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Park and Recreation

Phone: 913-438-7275

7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66219

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park and recreation

For more than 50 years, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District has provided high-quality parks, park services and recreational programs in more than 6,000 acres of parkland and open green space. Each year, the District records more than 7 million park visitors and nearly 1.5 million recreation participations in over 4,000 programs. The District's contributions to the personal lives of Johnson County's citizens have earned the District local appreciation and national acclaim.

Department News

JCPRD seeks public input on plans and projects
September 12, 2018

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District is seeking public input on a total of three plans and projects.


Public input and opinion is being sought on a new JCPRD Natural Resource Plan: A Conservation Tool for a Sustainable Future now under development, as well as on plans for two capital projects. Those projects include: the Camp Branch Park Master Plan, and plans for Phase I development of the Cedar Niles property. Plans will also be available to review for Verhaeghe Park, which is expected to go to bid late this year with an opening tentatively expected next summer.


Online opinion surveys are available through Sept. 30 for the Natural Resource Plan and the Camp Branch Park, and the public can discuss any or all four of the projects with staff and consultants during a “pop-up” meeting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the free Park Palooza event  on Sunday, Sept. 16, at The Theatre in the Park, located in Shawnee Mission Park with a separate entrance at 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee. 

Find the online survey relating to the natural resources plan at www.surveymonkey.com/r/jcprdnature and the survey for Camp Branch Park at www.surveymonkey.com/r/CampBranch.


Once completed, the JCPRD Natural Resource Plan will help protect natural features in JCPRD parks, including woodlands, prairies, streams, and lakes that community members visit, see, touch, and enjoy. The planning process for the Natural Resource Plan began this past spring, and will end in spring 2019. Community feedback will help shape the outcome, so JCPRD is developing the plan with assistance from a steering committee, residents, advocates, and others. The plan will reflect community feedback, best practices, and implementation strategies. JCPRD will use it to conserve, restore, and manage the natural resources in its parks and recreation system. For more information about the plan, contact JCPRD Field Biologist Matt Garrett at (913) 826-3440 and matthew.garrett@jocogov.org


The future Camp Branch Park is located at the southwest corner of 175th Street and Mission Road east of Camp Branch Glade. It is undeveloped and consists largely of hay fields, rock outcroppings, and Oak/Hickory forest. The planning process for the Camp Branch Park Master Plan began this summer and will end in early 2019.  Analysis of the site, community feedback, and more will help us identify improvement concepts and recommendations to include in the final plan. JCPRD will then use it to guide future park investments. 


The future park property known as Cedar Niles sprawls in a largely linear form encompassing about 950 acres and stretching nearly two miles between 119th and 135th streets in Olathe. The property includes perennial streams, dramatic topography, and diverse plant life. Plans for the first phase of development will focus primarily on roughly four miles of trails, mostly along Cedar and Little Cedar creeks. Three vehicular access points, and one bike access point are planned. Visitors to the “pop-up meeting” during Park Palooza will be able to review maps and preliminary plans, and give input on trail layout, access points, and general feedback about the project. 


Verhaeghe Park will be located near the future intersection of 167th and Flint street, which are currently in the process of being extended. This 11-acre property is located about halfway through the 3.4 miles of the Coffee Creek Streamway Park, which opened in October 2017, and will serve as a trailhead and access point for that trail. Planned amenities will include a picnic shelter, playground, community garden, drinking fountain, and parking lot. This project is expected to go to bid in November, with construction starting early next year.JCPRD seeks public input on plans and projects

Animal Tales Storytime sessions continue on Oct. 3, 17, & 18
September 12, 2018

Fall colors, sights, and sounds, as well as night critters, are the themes of October Animal Tales Storytime sessions being presented at two locations by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department.

October Animal Tales presentations include: an Oct. 3 session called "Fall Colors;" and an Oct. 17 session called "Night Critters;" both at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, and an Oct. 18 program called "Fall Sights & Sounds;" at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park.

At either location, the cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program. With the sole exception of the Oct. 18 program at JCAHC, which takes place on a Thursday, all other sessions take place on a Wednesday. Sessions at EMNC begin at 10:30 a.m., while JCAHC sessions begin at 10 a.m.

Animal Tales Storytime is for ages two to six. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This program will feature stories, songs, and surprises. Participants will also get to meet a special animal friend at each session. Animal Tales Storytime was one of the many programs cited when the Ernie Miller Nature Center won an Oracle Award for Organizational Service and Leadership in the South Central Region from the National Storytelling Network a few years ago. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “storytelling.”

Other upcoming presentations at Ernie Miller Nature Center include: a Nov. 7 session called "Forest Peek-a-boo;" a Dec. 5 session called "Mrs. Claus Reads;" and a Dec. 19 session called, "A Visit with Santa." Remaining sessions at JCAHC include: a Nov. 14 program called "Turkey Time;" and a Dec. 12 program called "Feathered Friends."

The Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. For more information about this program, contact the nature center at (913) 826-2800.

Free storytime programs offered at Mill Creek Activity Center beginning Oct. 1
September 12, 2018

Join us for five free new storytime presentations being offered during October at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Mill Creek Activity Center.


October program dates and their themes include: Oct. 1, “Disney© World Day;” Oct. 8, “Krazy Kids;” Oct. 15, “Be Better Than The Bully;” Oct. 22, “Parachute Day;” and Oct. 29, “Costume Day.”


Called MCAC Storytime, these programs are for all ages, and are meant to be exciting storytime experiences that will vary with new and exciting activities. Presenters may offer books, lessons, songs, and crafts


These programs take place weekly at 10:15 a.m. Mondays through Nov. 12 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Drive, Shawnee. There is no cost for these programs, and registration is not required, so feel free to stop by and join us. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog, browse first under preschool and then under enrichment and special interests.


The remaining storytime programs in this series will include: Nov. 5, “A-MAZE-ING Monday;” and Nov. 12, “Sundae Sundae Sundae.”


The My JCPRD Activities catalog is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Chili Bingo special event for 50 Plus set for Oct. 4 at Roeland Park Community Center
September 12, 2018

Join us as we celebrate National Chili Month during a special event being bingo  program being presented in early October  by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

This program is called Chili Bingo. Make new friends and enjoy a full meal, prizes, fun, and 12 games of bingo. A variety of prizes will be awarded, including gift certificates.  

To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under special events and then under 50 Plus. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “games.”

Chili Bingo will take place beginning  at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 , at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. The cost for this two-and-one-half-hour event is $10 per person for Johnson County residents or $11 for nonresidents. Cost of admission covers food (or snacks) and staff time to administer the bingo program. No additional charge for bingo.  For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com. Please pre-register at least one week in advance, or by Oct. 1 for this event. 

While JCPRD’s 50 Plus programs are primarily for people who are age 50 or older, interested parties who have not yet reached that magic age may still be able to attend. Persons 18 and older who are interested in a 50 Plus class are invited to call the 50 Plus Department at (913) 826-3030 for space availability.

Printed copies of the My JCPRD Activities catalog are available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

Johnson County Museum to participate in Smithsonian Magazine's 14th annual Museum Day on Sept. 22
September 7, 2018

The Johnson County Museum will offer free admission on Saturday, Sept.22, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 14th annual Museum Day. The museum, located at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center,8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, will offer all museum visitors free admission. Guests may tour the signature exhibition, Becoming Johnson County, and the popular KidScape experience.

The Museum Day encourages museums across the United States with a wide range of diverse exhibitions to emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day. Participating museums will open their doors for free. Many museums are requiring guests to register and download tickets through the Smithsonian website, however the Johnson County Museum will not. Free admission will be offered to all visitors as part of our quarterly free admission days.  The next free day will be Wednesday, Nov. 21.

The Johnson County Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Normal admission prices are $5 for adults (18+), $4 for seniors (60+) and $3 for children 1-17. Children under 1 are free.  For more information about the Johnson County Museum, visit www.jcprd.com/museum

For more information about the Johnson County Museum's participation in Museum Day, contact Visitor Services Coordinator Justin Border at (913) 715-2571 or at justin.border@jocogov.org. For more information about Museum Day 2018 and a full list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit Smithsonian.com/museumday.

The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.