Picnic tables

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.



Betty Phillips Park

3300 SE Irvingham, Topeka

If you love this park you won't have to look far to find someone to thank. Students at nearby Avondale East Elementary School helped design the neighborhood park, which used to go by the name Highland Crest Park. It was renamed to honor longtime Hi-Crest resident Betty Phillips, who had begun asking the city to do something with the park in the 1960s. The park got a big student-influenced overhaul in 2004.



Gwendolyn Brooks

3691 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka

If it wasn't for the brisk traffic on nearby Topeka Boulevard, the park could be considered downright serene. As is, it has plenty of charm. A small bridge constructed by the Topeka West Rotary spans a ditch and there are plenty of developed trees. A Kansas Historical Marker discusses Kansas and Topeka history and nearby play equipment gives children a place to swing and teeter totter. Located at the corner of Topeka Boulevard and 37th Street, Gwendolyn Brooks has 37th Terrace running through its middle.



Freedom Valley

SE 14th and Locust, Topeka

From Freedom Valley you can hear the traffic zoom by on bordering Interstate 70. Yet, there's something serene and calming about this neighborhood oasis. Parking for the park sits off 14th Street between Locust and Illinois. To the south, trees and foliage block the view of the interstate -- at least during the summer when the branches are thick with leaves. The park also features some shady trees, but it has plenty of open, sunny stretches, where kite fliers can soar free of entanglement worries. At the bottom of the sloping park, a small fishing pond with a dock beckons.



Edgewood

SW 2nd and Edgewood, Topeka

Whether you're looking for a place to picnic, play tennis or simply relax, this heavily shaded park east of the Potwin neighborhood on SW 2nd is a good choice. An open-air shelter covers picnic tables, with a BBQ grill nearby, while modern playground equipment and swings occupy the youngsters. The tennis courts have seen better days, but at least one of them usually has a net.



Edgewater

2300 SE Edgewater Terr, Topeka

This narrow neighborhood park straddles a storm runoff creek while winding its way from near SW 23rd and SW Morningside to SW Shunga Drive. On the west side there are swings, a merry-go-round, a slippery slide and a picnic table.



Cushinberry

335 SE 15th, Topeka

Named after the late Grant Cushinberry, a local philanthropist, this wedge-shaped park separates 15th and 17th streets as they converge eastward from Quincy. The park is heavily shaded by mature trees and welcomes visitors with numerous picnic tables, benches, a BBQ grill and a water fountain. Youngsters can try out the playground equipment, including swings and a merry-go-round, or check out the concrete Bison sculpture at the east end. Both the Landon and Shunga trails can be picked up near Cushinberry Park.



Croix

3446 SW Kirklawn, Topeka

Croix is among the most humble of city parks. The triangle-shaped park appears to be more of something to drive around than a place to actually stop. It is surrounded by Coix Street, Kirklawn Avenue and Coix Place. Here's what it offers: four trees, one trashcan, one picnic table, a few rose bushes and grass.



Collins

1400 SW Collins, Topeka

This gracefully curving park in the heart of the Collins Park neighborhood offers something for everyone. Modern playground equipment is complemented by swings, teeter-totters, a merry-go-round and basketball courts. There's room to sit and picnic in the shade, and lots of space to walk the dog. Most of the amenities are south of where SW 13th crosses the park. Gardens grace the entrances on SW Huntoon and SW 15th.



Children's

600 SW MacVicar, Topeka

This small but shady park at SW 6th and MacVicar is bisected by Ward-Martin Creek, with most of its amenities on the east side of the creek by the small parking lot. The playground equipment includes a small slippery slide, teeter-totters, regular swings, a tire swing and a jungle gym -- plus a basketball court. There are picnic tables and a BBQ grill for picnickers.



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