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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

New season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions begins May 3 at Ernie Miller Nature Center
April 6, 2017

A new season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions is beginning at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe. Young children and their parents are invited to come listen and learn during any or all of the six sessions scheduled on Wednesdays between May 5 and July 19.

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 JCPRD’s 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.”

The first program of this new season will be offered on May 3 when the theme is “Fairy Tales.” Other upcoming storytime sessions are scheduled for: May 17, "Animal Babies;" June 7, "Peek in a Pond;" June 21, "Forest Friends;" July 5, "Snake Surprise;" and July 19, "Turtle Time."  Each session takes place on a Wednesday and will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The cost per 30-minute session is $2 per person, including adults, payable at the event. Advance registrations are not necessary for this program.

Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. For more information, contact the Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.

Free New Horizons Band Concert set for May 2 at St. Thomas More Parish in Kansas City
April 6, 2017

A free concert by the New Horizons Band is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, at the St. Thomas More Parish, 11822, Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo.

This concert is the first of two the group is offering this May. For this event, the entire 45+ member ensemble is expected to play for about an hour. This top-notch entertainment is free of charge.

The New Horizons Band is a program of the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District in conjunction with the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and Meyer Music. The band is a group of music-loving adults age 50 and older who meet about once a week to practice. The group includes brass, woodwind, and percussion. New Horizons has been in existence for more than 16 years and currently has about 45 band members, including members who come from as far as Blue Springs to participate.

The other upcoming New Horizons Band concert will take place one week later on Tuesday, May 9, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood, Roeland Park.

For anyone interested in joining the group, the band meets for practices weekly on Tuesday nights beginning at 6 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. Beginning band lessons are also available. For more information about the band or the concerts, call (913) 826-3160.

Western parking lot at Shawnee Mission Park Off-Leash Area to be closed for removal and replacement beginning in March
March 8, 2017

The western parking lot at the Shawnee Mission Park Dog Off-Leash Area will be closed to the public beginning in mid-March as the lot is replaced and expanded, Johnson County Park & Recreation District officials announced.

The off-leash area itself is not closing at this time, and the closer eastern parking lot will remain open, although officials warn that parking will be extremely limited during this project, which could take up to 180 days to complete. A temporary driveway will allow patrons to access the off-leash parking lot from the western edge of the eastern lot.

When completed, the existing western parking lot's 32 parking spaces will be replaced with a double-wide 68-space lot which will be expanded to the west and include handicapped parking spaces compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Patrons may notice park maintenance crews removing the chain-link fence on the western side of the parking lot in the coming week in preparation for the parking lot replacement project, and the placement of fill dirt to the west where the new portion of the lot will be located.

While no timeframe has been set at this time, officials are anticipating another project within the Shawnee Mission Park Off-Leash Area, which is expected to completely close the facility for about two weeks later this year. That project will involve paving the main trail from the parking lot all the way to the beach to make it ADA accessible.

Shawnee Mission Park is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and is located at 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa. Regular park hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. 

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Upcoming Events

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April 30, 2017 | 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

21st Annual Panzon’s Fundraiser

May 6, 2017 | 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Enchanted Fairytale Forest - 10 a.m. session

May 6, 2017 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Enchanted Fairytale Forest - 1 p.m. session

May 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm to 9:00 am

Mom & Me Camping Event

May 12, 2017 | 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Family Bingo Night