Support Our Parks by Showing Pride in Wichita!
The Wichita Parks Foundation is proud to announce the “Plates for Parks” campaign to create a Wichita flag-themed state license plate. The license plates, similar to those currently available for state universities, will prominently feature the recognizable Wichita flag. A $50 annual royalty fee for the new license plate will go directly to the Wichita Parks Foundation.
What is Plates for Parks?
The Foundation was presented with a unique fundraising idea after discussion with Wichita City Councilman Bryan Frye and his staff. A long-time advocate of the city’s park system and the Foundation’s mission, Councilman Frye approached the Foundation with the idea of creating a custom license plate which could provide funding for future park projects and programs in the city. The Wichita flag as the centerpiece of the license plate was a natural fit because of its popularity and representation of the pride in our city. Thus, the Plates for Parks program was born.
What will Plates for Parks Support?
The $50 annual royalty fee for the license plates will go to the Wichita Parks Foundation and will support improvements in our parks. In early 2017, we worked with Park and Recreation Department staff to review a list of needed improvements in our parks, including items like picnic shelters, drinking fountains, as well as other enhancements, including those needed in our city dog parks.
As a preliminary project the Foundation’s board of directors will review the Pracht Wetlands Park project. Funds generated will also help replenish our scholarship fund which is an effort to ensure Wichita children are not denied the benefits of public recreation due to the inability to pay.
“As the Foundation has grown, we have continuously sought ways to broaden our ability to advocate for and support Wichita’s park and recreation system”, says Brent Thomas, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The proceeds from the new Plates for Parks license plate campaign will allow us to fund improvements and programs in parks around the city, which will further enhance the quality of our parks for all users.”
How can I get a plate?
The plate must first be authorized by the State legislature. The bill, sponsored by Wichita Senator Oletha Faust- Goudeau, will be introduced in January 2018 and could become law in July 2018. Based on that schedule, the first plates will be issued at county tag offices on Janaury 1, 2019.
When the bill’s introduced, as a demonstration of support, the Wichita Parks Foundation needs to gather commitments from 500 residents who pledge to buy the plate when available in 2019. Already, the Foundation has pledges from local companies, such as Cornejo Construction, Hutton Construction and Metro Courier, to purchase plates for their fleet vehicles.
The Foundation has kicked off a public campaign to solicit the remaining 500 commitments needed for the plate by the end of December 2018 (but we want many, many more!). Supporters are asked to sign up by adding their name to the list, linked below. Signing up is free to do and will not require supporters to purchase the plate. Information gathered will be used to keep supporters updated throughout the legislative process, remind them to contact their local legislators to offer support, and inform as to when the plates will be available from tag offices statewide.