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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

Learn more about the Buffalo Soldiers and World War I during Nov. 2 day trip for 50 Plus
October 17, 2018

Leavenworth, Kan., and the national World War I Museum in downtown Kansas City are destinations for a busy early November day trip being offered by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

WWI and Buffalo Soldiers  is the name of this day trip.  Travelers will visit Leavenworth's Richard Allen Cultural Center, which opened in 1992 to highlight African-American history. Participants will learn about the accomplishments of African Americans from General Colin Powell, to buffalo soldiers, and including freedom papers from former slaves. Part of the museum is in the former home of U.S. Army Captain William Bly, a Buffalo Soldier during World War I.  Members of the 9th & 10th Calvary Association will tell stories from the past. The group will visit the Buffalo Soldier monument on Fort Leavenworth followed by lunch on base at the Solarium Buffet at the Frontier Conference Center.  Participants will then travel to and spend the afternoon touring the National WWI museum dedicated in 1921 by allied commanders. Learn about the Great War that changed everything.  The Collection includes over 75,000 items including a tank, canon, trench, and hear how the war is believed to have reoriented the world and changed the role of the United States.

To find this trip in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under travel. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “day trip.” 

This trip will depart at 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, from Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam. The cost for this nine-hour day trip is $77  per person and includes transportation, lunch, and admissions. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

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.

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

JCPRD winter park hours begin Nov. 1
October 17, 2018

Winter hours of  7:30  a.m. to 8 p.m. go into effect Nov. 1 for many Johnson County Park and  Recreation District parks. These winter hours will stay in effect through Feb. 28.

District parks impacted by the new hours are: Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe;  Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe; Lexington Lake  Park, 8850 Sunflower Road, De Soto; Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam; and Big Bull Creek Park, 20425 Sunflower Road, Edgerton. Winter hours for Shawnee Mission Park, 7900  Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa, are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Other district parks with year-round dawn to dusk hours include: Ernie Miller Park, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe; Sunflower Nature Park, 103rd St. and Edgerton Road, rural De Soto; Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, 12500 W. 119th Street, Overland Park; Camp Branch Glade, 175th & Mission Road in Aubry Township; Stilwell Community Park, 207th and Metcalf, Stilwell; and all of the Streamway Park System access points.  

Park hours are reduced each winter to reduce costs and to allow for the reallocation of a staff time to other activities at a time when fewer people typically visit the parks because of colder weather and earlier nightfall.

As of  Oct. 15, outdoor restrooms and water fountains in JCPRD parks are in the process of being turned off and weatherized to avoid damage from freezing. Notable exceptions are the "off-the-grid" restroom at the Heritage Park Off-Leash Dog Area, which uses solar panels on the roof to heat water in a tubing system to provide radiant heat to the building, restrooms in the foyer area of the new addition to the JCPRD Administration Building near the 79th St. entrance in Shawnee Mission Park, which are climate controlled and will remain open during park hours throughout the year; and two restrooms in the recently-opened Big Bull Creek, including one at the combined park maintenance building and Johnson County Park Police substation located at 19770 Four Corners Road, and another near the nature-themed playground at 20425 Sunflower Road, Edgerton.

For more information, visit the district’s website at www.jcprd.com or call (913) 438-7275.

Continuing park and facility growth and popularity addressed with new JCPRD Safety Plan
October 17, 2018

Earlier this year, the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners approved a safety plan prepared by JCPRD staff to address safety needs for the years 2019 through 2030.  It includes a review of Johnson County Park Police staffing and equipment to ensure appropriate safety and security within the district.  The Johnson County Park and Recreation District has opened and will continue to open additional acres to the public, substantially increasing JCPRD managed greenspace available for public access.  Additional trail miles and recreation facilities are opening as well, requiring increased provision of safety services.

“As we open new parks and trails, the JCPRD board wanted to ensure that safety was not lost as our agency’s top priority,” said JCPRD Executive Director Jill Geller. “They established a goal for staff to develop a district-wide safety plan in 2018.  The plan recognized that between 2016-2024, JCPRD will see an 82 percent increase in park acres open to the public, a 42 percent increase in paved trail miles, and a 27 percent increase in JCPRD facilities.  The plan identified the need for four officers to be added to the park police force each year from 2019 to 2024, and the installation of security cameras at parks and facilities.  The Board’s unanimous adoption of the plan is evidence of their commitment to the continued safety of our park patrons, program participants and staff.“ 

In addition to JCPRD’s growth in acres and trail miles, visitations to the agency’s parks and facilities are at an all-time high.  The number of visitations to JCPRD’s various parks and facilities in 2017 was 8.9 million. Projections through 2024 are for a 32 percent increase in visitation, and the projection through 2030 anticipates a 42 percent increase.

It is important that residents feel safe in JCPRD parks and facilities and on district trails.  Safety on trails has been of heightened concern in recent years due to crimes committed on other metro area trails not owned and operated by JCPRD.  Currently, one bike patrol officer, supplemented by park safety aides on bike, patrol in the busier summer months.

Additionally, automobiles visiting JCPRD’s park amenities are sometimes a target for burglaries, and there has been a rise in this activity in the past year.  Greater visibility of park police, safety aides, and the installation of security cameras will be a strong deterrent to such activity, and is an anticipated outcome of the safety plan. 

Current Park Police Staff include: one chief, two captains, four sergeants, and 16 patrol officers. 

"Our goal is really to get our new JCPRD Safety Plan implemented, and it really starts with recruiting, hiring, and training officers," said Superintendent of Safety and Outdoor Education Terry Anderson. "We have those four new positions to fill for 2019 as part of the safety plan, and with three more positions to fill due to recent attrition, in the next six or seven months, we will probably hire a record level of new officers."

Safety has always been a top priority for JCPRD, and it is evident with the increase in park acres, trail miles, and recreation facilities that additional park police services are needed.  The recent opening of the park police substation in Big Bull Creek Park provides better responsiveness for patrons. The opening of a second park police substation is proposed in 2022, with a third substation to follow in future years.  Closely monitoring activity and visitations in new parks in the coming years, JCPRD will evaluate and determine the best locations for a these substations.

Funding for implementation of the safety plan has not been identified, and will require approval from the JCPRD park board, as well as the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners as part of the annual budget process.

JCCC request will be agenda item during Oct. 17 park board meeting
October 12, 2018

A Johnson County Community College request for an emergency egress route through Stoll Park, 12500 W. 119th St., Overland Park, will be a discussion/action item when the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners conducts its regular monthly meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the JCPRD Administration Building, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa. The public is welcome to attend this meeting and make comment on this issue if so desired. See the meeting agenda.

 

Consideration of this item at the park board meeting follows two well-attended "listening meetings"  on this request conducted  by the college on campus on Sept. 18 and Oct. 3, as well as several public comments on the issue during the park board's Sept. 19 meeting.

Tea Dance - Monster Mash for 50 Plus is Oct. 26 at Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
October 3, 2018

Join us for a spooktacular tea dance event with Roland and the Playboys being presented by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District in late October.

This Tea Dance - Monster Mash will take place on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.  Wear a costume for a chance at prizes. Bring your favorite sweet treat or potluck dish to share. Refreshments will be  provided. 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 catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “dance.”

This event will begin at 2 p.m. The cost for this two-hour event is $5 per person. Pay at the door, or register in advance by calling (913) 831-3359 or online at www.jcprd.com.

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.

The My JCPRD Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches.

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