Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trip to Missouri and Kansas - Kansas City

We spent four final three days in Kansas City.  We stayed with my sister Anola and her husband Peter.  One night the four of us gathered with my sisters, Mary and Louisa.  The weather had begun to
National Weather Service animated radar and total rain fall:  9 PM to 5:00 AM
moderate the day we arrived but that night there was significant rain.  In fact, there were thunderstorms all through the night producing 5-8 inches of rain in the area around their neighborhood.  Marilyn and I received weather alert notices about flash flooding which, in fact, closed several road around us.  The flooding occurred on Indian Creek which runs from Kansas into Missouri at 103rd Street.  Fortunately no one was

injured in this dangerous situation although there were some harrowing rescues and extensive property damage.  Photos show some of the flooding and damage to several car dealers along Indian Creek.

So it turned out that we could have our choice of triple digit heat with no rain or too much rain with more comfortable temperatures.  Experiencing both in five days is to fully experience summer in the Heartland.

Visitors can walk through the kangaroo haibtat...staying on
 the path is important.
On our last day in town, we decided to take advantage of "mild" temperatures in the upper eighties and visit the Kansas City Zoo.  Having grown up in Kansas City, I spent a lot of time in Swope Park with its outdoor theatre (Starlight Theatre), spacious green lawns and picnic areas, golf courses, lakes, and zoo.  The park totals 1800 acres, most of which is heavily forested.  It was a gift to the city in 1896 by Colonel Thomas Swope at the time, the largest landowner in the area.  The title was honorary since he had no military service.  It became part of the overall park plan developed by George E. Kessler, a major force in urban planning and landscape architecture in the first decades of the Twentieth Century.  Working with August Meyer, the first chair of the Kansas City park commission, Kessler produced a comprehensive report and plan (1893) that is considered to the beginning of the City Beautiful movement.  His exact role in Swope Park is not clear.

A Red Panda.  A bit bigger than a house cat.
"In December 1909 the Kansas City Zoological Gardens officially opened with four lions, three monkeys, a wolf, fox, coyote, badger, lynx, eagle and other birds.  Today more than 1,000 animals are available to see on the 202 acre site.  The Kansas City Zoo was honored in “America’s Best Zoos 2008” as one of the top 60 zoos in the United Sates and was ranked No. 1 in the nation for “African Animals and Exhibits.” and ranked in the top 10 in the nation for “Australian Animals and Exhibits” and for “Pachyderms: Elephants, Rhinos, Hippos.” In addition, famed ape expert Jane Goodall complimented that Kansas City has “one of the finest chimpanzee exhibits in North America.” In fact, “America’s Best Zoos 2008” ranked the Kansas City Zoo as the No. 1 zoo in the nation to see both chimpanzees and kangaroos."  (Quotations from https://www.kansascityzoo.org/follow-us/about-us/)

While the zoo is owned by the city, it is supported by an very active Friends of the Zoo.  "The Kansas City Zoo, once struggling, is on firm financial footing after voters in Jackson and Clay counties agreed to join a zoo taxing district in 2011. Residents of those counties pay a 1/8-cent sales tax to support the zoo, which continues to receive a city subsidy."  This why you see the above sign throughout the park.  Also residents of those counties receive a hefty discount on admission fees.

We were not able to cover the entire zoo but were able to experience the penguin exhibit, an aerial tram over the African plains exhibit, the extensive Australian collection.  The original zoo building is still there and in use but we were not able to visit it.  Next time for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the memories encapsulated in your marvelous photos! We enjoyed having you with us, as we always do!!