In February, Raymore’s T.B. Hanna Station, a park in the heart of the community, was
announced as the winner of the 2022 Public Works Project of the Year in the Small Cities/Rural
Communities Structures category at the Kansas City Metro American Public Works (APWA)
chapter level. The project has been submitted by the chapter to be considered for the national
award to be announced later this year.
Raymore Parks & Recreation Director Nathan Musteen and multiple staff members worked with
Cook Flatt & Strobel (CFS) Engineers, Unlimited Play and All-Inclusive Recreation to renovate
the three-acre park located at the site of the original Raymore train depot built in 1871.
The renovation was funded in part with a 2016 voter-approved No Tax Increase General
Obligation Bond, the City’s Park Fun and General Fund. Variety Children’s Charity of Greater
Kansas City (Variety KC) provided a $135,000 grant to upgrade the play spaces to be inclusive.
Featuring the Variety KC Inclusive Playground and Variety KC Inclusive Sprayground, T.B.
Hanna Station is the first park in the United States with two universally accessible play spaces
in the same location. In addition, T.B. Hanna Station is the first park in the state of Missouri to
feature a sprayground specifically designed to be fully accessible for people of all abilities.
The Variety KC Inclusive Sprayground includes a custom-designed train that is wide enough to
accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive devices. The sprayground features a flat
surface with overhead sprinklers, splash buckets, an LED light display and sound effects that
allow individuals of all abilities to play. The inclusive playground features accessible swings and
a climbing apparatus, zip lines, musical instruments and a merry-go-round. Communication
boards in each play area display illustrations to help children with limited language skills to
express themselves and communicate needs and wants.
The park also features The Depot, a covered pavilion with accessible picnic tables that
transforms into an ice skating rink in winter months, a concessions facility and two ADA private
restrooms with ADA benches that are open year-round.
Members of Raymore Parks & Recreation believe that a playground should not be a barrier to a
child, parent or caregiver with different abilities. The majority of playgrounds in the country are
inaccessible to people with disabilities, yet play is a critical part of the cognitive, physical and
social development of every child. Inclusive play environments eliminate social and physical
barriers and allow children with disabilities and able-bodied children to play together, promoting
understanding and new relationships. Inclusive playgrounds also allow parents and other adults
with disabilities to play with their children.
The park is constantly filled with residents and visitors from surrounding communities and even
from out of state.
Raymore resident Lindsay Vanzandt sharing the following message with the department:
“My son is just one kid who benefits when we have accessible playgrounds. When he doesn’t
have to expend energy on assessing the landscape and navigating uneven surfaces… when he
doesn’t get left behind because he can’t climb a ladder fast enough… when he can access
structures in a way that feels safe and easy for him… he gets to just PLAY! Raymore makes me
so proud… families like mine matter and aren’t an afterthought. I am so thankful for the focus
and passion in making Raymore as inclusive as possible.”
Another Raymore resident excitedly commented on social media regarding the grand opening of
T.B. Hanna Station and the Variety KC Inclusive Sprayground: “This is amazing!!! This grandma
in a wheelchair will be playing here with the grandsons!”
These messages are not only heartwarming, but reaffirm that the department’s vision is the right
vision for improving the quality of life of our residents and creating opportunities for people of all
Raymore Parks & Recreation is making accessibility for people of all abilities a top priority in the
Raymore parks system. The city is on its way to becoming one of the first – if not the very first –
city in the United States to be home to three fully accessible inclusive play spaces, with the
addition of the Hawk’s Nest Inclusive Playground at Raymore’s Hawk Ridge Park later this year.
Raymore Parks & Recreation aspires to be an example to other parks and recreation
departments when it comes to incorporating inclusive elements into their communities.
Musteen recently presented on the award-winning T.B. Hanna Station project at the Missouri
Park & Recreation Association’s annual conference in Springfield, along with Todd Polk of CFS
Engineers and Natalie Mackay of Unlimited Play.