Partnering with Washburn University Running Club, the park co-sponsored a 5K "Run for Justice" to honor and remember the brave sacrifices of the firefighters and law enforcement officers on 9/11.
The day began on the steps of the visitor center with students from Scott Computer Technology Magnet Elementary School presenting artwork and awards to Topeka Fire Chief Greg Bailey, Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller, and Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones. After the presentation, 95 runners took positions on the starting line on the Landon Trail, a city trail adjacent to Brown v. Board of Education NHS for the 5K walk and run. Several park staff participated in the run, but were bested by talented local runners.
The race was the culminating event for a weekend of activities at the park that drew a range of new visitors and communities to the park, with the goal of getting people outdoors and exercising. The event was organized by Ranger David Carter. "As a former law enforcement officer, I know that good "thank you's" from citizens are few and far between," said Carter. "We really wanted to show our appreciation to our military, police, and fire on Labor Day and in remembrance of the tragedy on September 11."
At just under two acres, Brown v. Board of Education NHS relies on an extensive regional trail system to supplement the park's outdoor recreational venues. Park staff have been capitalizing on this by connecting younger visitors to local natural areas via the trails. The success of the Labor Day race opens the door to similar outdoor activities and races in the future.