If the success of the Trailside Center at 9901 Holmes is an indication of how other Economic Development Corporation Cornerstone winners have fared, then quite a few should be prospering. The recipient of the Nonprofit Community Service Cornerstone Award in 2006, the Trailside Center was a part of the construction of Fire Station 36 in South Kansas City and has since become a popular tourist stop and community space with about 10,000 visitors since it opened.
A great example of adaptive reuse, the center is housed in a renovated bank building adjacent to the fire station. The former bank vault is now used for exhibits and interactive displays. The Center houses the Historical Society of New Santa Fe (HSNSF) which oversees historic sites such as the Jim Bridger farm site, the John Wornall house, Watts Mill, and wagon swales from the historic trails (Oregon, Santa Fe and California) which passed nearby. The museum contains photos, artifacts, and interactive displays featuring early Kansas City history including Civil War memorabilia.
The Center is also a popular meeting spot as well as a base of operations for outdoor events along the nearby Indian Creek pedestrian and bike trail. The meeting room hosts community groups and historic presentations ranging from the Battle of Westport to personal stories from area veterans of WWII and the Korean War. “The presentations are well attended and play an important role in educating area residents of our heritage as well as keeping the contributions and memory of area soldiers alive” – Ann O’Hare, President of the HSNSF.
Community groups who use the meeting space include the Center Planning and Development Council, South Kansas City Alliance, and 2nd Friday 6th District City Council updates. “The Trailside Center provides us with a warm, welcoming meeting environment for community & neighborhood organizations. The location is convenient, and the volunteer staff, led by Chuck Loomis and Ann O’Hare, is flexible, accommodating and an absolute joy to work with!” – Stacey Johnson Cosby, President of the South Kansas City Alliance.
Outdoor activities include a weigh station for pedestrians and bicyclists on the Indian Creek Trail, and a base of operations for activities such as the Great Back Yard Bird Watch, and the Blue River Cleanup.
“The Trailside Center has been a tremendous asset for South Kansas City, attracting visitors off the interstate, providing history, education, and bringing the community together. The EDC Cornerstone Award was well deserved because of the positive impact the Center has made in South Kansas City” – 6th District Councilman John Sharp.
Take time to visit the Center, refresh your knowledge of Kansas City history and enjoy autumn on the Indian Creek Trail. For more information call (816) 942-2581 or visit the Center’s website.
Need meeting space? Why not meet at Trailside Center’s Watts Mill Meeting Room: Capacity: 75
The Watts Mill Meeting Room is available for community group reservations for meetings and functions. The room has a large window, a service area for refreshments or handouts, and a SmartBoard Computer System available.