Residents worried KCK park is toxic and dangerous - KCTV5

Residents worried KCK park is toxic and dangerous

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A new playground is up at John Garland Park, and that's alarming to some Kansas City, KS residents.  The park has a sordid past. (KCTV5) A new playground is up at John Garland Park, and that's alarming to some Kansas City, KS residents. The park has a sordid past. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Residents are concerned about the reuse of John Garland Park in Kansas City, Kansas, after the Environmental Protection Agency deemed it “environmentally impaired”.

“Ever since childhood, we knew this was a bad place. We all knew coming up that it was contaminated and nobody was able to play down here,” said Melton McIntosh, whose lived in Wyandotte County his whole life.

John Garland Park, near N 5th and Cleveland, was a landfill in the 1970s. Due to community concerns about environmental health and safety, it was closed.

“Everything that’s bad was buried up under this ground,” said McIntosh. “How could you trust a place like this?”

A Unified Government spokesperson told KCTV5 they’ve spent more than a million dollars to ensure the park is safe.

The three black, fenced-in areas at the park contain equipment that monitors and extracts methane gas.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment helps with that process and the EPA also has an air monitoring structure in the park, according to a UG spokesperson.

Despite the changes, it’s tough for some community members to trust the park they were told to fear.

“It’s all about safety. These are people in our community. If we don’t care about our community, who do we care about?” said McIntosh.

More work is underway at John Garland Park, including walking trails and picnic tables. The Unified Government says they wouldn’t move forward with all that if the park wasn’t safe.

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