The Wichita Park System has come a long way since it was established in the 1920s by L.W. Clapp. Clapp's vision incorporated a vital urban community with adequate public parks and open spaces to provide every Wichita citizen with the opportunity to enjoy nature without traveling far from home.
Today the park system is composed of 126 parks, including a number of public open spaces that total over 5,007 acres of park land. A system of greenways, or recreation corridors consisting of small parcels of open space land, are planned to ultimately connect many of the City's major parks and provide additional hiking and biking opportunities to citizens. The Wichita Department of Park & Recreation acts as a steward for this land, as well as for the riparian and urban forest system, and maintains over 3.8 million sq. ft. of landscaped mediums throughout the City.
The Wichita Park System offers recreation opportunities to its citizens that range from both organized and individual activities at eight community recreation centers, eight swimming pools, and 53 athletic fields. It also offers recreation through its hiking, biking and fitness trails.
All facets of recreation, whether passive or active, can be found in Wichita parks and add beauty and enrichment to the lives of all its citizens. Park & Recreation Department employees take pride in working to provide Wichita with the best park system possible.