#87 Leon Robinson Park – 2700 S Washington
Background: The park sits on the former site of Greiffenstein Elementary School built in 1950. William Greiffenstein was born in Germany on July 28, 1829. He is known as the “Father of Wichita.” The original school building was destroyed by a tornado on May 3, 1999.
So, who is Leon Robinson? That turned out to be a tougher question than I thought. I did all my typical research but I could not figure out who he was, and why a park was named after him. I kept putting off this park visit until I could find the information. This week, a coworker commented that she lived near the park and was looking forward to seeing our post about Robinson Park.
In case you’re wondering, Robinson Middle School is named after Charles Robinson, the first governor of Kansas. So back to Leon Robinson. I decided to take a trip to the library. I have used it as a resource many times on this adventure. After an hour, it was still snake eyes. That’s when Sandra, the librarian, stepped in to help. It turns out Leon was a longtime city park and recreation employee and park board member. I found a quote from him in the Eagle. In discussing improvements to each park he said, “I looked at all of the parks, and they definitely need more attention. Whether the city agrees with us is another story. I hope it does. “
What we did: The small park didn’t offer much except a big track of sand, a broken down basketball court, and a picnic shelter. It’s interesting to note that the newspaper article featuring Leon Robinson was written in 1999. The article talks about new playground equipment, a walking path and updated basketball courts coming soon to the park. Twenty years later, there is still no playground equipment or updated basketball court
UPDATE: My coworker reports there has been lots of action in the park with playground equipment and new walkways! Check it out!