June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 12

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Exploring the Pearl Family Story
By Kristina Stanley
M
ichael Pearl is a fifth-generation farmer and the owner of
Pearl Family Farm in Platte County, Missouri. He regularly
attends the Overland Park Farmers' Market in Overland
Park, Kansas.
tra money by exceeding their quota
of cutting and bundling hemp.
David,
Michael's greatgrandfather,
worked hard enough
that he saved enough money to buy
87 acres of land in 1890. This land
has remained in agricultural production
for more than 130 years,
following the traditions and ambitions
of Michael's ancestors.
Although Michael grew up farmFifth-generation
farmer Michael Pearl
reflects on his family's connection to the
Kansas City (Missouri) metropolitan area.
In 1813, Michael's great-greatgrandfather,
Milton Paxton, was
born an enslaved man in Kentucky
and was a farm laborer for the Paxton
family. Around 1839, Milton
was relocated to Platte County, Missouri,
with this slave owner to work
on the new hemp plantation, but he
had dreams of owning his own land
someday. Milton won his freedom
and changed his last name to Pearl.
Milton Pearl had a son, named
David, who also was born into
slavery in 1852 and worked on the
hemp plantation. David eventually
was freed as well by exceeding his
mandated duties. At that time, it
was common for slaves to make exing,
he attended the University of
Kansas on a football scholarship and
graduated with a degree in advertising.
He spent years working in New
York and with other large companies
throughout the country. He met his
wife, Margarita, while living in New
York City. Eventually, his work led
him back to Kansas City, Missouri,
and to his family's land.
Though he continued his corporate
advertising work, being back on the
land felt right since farming is embedded
in his DNA, he says. Soon
he began to plant vegetables for his
family and friends. Before he knew
it, his hobby of planting a few crops
blossomed into a thriving business.
A Community Leader
When not in
his
fields, Michael
serves as an active community leader
and mentor, sitting on several
boards, organizations and initiative
projects throughout the Kansas City
metro area that not only support local
agriculture, but also food access
12 Parks & Recreation | JUNE 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
in the community. He partners with
multiple food distribution hubs that
ensure fresh produce is available
within church pantries, food banks
and inner-city neighborhoods where
resources are scarce, also known as
" food deserts. " As Michael thinks
about his legacy, he now focuses on
how to feed the hungry, grow foods
to help sustain everyone's overall
health and longevity, and protect the
soil and climate.
As we approach Juneteenth, Michael
reflects on this holiday and is
thankful that his ancestors made it
through the Middle Passage - the
" forced voyage of enslaved Africans
across the Atlantic Ocean to the New
World " (tinyurl.com/ypte75nv) -
and carved out a life in a new country
that was not made for them. " It
uplifted our ancestors and began the
process of truly realizing the words
written in our Constitution. "
A few years ago, the Anti-Racist
(tinyurl.
Farmers Market Toolkit
com/yc8myznp) was
created to
help farmers and market managers
make progress toward becoming
anti-racist managers of anti-racist
markets. According to Michael, this
is a tool to help navigate and counsel
on those issues, and he believes
we should use whatever we can to
help us all do the best we can.
" Our market might be the most
diverse workplace that I have ever
worked in, " Michael says. " I sell produce,
and we simply concentrate on
being the best and delivering a high
level of customer service. "
Kristina Stanley is Farmers' Market
Manager at City of Overland Park, Kansas
(kristina.stanley@opkansas.org).
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL PEARL
http://tinyurl.com/ypte75nv http://tinyurl.com/yc8myznp

June 2024 – Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2024 – Parks & Recreation

June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Intro
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover1
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover2
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 2
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 3
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 4
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 5
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 6
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 7
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 8
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 9
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 10
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 11
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 12
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 13
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 14
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 15
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 16
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 17
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 18
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 19
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 20
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 21
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 22
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 23
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 24
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 25
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 26
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 27
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 28
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 29
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 30
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 31
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 32
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 33
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 34
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 35
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 36
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 37
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 38
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 39
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 40
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 41
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 42
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 43
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 44
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 45
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 46
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 47
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 49
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 50
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 51
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 52
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 53
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 54
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 55
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 56
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover3
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com