East of Whittier Street and south of 9th Avenue lays Whittier Park. Covering approximately 13 acres, this land was obtained through arrangements with Unified School District Number 253, as the land had been purchased as a site for a future elementary school. There are two private residences located along the western border of the park. During 1980, the City purchased a third private residence that was located there allowing the construction of additional parking and another comfort station.
When the decision was made that this area would become a park, a plan was developed which the Recreation Director pursued. The thought behind the plan revolved around Emporia's need for multiple softball diamonds located together for not only tournament play, but also to relieve the burden of the other diamonds in the park. Presently, two diamonds are active and the original Sertoma diamond has been replaced by a series of tee ball diamonds which was put in use in 1998. During 1995, both comfort stations were converted to handicapped-accessible facilities.
Traffic becomes a problem in this vicinity as the usage of the facility is extremely heavy in the evenings. A real problem which could occur here would be the construction of additional facilities or structures without regard to allowing space for the teams to warm up. This, combined with the numerous unattended children running throughout the area, deserves serious consideration.
It must be remembered that Whittier Park is used as a softball complex, and any additional improvements should develop with this in mind. The park is serving its purpose, and has established itself as an integral part of Emporia's softball program. The tee ball fields increased the value of this facility to Emporia's recreation program.
During 2002, the softball diamonds were rebuilt to specifications for regulation girls softball, scoreboards were installed and the diamonds irrigated. Financial assistance for these improvements was provided by the WS and EC Jones Trust.