Photo: The sculpture Marlborough Blomes, by metal sculptor Jake Balcom, will be installed at 82nd Terrace and Troost. 

Local Art, an Amphitheater and Playground Planned for Marlborough Green Park

By Leslie Alford-Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation

It is called Marlborough Blomes, and soon this sculpture will beautify 81st and Troost, an area once plagued with dilapidated buildings, litter and a lot of crime. Its new home will also have a new amphitheater and extensive playground. Terry Rynard, KC Parks and Recreation Director says working together pays off, “this was a tremendous opportunity for multiple departments, agencies and the community working together to improve the quality of life.” This project is all part of KCMO Water Service’s Green Stormwater infrastructure site, Marlborough Green. To round out this project, funding was a collaboration of Water Services, KC Parks and Rec,  KCMO Public Works and Council District 5.

Marlborough Blomes is by Jake Balcom, a metal sculptor who is creating this piece in his studio in the Crossroads. Balcom’s work can be found in many cities across America, but this is his first piece that will find its home in Kansas City. Balcom’s goal as an artist is to create pieces representing the symbiotic relationship between art and community. This sculpture will be near the new amphitheater at Troost and 82nd Terrace, the southwest corner of the site.

There will be an extensive playground at the northeast corner of the site, near 81st and Tracy Ave., that will have inclusive play equipment for kids of all ages and abilities. Features will include a bowl swing, 100-foot zip-line, embankment slide, tube slide, swings, a rope climbing ball called Cosmo and a balance beam called The Twist. 

Chad Hollingsworth, Landscape Architect for KC Parks, says working with the Marlborough Neighborhood Association and other non-profit groups has been rewarding, but the greatest reward will be at completion. “There was a lot of hard work put into the project, but once you see the kids having fun in the playground, that makes it all so worthwhile,” he says. The project is scheduled for completion in early December.

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