Park Hill School District schedules public presentation of ‘Last Forest’ construction plans

The Park Hill School District has scheduled a special informational presentation to discuss the future of the Line Creek forest off Northwest 68th Street and Waukomis Drive.

The presentation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 at Plaza Middle School. The administration will present district plans for Hopewell Elementary School, now under construction, and the planned LEAD Innovation Center.

District administrators announced this special presentation at the Thursday, July 26 board of education meeting and said questions raised by the public about the future of the forest will be answered. Some written submitted questions will also be addressed, according to superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd.

The presentation was planned to address concerns raised by the Save the Last KC Forest group, organized at

In October 2017, local resident Julie Stutterheim launched the site and online petition on, which has been featured in several local media outlets, including The Citizen. The preservation group has said it supports construction of Hopewell Elementary — which is located near an old farm house that stood on the site for decades — but questions the location of the LEAD Innovation Center.

In the site plan, the district has placed LEAD further north into the property, creating the need to cut a roadway through the forest to the school. The group hoped the district would consider moving the LEAD center closer to the elementary school to preserve more woodland.

Additionally, the group hoped the district would agree to a plan to permanently preserve the more than 100 acres of land not currently needed for school construction.

The City of Kansas City currently has plans to construct a boulevard connecting Waukomis to Barry Road, though district leaders are working with the city to scale back its long-range plans.

The Line Creek Trail, also owned by Kansas City, connects to the archeological site just down Waukomis at Frank Vaydik Park.