View this email in your web browser.

Second Quarter 2018

This newsletter provides a quarterly look at successful programs, recognitions and activities in our First Suburbs communities. To suggest a success story for a future issue, contact Georgia Nesselrode.

Community News

Gladstone, Missouri, opens a multigenerational playground at Hobby Hill Park — The city of Gladstone, Missouri, has recently completed the installment of the city’s newest amenity, a multigenerational playground at Hobby Hill Park. The city has made the park an accessible destination that people of all ages can use — a truly innovative public space. The park includes a 7-acre section with multigenerational play structures, including a children’s playground and an adjacent “adult play area.” In the adult area, there is a short fitness-challenge course, a climbing boulder and exercise equipment that AARP Missouri helped fund. There is also a three-quarter-mile trail that people of all ages can enjoy.

Regional cities recognized in online rankings — Many first suburb communities are highly ranked in Niche's 2018 "Best Places to Live " Kansas state rankings. Fairway, Westwood, Roeland Park, Mission, Merriam, Mission Hills, Overland Park and Prairie Village are among the top 25. Niche rankings provide a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability of an area. The rankings take into account several key factors, including the quality of local schools, crime rates, housing trends, employment statistics and access to amenities.

Safewise study says Mission Hills, Kansas among safestSafewise, a home safety and security company, ranked Mission Hills, Kansas, 36th on its 2018 list of safest cities in America. Safewise analyzed violent and property crimes reported to the FBI for the year of 2016 to come up with the list.

Unified Government is grant finalist for a special field refurbishment — The Scotts Company and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced in late March the four community organizations that fans will vote on to receive improvements to their local ball fields. The Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program provides youth with modern, playable baseball and softball fields. The program selected the Unified Government's Parks and Recreation Department as a finalist from 350 grant applications across 315 cities in 43 states seeking refurbishments for their youth fields.

Independence breaks ground on phase two of community solar project — In March 2018, city leaders joined representatives from MC Power to break ground on phase two of the Community Solar Project at the former Rockwood Golf Course. This is the latest expansion of the solar program in Independence, Missouri. When complete, Independence will be home to the largest single community solar project in the state of Missouri. MC Power will install solar panels that will generate an additional 4.5 megawatts of power on the southern half of the existing golf course. When phase two is complete, the city will have a total generation capacity of 11.5 megawatts.

Kansas City, Missouri, Land Bank creates unique home ownership program for public employees — Following its successful Dollar Home Sale and #HeartofKC home sale, the Land Bank of Kansas City launched a new initiative for public employees to become homeowners for $100. Announced on April 23, the Land Bank offered 25 homes for sale to employees of the city of Kansas City, Jackson County, the Kansas City Police Department, state and federal employees, and school districts inside the Kansas City, Missouri, city limits.

Regional News

Next First Suburbs Coalition meeting set for Friday, July 20 at 8:30 a.m. — The next meeting of the First Suburbs Coalition will be held at the new Fairway city hall, 5240 Belinder Avenue, Fairway, Kansas.  The agenda will include presentations by Beth Dawson, MARC’s senior land use planner, on the recently completed Transit Oriented Development study; Jamie Robichaud, Prairie Village assistant city administrator, on the city’s latest policy changes to deal with residential teardowns; and Maria Meyers, executive director of KC SourceLink, on how to attract start-up and small businesses to first suburb communities. Please register online.

Transit Oriented Development — TOD is a strategy to facilitate walkable, mixed-use development and enhance the accessibility of high levels of transit service by concentrating development around existing or planned transit corridors. TOD enhancements often benefit other mobility options, such walking, biking, car sharing and van pooling, in addition topublic transit. TOD is a relatively new concept in our region but many recent transit investments have potential to support and benefit from TOD, particularly Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services available through the MAX lines operating along Main and Troost and planned for Prospect Avenue. A study has been undertaken to examine the economic impacts of TOD and BRT along the Main and Troost MAX corridors, and also estimate the potential impact in the Prospect MAX and other priority corridors in the region (such as State Avenue and Metcalf Avenue in Kansas; and North Oak Trafficway, Independence Avenue, 12th Street, 18th Street, 31st Street and 39th Street in Missouri).

Become a Community for All Ages — Is your city making strides to become more age friendly? Or do you need to learn how to start? Most cities in our region are already seeing an increase in older adult populations, a change that will accelerate in the coming decades. KC Communities for All Ages offers information and an award program for area cities to work toward being a better place to live and age well. Currently, 15 cities in our area participate in the program. Gladstone, Kearney, Mission and Raymore have attained Gold Level Communities for All Ages status; Excelsior Springs, Liberty and Roeland Park have achieved the Silver Level; and Blue Springs, Grandview, Independence, Lee’s Summit and Raytown have reached the Bronze Level. North Kansas City, Parkville, Peculiar and Smithville are in progress toward the Bronze Level. The next deadline for Communities for All Ages recognition is Nov. 1, 2018. For information, contact Cathy Boyer-Shesol at or 816-701-8246.

Check out MARC’s grant opportunities webpage — As part of its Local Government Services program, MARC maintains a list of open grant opportunities. This includes, federal, state and local grants, as well as philanthropic opportunities that we are aware of. The listing can be found online.

Download the Greater KC Recycling Guide — Knowing what to recycle curbside and what to toss in the garbage is not always easy. A quick-reference poster created by the MARC Solid Waste Management District answers your questions about what can and can’t go in your curbside recycling bin. Some of the answers might surprise you. For example, did you know that plastic bags and film should not go in your curbside recycling bin? They clog up equipment and cause shutdowns at the recycling facility. This handy guide is available for download in 11 x 17 and 8.5 x 11 sizes.

Regional Trails and Bikeways Map available — Walking and biking benefit your health, your walletand the environment.Whether you’re running errands or visiting localparks and trails, the Kansas City region is a great place to explore. The printed map is available at local community centers, visitors centers, libraries and bicycle shops. Request a printed copy of the map or visit the online version.

Regional Data Highlights

Population Comparison for First Suburbs Cities

New population data has recently been released. The table below compares 2016 and 2017 population counts for first suburb communities.

First Suburb City 2016 2017 Numeric


Fairway, Kansas 3,956 3,957 1 0.0%
Gladstone, Missouri 27,014 27,140 126 0.5%
Grandview, Missouri 25,203 25,159 (44) -0.2%
Independence, Missouri 117,365 117,306 (59) -0.1%
Kansas City, Kansas 152,159 152,938 779 0.5%
Kansas City, Missouri 482,118 488,943 6,825 1.4%
Merriam, Kansas 11,232 11,212 (20) -0.2%
Mission Hills, Kansas 3,579 3,573 6) -0.2%
Mission Woods, Kansas 195 195 - 0.0%
Mission, Kansas 9,434 9,409 (25) -0.3%
North Kansas City, Missouri 4,377 4,505 128 2.9%
Overland Park, Kansas 188,867 191,278 2,411 1.3%
Prairie Village, Kansas 21,785 22,368 583 2.7%
Raytown, Missouri 29,270 29,211 (59) -0.2%
Riverside, Missouri 3,242 3,354 112 3.5%
Roeland Park, Kansas 6,785 6,772 (13) -0.2%
Sugar Creek, Missouri 3,314 3,308 (6) -0.2%
Westwood Hills, Kansas 395 395 - 0.0%
Westwood, Kansas 1,657 1,655 (2) -0.1%
Kansas City MSA





Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates

Mid-America Regional Council | 600 Broadway, Suite 200 | Kansas City, MO 64105
ph: 816/474-4240 |
Subscribe | Unsubscribe