M.S. “Mitch” Mitchell Floodway formerly Big Arkansas River Park

May 17, 2019

#49 Big Arkansas River Park – 3900 W 21st St N

Background: The park was acquired from Crest Sales, Inc. in 1971 to be used for public access along the scenic Arkansas River. “Big Ditch Mitch” was the city-county engineered that oversaw the Wichita Valley Center Flood Control Project lovingly referred by Wichitans as the Big Ditch. It was a ten year long project completed in June 1959. It has saved the city and its residents millions of dollars by preventing major flooding in the area.

What We Did: It was Saturday the 11th when we went to the these two parks. After more than a week of rain, the Arkansas River was high and moving fast.

We walked along the river bank and were in awe of the water’s movement. Jeremy stopped to talk to a few fishermen, who were eager to talk and excited about their catches.

I have fond memories of this park because in high school, my science class went seining in the river. The water level was not nearly as high, but I remember it was cold, and we did not catch much but trash.

Finally, we hit park 50. It’s has a lot of meaning to the people of Wichita, and we’ll meet the man behind it.

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