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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

Accessibility project to close SMP Off-Leash Dog Area for five weeks
August 8, 2018

A construction project which will add an accessible trail to the Off-Leash Dog Area in Shawnee Mission Park will begin on Aug. 13, and will result in the complete closure of the popular off-leash area for about five weeks.

This project involves the construction of approximately one half mile of concrete trail between the parking lot and the existing ramp down to the dog beach area. The new trail will follow the spine of the hill, and will replace the existing wood-chipped trail.

The goal of this project "is to improve ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to the beach," said Project Manager Megan Merryman. "In general, as an agency, we are making significant efforts to make our parks more accessible for everyone."

Freeman Concrete Construction of Shawnee was the successful bidder for this project. As detailed in the contract, Freeman will have 35 calendar days to complete construction.

In addition to lasting longer, concrete also has advantages in regards to maintenance and repairs.  

"It's easier for us in the future to have to go in and replace just a few sections of damaged concrete as opposed to having to bring in an asphalt truck again," Merryman said. "In theory, we could replace or repair damaged concrete a lot easier with a lot less disturbance to the public than asphalt."

Another minor aspect of the project will involve bringing in fill dirt to improve the trail elevation at a low spot near the parking lot.  

Like the district's streamway trails, the new paved trail will be ten feet wide.

During the scheduled closure, park staff will make additional improvements to the area, including fencing the east and west boundaries to enclose the entire off-leash area. The new fence will ultimately provide a safer area for dogs and their owners.  

Just a friendly reminder that in addition to being potentially hazardous to both dogs and people, entering the off-leash area during this construction closure, which also includes the parking lot, will be considered trespassing.

During the closure, off-leash area patrons are encouraged to use alternative off-leash areas, including three others operated by JCPRD, and others operated by outside agencies. Other JCPRD off-leash areas are located in: Heritage Park 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe; Thomas S. Stoll Memorial Park, 12500 W. 119th St., Overland Park; and near the Kill Creek Streamway Park access point at 33460 W. 95th St., De Soto. Other area dog parks include: Leawood Dog Park, 10601 Lee Boulevard, Leawood; and two areas operated by the city of Kansas City, Mo., in Penn Valley Park at 28th & Wyandotte St., and in Swope Park at 4701 E. Gregory Blvd.
 

JCPRD presents Homeschool Art programs for ages 5 to 15 beginning Sept. 5 & 6
August 8, 2018

Youth can join their friends and go on an adventure into art during a homeschool program being offered beginning in early September by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

Homeschool Art is the name of this program, which is for ages five to 15, and is  designed to supplement homeschool curriculum. Participants will have collaborative experiences meant to encourage them to explore art through consideration, conversation, and creation. Two different themes for Homeschool Art programs with sessions starting in early September are being offered: Art Adventures, for ages five to 15, and Advanced Art Adventures for ages 11 and older.

All of these programs take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. These classes involve 11 two-hour sessions at a cost of $95 per person for Johnson County residents or $99 per person for nonresidents.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under youth and then under fine &performing arts. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “art.”

Two different sessions of Art Adventures and Advanced Art Adventures are offered beginning in early September. One session of Art Adventures meets at 10 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Sept. 5, while the other meets at 10 a.m. Thursdays beginning Sept. 6. One session of Advanced Art Adventures meets at 1 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Sept. 5, while the other meets at 1 p.m. Thursdays beginning Sept. 6.

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a course ID search for the code numbers listed above.

Additional Homeschool Art classes with the theme "Clay Creations,"  will be offered for ages five to 15 beginning Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.  

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

New season of Animal Tales Storytime sessions begins Sept. 5 at two locations
August 8, 2018

The new season of Animal Tales Storytime, which is being presented by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department, includes sessions at two locations . The program will include sessions at  both the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe, as well as at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park.

Animal Tales Storytime invites young children and their parents to come listen and learn during any or all of the 11sessions scheduled on selected Wednesdays , and one Thursday, between Sept. 5 and Dec. 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 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.”
 
Animal presentations at the Ernie Miller Nature Center include:  a  Sept. 5 session called “Monarch Magic;” a  Sept. 19 session called "Johnny Appleseed;" an Oct. 3 session called "Fall Colors;"   an Oct. 17 session called "Night Critters;" 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." Sessions at JCAHC include: an encore presentation of  "Johnny Appleseed;" on Sept. 26;  an  Oct. 18 program called  "Fall Sights & Sounds;" a Nov. 14 program called "Turkey Time;" and a Dec. 12 program called "Feathered Friends."

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.
 
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.
 

“The Little Red Hen” is subject of next museum Retro Storytime program on Sept. 5 at the Johnson Cou
August 8, 2018

Parents and their preschoolers will love stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House during a series of programs being offered monthly from September through December at the Johnson County Museum.

This program is called Retro Storytime and is for ages three to five with an adult. After each session's story presentation, enjoy a craft activity for little hands. Stories change monthly. An adult must attend program with child. These programs take place beginning at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday early each month through December at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

The cost for each 45-minute program is $2 per child, and museum members receive a 20 percent discount but must register by telephone to receive their discount. Registration for these programs does not include admission to the Johnson County Museum or to KidScape. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool and then under enrichment &special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “museum program.”

The first program in the new season is called “The Little Red Hen,” and will take place on Sept. 5. Published in 1953, this story is a long-time favorite about a hen, hard work, and the benefits of collaborating with friends.

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

Other upcoming Retro Story and Art Fun programs this season will include: “The Happy Man and his Dump Truck”  on Oct. 3, "The Poky Little Puppy" on Nov. 7, and “Frosty the Snow Man" on Dec. 5.
 
The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

 

New Little Critters program begins Sept. 6 at Ernie Miller Nature Center
August 8, 2018

Your Little Critter will enjoy two hours of fun and education on the first Thursday of each month as you enjoy some personal time during a new program being offered by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Outdoor Education Department.

Little Critters is the name of this program for ages three through five, which will take place at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Activities will vary but we will have a snack, make a craft, play games, and see an animal visitor each day.  Each month's program has a theme. For the Sept. 6 session, the theme is "Fall Fairytale Forest". Other themes this season are: "Slimy, Scaly, Not So Creepy” on Oct. 4, "Feathers, Beaks & Feet" on Nov. 1, and "Holiday Animal Party" on Dec. 6. All sessions take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday.

To find these 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 keywords “nature & outdoors.”
 
The cost per two-hour session is $14 per person for Johnson County residents, or $16 per person for nonresidents. Participants must be potty trained.  For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and complete a search for any of the course ID numbers above.  
 
Ernie Miller Nature Center is located at 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. For more information about this program, contact the nature center at (913) 826-2800.

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

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