City of Fountains Neighborhood Guides
Kansas City is home to more than 240 neighborhoods. They are almost like mini-cities that stand on their own, each with their own histories, things to do and unique vibes. These guides, shaped by recommendations from those who call each place home, will help you explore the city neighborhood by neighborhood. More are on their way, too.
Located in the Historic Northeast, Indian Mound is a residential neighborhood known for its parks, food trucks and multicultural community. The area is bound on the north by Gladstone Boulevard and on the south by Independence Avenue, on the west by Jackson Avenue and on the east by Belmont Boulevard.
Its attractions include Budd Park, the Indian Mound overlook and the beginning of scenic Cliff Drive, so named for its position on a cliff overlooking the industrial East Bottoms. The neighborhood is home to around 9,000 people with 55 different languages spoken among them.
On a visit to Indian Mound, you’re likely to see dog walkers strolling through green spaces, delicious food trucks lined along Independence Avenue and might even hear some chickens clucking from the backyards of single-family homes.
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This is one of many coming KC neighborhood guides
The Star is working on creating a series of neighborhood guides based on recommendations from Kansas Citians who call each neighborhood home. We will be adding more guides to this series over the coming weeks and months.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood you want to make sure we write about, or something about your neighborhood that we need to for sure include? Let us know at email@example.com or by filling out this form.
Great food and drinks in Indian Mound
Indian Mound residents are passionate about the neighborhood’s food truck scene. On top of the popular trucks, neighborhood association president Patricia Hernandez recommended Tacos El Güero, a cash-only eatery open evenings until 1 a.m, seven days a week. “It is fire,” she told The Star.
Hernandez also recommended Elvira’s Cakes, a Mexican bakery on Independence Avenue known for its cakes and pastries. La Jarochita Express is another favorite of Indian Mound families: The ice cream shop adjacent to Budd Park offers snacks, smoothies, fresh juices and paletas.
Things to do in Indian Mound
Indian Mound is known for its green spaces and friendly neighborhood community. From Indian Mound Park on the northeast corner of the neighborhood, take a stroll through Kessler Park with your dog or another friend. You’ll reach Cliff Drive, a scenic walking and biking trail closed to cars during most of the year. Visitors can also go rock climbing, play disc golf and admire holiday lights along the four-mile road.
If you love scoring deals, Indian Mound is also home to Super Flea, a massive indoor flea market where you can find all manner of clothing, homegoods, gifts and necessities. Complete with a food court, electronics department and plenty of vendors, this bustling market is only open on Saturdays and Sundays until 4 p.m. Make sure you bring cash!
Small bodegas filled with specialty products from Latin America, the Middle East and other parts of the world are also plentiful in the Indian Mound neighborhood.
Indian Mound’s namesake historical site
You can’t talk about Indian Mound without talking about… the Indian Mound. This domed hill on the northeast corner of the neighborhood sits in a park of the same name that overlooks the industrial East Bottoms.
Historians believe that the Kansas City Hopewell peoples, who were relatives of the Mississippian mound-builders, were responsible for creating this mound. These communities were known for their extensive trade routes, agriculture and distinctive pottery styles. It’s believed that Kansas City was on the western edge of their domain from around 250 – 500 CE.
While human bones and artifacts have been unearthed at Indian Mound throughout the last century, its original purpose remains unknown.
“It’s really significant, and we’re so lucky to have it within our city,” said parks department archivist Kate Warfield. “That we can look at evidence of the humans that lived here a thousand years before us and their lasting mark on our landscape… it’s a very unique thing to the neighborhood and to Kansas City.”
In the 1930s, as damage from amateur excavations was quickly destroying the mound, the city’s parks department backfilled it with soil to protect the remaining artifacts. Today, it’s a popular spot for picnics, family outings and outdoor performances.
How to get involved in Indian Mound
Soccer for Success holds regular practices in Budd Park, located in the heart of the Indian Mound neighborhood. A program out of the Mattie Rhodes Center, this youth soccer league provides a free, fun and safe after-school activity for children. The program also provides educational activities on nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices while connecting families to community resources.
Other volunteer opportunities are also available to local high school students and others looking to give back to the community. Community cleanups in the spring and fall offer residents an opportunity to give back, while the Mattie Rhodes Center’s Northeast location provides a broad variety of social services to local families.
The neighborhood is also home to the Al-Huda Center, one of the largest mosques in Kansas City with volunteer opportunities year-round.
Over 100 years ago, a space for women in Indian Mound
The Indian Mound neighborhood is home to 26-acre Budd Park, which features a large community swimming pool and playgrounds, among other attractions. Established in 1890, it’s the third-oldest public park in all of Kansas City. But there’s more to this park than meets the eye: In 1916, before women even had the right to vote, a portion of the park was designated as a “women’s only space” where women could relax outside without being approached by men.
The Aug. 8, 1916 edition of the Crawfordsville Review reads,
“A park exclusively for women was established by the Kansas City park board following the pleas of a business women’s organization for a recreation and rest ground where women can enjoy themselves unmolested.”
Just over a week later, an issue of the Telegraph-Republican reported,
“Kansas City’s park for women has just opened. The park board is about to have a temporary shelter house erected and other improvements installed in the section of Budd park set aside for the women. The Business Women’s council has employed a young woman to remain at the park and minister to the comfort of the young women who come there for recreation. The secretary will see that the girls coming to the park become acquainted and enjoy themselves. She will pay special attention to lonely girls.”
Hernandez said that the women-only section of the park wasn’t fully operational until 1927, and it’s not clear how long this designated area lasted.
What makes your Kansas City neighborhood special? Let the Service Journalism Team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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