Gardens

Potwin Circles

SW 1st and Woodlawn, Topeka

Legend has it that the circular parks at the intersections in Potwin Place were constructed in the late 1800s to prevent young men from racing their buggies. If that's the case, they surely accomplished their goal. The six complete circles -- a precursor to today's roundabouts -- are located on Greenwood and Woodlawn from 1st to 3rd. They feature trees and/or garden beds and historical markers, and most of them have sitting benches. There are partial circles at Willow and Grove.



McKinley

917 NW Gordon, Topeka

Located at the intersection of NW Gordon and NW Western, this small, well-shaded park sits just north of the old McKinley Elementary School, one of four segregated schools for African-American students in Topeka at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954. Youngsters will like the modern playground equipment, swings and merry-go-round, while parents can relax at the covered picnic table. There are public restrooms and a nice flower bed.



Medford

740 SW Medford, Topeka

This small, shaded park at the intersection of SW 8th and SW Medford offers the perfect place to rest while on a neighborhood walk. Occupying a corner beside Ward-Martin Creek, the park's amenities are simple -- a picnic table, some swings and a merry-go-round.



Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site

124 NW Fillmore, Topeka

Whether it's rediscovering the past, a soothing garden walk or a wedding site you're after, this compact park offers a unique variety of amenities. Anchored by an elegant Southern-style mansion built by Anthony Ward and passed down to his daughter, Jennie Meade, the park features a 2.5-acre botanical garden. The wheelchair-accessible garden contains a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants, a gazebo and several water features. The mansion, which includes the Preston Hale Reception Room, and garden are used for weddings, meetings and dinners.



Major Palm

1815 SW 37th, Topeka

Major Palm Park provides plenty of space for sunny play and features a spot for playing softball games. Major Palm also has a play area with a merry-go-round, swing and equipment for kids who like to climb. At the entrance to the park, a plaque pays tribute to the park's namesake, Major Willard G. Palm. Palm died July 1, 1960, when a Soviet MiG fighter shot down the Air Force RB-47 he was aboard. The plane was on a peaceful reconnaissance mission over the Barents Sea, outside of USSR airspace when it was shot down. The heart of the park sits back from SW 37th Street.



Little Oakland

900 NE Chester, Topeka

This shady little neighborhood park fills one square block at the intersection of Chester and Fairchild. Lots of full, developed trees provide ample shade for kids playing on the mix of playground equipment. Families will love the slides, climbing toys, swings and rings. Park goers can even ease their thirst at a fountain in the park before relaxing on one of the many shaded benches. A concrete pad looks like it once was home to a tennis court, but with no net up during a trip by the park in June 2009, it didn't look like it was in use.



Huntoon

1200 SW Topeka, Topeka

The large wren sculpture that used to adorn the WREN Radio building on 10th Street is the dominant feature of this small, triangular-shaped park at the intersections of Huntoon, 12th Street and Topeka Blvd. A few large oak trees, a picnic table, flower beds and a brick sidewalk complete the park. Flower beds also define the intersection, which is framed by a sign welcoming visitors to Topeka.



Hughes

725 SW Orleans, Topeka

This unique neighborhood park, which occupies one city block between SW Orleans, Parkview, 7th and 8th streets, is a destination for tennis players and youngsters of all ages and physical abilities. Tennis remains a staple, with five courts beckoning players of all skill levels. One court has a concrete wall for solo stars and a basketball backboard. Along the park's west side is the play-for-all accessible playground, which is perfect for parties with its open-air shelter, picnic tables and grill.



Horne

3510 SW Atwood, Topeka

Located at SW 35th and Atwood and extending uphill to the east, this spacious park features a soccer field and lots of climbing apparatus for the youngsters. It also has a backstop for ball games, swings, slides, picnic tables and a BBQ grill. There's plenty of room to exercise the dog and lots of shade, too.



Holliday

1200 SW Western, Topeka

Large, mature pin oaks surely make Cyrus K. Holliday one of the most shaded parks in Topeka. It's also interesting and versatile. A monument to Holliday denotes his place in history as one of the founders of Topeka and as the organizer and first president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Nearby is a restored antique fountain surrounded by benches and bricks bearing the names of contributors. In addition, the park features modern playground equipment (surrounded by a rubberized base), swings and numerous picnic tables.



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