Swope Park is an 1,805-acre city park in Kansas City, Missouri. It is the 29th-largest municipal park in the United States, and the largest park in Kansas City. It is named in honor of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, a philanthropist who donated the land to the city in 1896. In the 1,769 acres (7.16 km2), it hosts Starlight Theatre, an 8,000+ seat outdoor theater; training grounds for Sporting Kansas City and their reserve team, affectionately called the Swope Park Rangers; the Kansas City Zoological Park; ten shelter houses and a host of athletic venues including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a swimming pool, a frisbee golf course and Swope Memorial Golf Course, a public golf course that hosted the 1949 Kansas City Open Invitational, a PGA Tour event. Also located in the park is the Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri's largest native species rehabilitation facilities, which serves as an environmental educational center.
Only a small part of the park is developed, the rest is heavily wooded. The main shelter house is located at 66th street and Swope Parkway.
The park is featured prominently in the fictional works of Robert A. Heinlein, who grew up in and around Kansas City. The park is also mentioned in the Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne's song "Riot Maker" featuring Skatterman and Snug Brim from his 2006 album Everready (The Religion), and on the song "In The Trunk" from his 2009 album K.O.D..
- Official park website
- Kansas City Zoo
- Starlight Theatre
- Lakeside Nature Center
- Kansas City Community Gardens
- Sporting Kansas City
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