By Kevin Collison
A refreshing idea that impressed Jared Campbell while visiting Zion National Park is about to spout at Berkley Riverfront Park, and possibly lead to more in greater downtown and beyond.
“When I was in Utah I visited Zion Park and noticed the Rotary there had installed hydration stations at all the shuttle stations,” said Campbell, the Downtown Council’s liaison for residents.
Campbell, who also is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club here, reached out to Evie Craig, chair of the club’s downtown committee, to see if the organization would like to do the same project here.
The Rotary Club already has done other improvement projects in downtown, including a clock at the T-Mobile Arena plaza, and Craig readily agreed to help lead the effort.
On June 29, the first hydration station is scheduled to open at Berkley Park with the support of Port KC.
And the local effort will go two-up over the Zion initiative, installing a hydration station that not only can be used to refill water bottles, but provide drinks to humans and their pets as well.
The $8,000 station replaces a broken drinking fountain at Berkley Park.
“We wanted to get the first one up and running, and encourage other business entities in the downtown area to sponsor one of their own,” Craig said.
“We hope to talk to the Streetcar Authority as they expand, too. A streetcar stop would be a great place for one of these.”
The hydration stations at Zion Park are co-sponsored by Vapur, Inc., a manufacturer of water bottles, and are intended to encourage the use of permanent bottles as opposed to disposable ones.
“Adding a new hydration station in the center of Berkley Park is a needed amenity for people and pets, especially as the use of the park continues to grow,” said Jon Stephens, Port KC president and CEO.
“The Downtown Rotary Club have long been great supporters of the downtown neighborhood. Their partnership allows even more reinvestment in amenities for all.”
Donna Mandelbaum, spokeswoman for the Streetcar Authority, said her agency in intrigued with the idea, noting installing hydration stations at stops also could provide a more convenient way to clean them.
Right now, the Authority has to use a water truck when it wants to hose down stations.
“We are interested in this,” she said. “It would be a great asset to our (streetcar) line.
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