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Swope Park

Coordinates: 39°00′28″N 94°32′05″W / 39.007813°N 94.5348°W / 39.007813; -94.5348
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Swope Park
TypeUrban park
LocationKansas City, Missouri, United States
Coordinates39°00′28″N 94°32′05″W / 39.007813°N 94.5348°W / 39.007813; -94.5348
Area1,805 acres (7.30 km2; 2.820 sq mi)
Created1896; 128 years ago (1896)
FounderColonel Thomas H. Swope
Owned byCity of Kansas City, Missouri
Starlight Theatre

Swope Park is a city park in Kansas City, Missouri. At 1,805 acres (7.30 km2), it is the 51st-largest municipal park in the United States, and the largest park in Kansas City.[1] It is named in honor of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, a philanthropist who donated the land to the city in 1896.

Most of the park is heavy woodland, and the developed area includes these major destinations: Starlight Theatre, an 8,000+ seat outdoor theater; the Swope Soccer Village sports complex; the Kansas City Zoo; the Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri's largest native species rehabilitation facilities;[2] and Swope Memorial Golf Course. In 1949, the course hosted the Kansas City Open Invitational of the PGA Tour, and in 1953 it hosted the United Golf Association (UGA) National Championship, in which Ann Gregory and Charlie Sifford won the women's and men's divisions, respectively.[3] Open seasonally, the Battle of Westport Museum & Visitor Center details the largest American Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, in 1864.[4] Other venues include baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a swimming pool, the Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park, and ten shelter houses.

Swope Park is featured prominently in the fictional works of Robert A. Heinlein, who grew up in and around Kansas City.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Largest Parks" (PDF). The Trust for Public Land. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 16, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Cole, Suzanne P.; Engle, Tim; Winkler, Eric (April 23, 2012). "50 things every Kansas Citian should know". Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  3. ^ Demas, Lane (2017). Game of Privilege: An African American History of Golf. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-4696-3422-7.
  4. ^ "Battle of Westport Museum & Visitor Cente". Battle of Westport. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2017.

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