Smiling children, hot dogs and peanuts, and the crack of a ball against a bat were the sights and sounds of summer at the new and improved Blue Valley Park, 23rd Street and Topping Avenue.
Among the first improvements are new ballpark lights on fields #1 and #2 which were dedicated on Saturday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., with Kansas City legend Buck O’Neil presiding.
Following the dedication ceremony, young ballplayers took on City officials and local media representatives in a wiffle ball game under the new lights.
The improved ballpark lighting will allow for more flexible use of the park’s facilities and meet league standards. The lights were completed in time for the first spring event at the park, a paintball tournament on April 24.
A new expanded concessions stand with upgraded restrooms and other site improvements are being planned at the park at the request of citizens who live in the area and those who frequently use the park. The City met with citizen groups prior to starting the project to determine the best use for funds allocated to the park improvement project and the priority in which the funds should be spent.
The project is one of more than 151 individual projects on the City’s Capital Improvements Management Office’s high-priority list.