Improvements Planned for Courthouse Lawn, Thanks to Northland CAPS

At a meeting this week, the Platte County Commission presented a draft proposal to improve the lawn of the Platte County Courthouse.

Public comments on the plan are requested. The plans can be viewed on the county government website.
Commissioner Joe Vanover stated, “The courthouse lawn needs to look nice without appearing extravagant or shabby. The lawn is used by the community during downtown Platte City festivals. The goal of this plan is to improve the look of the lawn to fit with other improvements happening in Downtown Platte City. The county government is committed to being a positive influence in this community.”

The county commission plans to vote on the proposal on Monday, April 1. Last fall two teams of high school students from the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies focused on the lawn and how it could be improved. The student teams met with employees working in the courthouse, with a local attorney that practices in Platte County, and with members of the Downtown Platte City community. The teams presented their proposals to the county commission in December. The county parks department hired a professional landscape architect to prepare plans that can be put out for bid.

Daniel Erickson, Platte County director of facilities, stated, “The courthouse lawn is the focal point of Downtown Platte City. The benches, trash receptacles, and landscaping are all due for a refresh. We also hope to improve pedestrian access from Main Street to the courthouse in the project.”

The proposal improves ADA access for citizens that have trouble with stairs. It adds ADA access from Main Street and the west-side parking lot. The landscape architect selected plants and bushes that are low maintenance and more likely to survive in Missouri’s climate. The proposal maintains the open spaces used for concerts and special events on the front steps of the courthouse. It replaces worn out benches and old trash cans.

Vanover started the effort in April 2023 by meeting with Mayor Tony Paolilo, the city administrator, the executive director of the Platte City Chamber of Commerce, and others.

“As an attorney, I go to courts throughout the region. The Platte County courthouse lawn currently looks significantly worse that others in our area,” Vanover added.

County employees were surveyed during the employee appreciation lunch on the lawn in May 2023. Vanover and the parks department staff intend to present the proposal to various stakeholder groups in Downtown Platte City.

The plans can be viewed on the county government website: Comments can be registered on the website or emailed to

The public is requested to provide their comments by March 29. The county parks department funds millions of dollars of park improvements to the cities of Platte County. Additionally, the county parks department awards approximately $250,000 each year to community groups and non-profit organizations in outreach grants. The courthouse lawn has been used for public events for years and serves as the public square.
Vanover said the county commission intends to use a parks department grant to fund these improvements.

The original article in the Platte County Landmark can be found here.