|Kaw Point is the name given to the point where the Kansas River terminates at the Missouri River in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, Kansas. Kaw Point is also where the Missouri ceases its southerly course and turns to flow generally east through the State of Missouri to the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
Eleven years ago the Kansas Riverkeeper program was initiated at Kaw Point. At that time, the Lewis and Clark historic camp site was little more than a trash dump. A group of inspired individuals headed by Laura and Mike Calwell envisioned a park that would compliment the two great rivers that converge at this picturesque point. Unfortunately, at that time, all that was visible was waste barrels, junk cars, overgrown weeds, old railroad ties, abandoned buildings, trash, and a neglected riverbank.
The Kansas Riverkeeper group asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to come to Kaw Point to help them launch their program. He arrived in Kansas City, KS on April 7, 2002, and was surrounded by an eager news media. With his back to the river, he spoke eloquently about preserving our nation’s waterways. When he completed his talk, a local anchorwoman asked, “Mr. Kennedy, what do you see when you look around here today?” His reply was “That’s easy, I see a squandered resource.” Mayor Marinovich nodded her head in agreement and the Kaw Point Riverfront Park was born.
Members of the Riverkeeper group built a boat ramp and worked diligently to get the park ready for the 2004 Lewis and Clark Bi-Centennial. By the end of May 2004, the park had a fully operational concrete boat ramp, a new educational Confluence of Nations Plaza, 600 yards of gravel pathways, a 1500 foot long boardwalk and a large floating boat dock. Many new amenities have been added over the years and the park has been designated as a National Historic Site Destination by the National Park Service.
Mr. Kennedy’s well chosen words ignited hundreds of volunteers and brought this historic site into the national spotlight.
|This jewel in Kansas City, Kansas, is a magical place to hold an event. A few days ago on August 31st, the KC Blues Fest held its event at Kaw Point Riverfront Park. Here are some photos to give you a preview of what is in store for you at Concert for the Climate.
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