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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

Art Expose event for 50 Plus is June 29 at The Atriums
June 7, 2017

Amazing local artists will show off their talents and creations during a special event being planned in late June by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.                                  

This Art Expose will feature demonstrations, discussions, and an interactive tour. This unique art gallery is set within the walls of the upscale, resort-style living at The Atriums. Special attendants will be available to guide participants through this walking art expose.  Refreshments will be provided.

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

The Art Expose at The Atriums  begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 29. This two and one-half-hour event is free to attend, but advance reservations by June 22 are required. For more information  or to reserve your spot, call (913) 642-6410. To see this program online, visit the district's website at www.jcprd.com, click on Activity Registration in the upper left part of the screen, and perform a barcode search for 39163.

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 Park & Recreation District named one of four finalists for prestigious national award
May 18, 2017

For the second consecutive year, JCPRD is a finalist for the National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), recently announced.

“To be nationally recognized in this manner is a huge honor, and to be recognized in back to back years is even more impressive,” said JCPRD Executive Director Jill Geller. “We take seriously our mission of providing high quality parks, programs, and services that enhance the lives of the residents of Johnson County.  Being a national Gold Medal Finalist is validation that we’re doing good work to that end. “

Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. which demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development, and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation, and one class for state park systems awarded on odd-numbered years.

JCPRD is a finalist in Class I, which is for agencies serving a population over 400,000, and is the largest of the five population-based categories. The district was previously a finalist in 1991, 1993, 1994, and 2016. The agency won the Gold Medal Award in 1995.

The district offers more than 4,000 programs and activities each year, and it manages over 9,900 acres of parkland, more than 90 miles of trails, and multiple recreational facilities. A recent study by The Trust for Public Land, found that JCPRD parks, trails and programs are key economic drivers which contribute more than $97 million annually in economic benefits to the community.  Last year alone there were 2.5 million participations in the programs presented by JCPRD, and 7 million visitations to the district’s parks.

For the Gold Medal Awards, agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials.  JCPRD joins three other finalists in their class that will compete for grand honors this year.  The other 2017 Class I finalists are BREC, Baton Rouge, La., Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis, Minn. and Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, Lake Worth, Fla.  

Through a series of short essays required as part of the application process, JCPRD emphasized partnerships, conservation efforts, and public safety/outdoor education programs. Recent partnerships have included working with the city of Prairie Village on the development of the future Meadowbrook Park, working with Johnson County on the construction of the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in the former King Louie Building, and partnering with the Shawnee Mission School District for the district to operate and manage a recently-announced new aquatic stadium in Lenexa. Conservation efforts have included the planting of 130 acres of native prairie plants over the past three years.  The application also highlighted the dual roles of Johnson County Park Police officers in law enforcement and outdoor education.

Asked how the agency has positively impacted the community in the past three years, officials noted the agency’s 4,000 programs and events serve 2.5 million participations.  Highlights included the Kansas City Corporate Challenge, which in 2016 involved 32,000 participants from 220 companies, Ernie Miller Nature Center with its new permanent exhibit that attracted 31,000 visitors within its first months of operation, JCPRD’s Out of School Time programs that impact 1,800 children daily, and the Johnson County Museum that is preparing to open a new 17,877-square-foot exhibit at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals will review and judge all application materials, including five-minute videos the finalist organizations submit in early June. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.

This year’s finalists will compete for Grand Plaque Award honors this summer, and the Grand Plaque recipient in each of the categories will be announced in September at the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

For more information on the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.nrpa.org/goldmedal or www.aapra.org.

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration is a non-profit organization founded to advance knowledge related to the administration of recreation and parks; to encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators that would enhance the practice of park and recreation administration; to promote broader public understanding of the importance of parks and recreation to the public good; and, to conduct research, publish scholarly papers and sponsor seminars related to the advancement of park and recreation administration. For more information, visit www.aapra.org

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

50 Plus Bingo programs continue on June 7 & 14
May 17, 2017

"Fiesta" and "4th of July" are the themes of bingo game sessions being offered in June by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.

All bingo sessions begin at 1:30 p.m. and will feature a dozen games of bingo, as well as food, prizes, and fun. Bingo prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. The cost for each two-hour program  is $5 per person for Johnson County residents or $6 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required.

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

"Fiesta" is the theme for the first  June bingo session on June 7 at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center,  11902 Lowell, Overland Park (barcode 39147);  while a session called "4th of July" will take place on June 14  at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Dr., Shawnee (barcode 39148).

Other upcoming 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include:  "Baseball" on July 19 at the Sunset Building, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe (barcode 39149); "Ice Cream Sundae" on July 27  at the Roeland Park Community Center (barcode 39150);  and "Back to School" on Aug. 16  at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center (barcode 39151).

For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, follow the “Register for Activities” link and complete a barcode search for the five-digit codes listed  above.

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.


2017 season of Movies in the Park begins on June 6 with “Moana”
May 17, 2017

On June 6, a recent animated Disney favorite kicks off a schedule of films planned for the Movies in the Park program this summer at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s The Theatre in the Park.

Through this program, a total of four films will be shown on a 40-foot screen on the theatre stage on specified summer nights when musical productions are not scheduled. Beginning June 6, films will screen on specific Tuesday nights during the theatre’s regular season. Films will begin between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m., depending on sunset, and the cost is only $1 per person. Gates open on movie nights at 7:30 p.m.

To kick off this year’s program, Disney Animation Studio’s “Moana,” will be shown on June 6, and the Illumination Entertainment movie “Sing” will be shown on June 20. Other movie nights in the series include: a July 18 showing of “Pitch Perfect;” an Aug. 1 showing of Pixar Animation Studio’s “Finding Dory;”

With the sole exception of “Pitch Perfect;” which is Rated PG-13, all of this year’s films are rated PG. For more about this year’s film lineup, including ratings information, go to www.theatreinthepark.org/movies.” This year’s Movies in the Park presentations are sponsored by Shawnee Mission Health.

Please note that the theatre’s usual rain-out policy does not apply to movie nights. Due to licensing restrictions, if a movie has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, no refunds will be issued and no tickets will be revalidated.

The Theatre in the Park is located north of the main entrance to Shawnee Mission Park with a separate entrance at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. 

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.