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'This makes me feel like home': Kansas Citians celebrate Fountain Day

JC Nichols Fountain.jpg
Posted at 8:46 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 04:28:53-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For more than 100 years, the fountains in Kansas City, Missouri, have been a staple in the community.

"When you’re around falling water, you get this burst of mental energy and you just feel better," Jim Fitzpatrick, president of the City of Fountains Foundation, said.

Julie Zagorniak, a native of Kansas City, thinks back to the memories made as a child at the now Mill Creek Park Fountain.

"Throwing nickels and dimes down there, playing around the grounds and splashing around in the water," Zagorniak said.

As a mother, she now is excited to create those same memories for her daughter Lillian.

"I just throw a coin in it," Lillian Kenyon said. "I wish for COVID to go away and I wish that everyone has a happy year and that’s mostly it."

However, for 49 years, The City of Fountains Foundation has worked with Kansas City Parks and Recreation to pour money and time to keep the roughly 45 operating fountains youthful.

“One thing we do, is hold money in an endowment, in a trust account for treating the fountains, for repairing the fountains, perhaps assisting in building new fountains and we have $4 million dollars," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says the fountains in the community are a staple, with their monumental architecture and beauty.

“We just kind of picked up on this City of Fountains theme," he said. "So yes, we want a fountain, so this is The City of Fountains. So you’ll find them in neighborhood pocket parks, various places around and it’s just a wonderful thing."

On the other hand, Fitzpatrick says there is a huge investment that goes into getting the fountains ready for season.

“They check all the pipes, make sure the pump is working correctly," he said. "The pump is the main thing, otherwise you don’t have any flow and that costs. I think it’s over $100 thousand dollars a year in parks department staff time just to get them ready."

Nonetheless, native and tourists can’t help but be emerged in the beautiful architecture and history of the Kansas City fountains.

“To have the fountains that are in the city, they give us our history, they give us our character," Denis Espinoza said. "It’s the show me state, so we got to show you here."