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Driving east along Gregory Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri, the urban streetscape gives way to Swope Park’s rustic Rocky Point glade in the blink of an eye.
This wooded expanse off Oldham Road looks much like it has for centuries, predating European settlement to the days when Native Americans thrived here. The glade is a haven for hikers and mountain-bike riders, and also maintains the ecological balance between plants and animals.
Natural settings such as Rocky Point would become much more prominent features of city parks, under a plan Kansas City Parks and Recreation is now implementing. Along with converting hundreds of acres of grassy parkland to more of a savannah, the comprehensive sustainability plan also envisions replacing annuals flowers with native perennials in beds.