Home Preservation Benefactors Hyde Park has a Benefactor in Couple
Hyde Park has a Benefactor in Couple

Hyde Park neighborhood residents, Frank and Ann Uryasz, made the decision to step up and improve Hyde Park (the park) between 36th and 38th Streets and Gillham Road.

While on his daily drive home, Uryasz saw improvements from 39th Street south to Brush Creek Boulevard in Gillham Park, funding that comes from the Ward Family Foundation. The obvious disparity in upkeep made Uryasz a bit jealous. He soon learned that the Ward Family Foundation not only pays for the annual maintenance along Gillham Road from 39th to Brush Creek, but also for Loose Park and along Ward Parkway from the Plaza to Wornall Road.

Uryasz longed for those same improvements in Hyde Park. But instead of asking the city to pay for them, Uryasz followed the Ward Family Foundation’s lead and decided to pay for them himself. Now Uryasz pays for increased beautification efforts in Hyde Park from 36th to 39th streets on Gillham Road, as well as the right of way on both sides of the road.

“We decided to contribute so that we could put Hyde Park on the same kind of maintenance schedule that Gillham is on,” Uryasz said. “We’re just extending what the Wards have done up north to 36th Street. We’re just trying to make the park a place where you want to spend some time and walk through or run through.”

The extra money allows the parks department to mow the grass weekly and perform additional turf maintenance, including twice-a-year fertilizing, aeration and overseeding. The contribution also allowed the department to prune more than 100 trees in and around the park.

Uryasz plans to continue to fund the improvements each year. Although he wouldn’t discuss the amount, the contribution is substantial. And other improvements are forthcoming.

“The sexy stuff hasn’t been done yet,” Uryasz said. “We didn’t do this because we wanted to put attention on us. You could spend money in other ways for attention. We’re hoping other people will step up and take care of the other parks.”
Kessler Society of Kansas City, P.O. Box 481903, Kansas City, MO 64148, (816) 527-0190, society@georgekessler.org
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