Almost a year ago the decision was made to rename Tiffany Springs Park after longtime Kansas City Parks and Recreation director Mark McHenry.
The park board announced the news on Dec. 17, 2018 but the unofficial unveiling took place on Friday, Oct. 4 on an overcast and cool morning in the Northland.
McHenry, who retired after 44 years working the city, now has his name graced on the third largest park in Kansas City at 838.46 acres behind only Swope Park and Blue Valley Park.
The city purchased the property at NW 88th Street and N. Hampton Road in 1966 and McHenry recalls first visiting this park in 1975 when he worked running the Northland district.
He and his wife Debbie unveiled the sign after current parks and rec director Terry Rynard, parks board members and McHenry spoke at an event with more than 100 people present.
“It means a lot not only to myself but for my family,” said McHenry, who resides in Clay County. “I have given my life to this organization. When you do something every day for most of your life, you are close to it, so this means a lot. I brought my grandkids up here last weekend and they are the one it is all about. The park, the play ground and being outdoor ... enjoy open space and get outdoors.”
During the ceremony, Rynard showed that trail markers at the park will feature McHenry’s likeness riding a bike.
McHenry was responsible for adding 34 parks, six community centers and hundreds of miles of trails during his time as director.
“He helped make Kansas City a city you want to live in and we truly owe him a debt of gratitude,” parks board president Mary Jane Judy said. “He is truly the epitome of good government.”
Added Rynard, “We are trying our best to make that legacy look good.”
McHenry, who is currently working for Olsson Engineering and recently appointed a commissioner for the Missouri Department of Conversation, thanks many former colleagues and city employees.
He mentioned he worked with six different mayors, seven different city managers and hundreds of council members in his tenure as the director.