds for additional landscape cleanup along the west side of the park and landscape improvements around the Firefighter’s Memorial and The Scout. Through the Conservancy’s efforts, City funds of over $400,000 were obtained for curbs, sidewalks and street improvements along 29th Street and Penn Valley Drive.

The Conservancy has reviewed and advised the parks department on numerous projects including improvements to Penn Lake, Penn Valley Drive and the outside of Liberty Memorial. It has also provided input on new memorial designs and locations, public art projects and signage throughout the park.

In 2013 the Conservancy hired Leon Younger, nationally recognized park planner, to guide in the development of the Penn Valley Park Conservancy Strategic Plan. One result of the plan was the creation in 2014 of the annual Penn Valley Park Plein Air Fest where artists throughout the region compete for prizes through their paintings of and from the park.

On the edge of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Penn Valley Park, on account of the great diversity of lands within it, allows provision for all things that are desirable in a park and would be useful for all forms of play and recreation. Possibly the most attractive feature lies in the wide range of views obtained from the summits. Future Conservancy efforts are focused on restoring the landscape, creating a unique park identity, and implementing projects that increase public appreciation and use of Penn Valley Park.

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