Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 48 of 107

Renewal By the 1980s, the UNI says, "e Ivanhoe neighborhood was marked by drug houses, crime, falling property values and continued decline in population." Chris Harris knows all about that. It's where he grew up. "When I was a kid, I knew something was wrong with my neighborhood, but I didn't know what it was," he says. e neighborhood's decline was evident in the abandoned homes and overgrown lots. Harris' parents, Henry and Alee Harris, were the first to see the value in that decrepit land. "My dad started the trend of buying the land around here," Chris Harris says. "When I got older, in high school and in college, I told him I wanted to teach the basis of life through sports, and I wanted to build a park to do it. is was on paper in '94. My dad said, 'Go for it.'" Harris, a graduate of nearby Westport High School, ventured only slightly farther afield to attend Penn Valley Community College, a mere 2½ miles away. In 1996, Harris led Penn Valley to the NJCAA Div. II national basketball championship and eventually served as an assistant coach in minor-league basketball. Into the late '90s, he kept buying vacant lots, sometimes for only a few thousand dollars. Over the years, he bought all the lots on the west side of Wayne Avenue between 40th and 41st streets and raised money — one account says close to $2.5 million — and in 1998 cre- 08.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 45 T H E F I R S T T E E O F G R E A T E R K A N S A S C I T Y SUMMER CLASSES NOW OPEN HARRIS PARK Tuesdays and Thursdays July 16th- August 8th, 2019 "When I was a kid, I knew something was wrong with my neighborhood, but I didn't know what it was." — Chris Harris

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