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johnson county recreation
While people in Johnson County work hard, they like their downtime as well, and we offer many wonderful places for individuals and families to learn, play, relax, be active, and enjoy the outdoors. Johnson County’s dozens of parks, recreation facilities, lakes, and public gardens offer something for everyone. Checkout one of Johnson County’s 13 libraries, spend an afternoon at the Johnson County Museum, or when the weather is warm enjoy a movie or Broadway show at Theatre in The Park. Our recreational amenities play a huge role in Johnson County being a community of choice.

Recreation News

New Family Overnight Camping 101 event at TimberRidge Adventure Center set for Oct. 12

Play hooky with your kids and come learn about camping during a new mid-October event at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's TimberRidge Adventure Center.

Family Overnight Camping 101 is the name of this event, which begins with tent set-up and on your own exploration followed by boating and fishing before dinner at 6 pm. Programmed activities will continue until 9 p.m. Group breakfast will be available at 7 and event ends by 8:30 am. If you don’t have a tent, but want to come, we have one you can rent,  but you will need to bring bedding and other supplies. This is a great way to try camping without purchasing all the equipment. For more information, call Outdoor Adventure Specialist Lysa Holladay Dvorak at (913) 856-8849.  No pets are allowed for this event. 

To find this program in online listings, browse first under special events and then under fun for all. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “camping.”

Family Overnight Camping 101 will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12. The cost is $30 per person  for Johnson County residents, or $33 per person for nonresidents. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359. or register online at www.jcprd.com.

The TimberRidge Adventure Center is  a 200-plus acre facility including a challenge course, climbing tower, and three ponds, and is adjacent to Kill Creek Park, which JCPRD also owns and operates. TimberRidge, which was dedicated in 2002, is accessible via an entrance which is separate from and south of the main entrance to Kill Creek Park. The TimberRidge entrance is located at 12300 South Homestead Lane, Olathe. With the exception of an open house in the early spring, the facility is normally accessible only by reservation or as part of programming.

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

Family Night Hike offered on Oct. 12 in Ernie Miller Park

Brave the park after dark with your family. during a special event being offered by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District in mid-October.

This intergenerational program is called Family Night Hike and is for ages eight and older with an adult. Participants are invited to move like a ninja on the trails, bring your flashlight for a game of firefly tag, and to listen for the nocturnal sounds of a cricket’s chorus and a barred owl’s call. 

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

Family Night Hike will take place beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. The cost for one 90-minute session is $7 per person, including adults, for Johnson County residents or $8 per person for nonresidents. Preregistration is required. Youth must be accompanied by a paying adult. For more information or to register, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.jcprd.com.

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

Mixed Media class for adults on Oct. 8 is part of B1V1 partnership

A new adult art program in Mixed Media offered in early October  is part of a new partnership between the Arts Council of Johnson County After Action Network's Operation: Art, and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

Exploring with paint and a variety of mixed materials, participants in this Mixed Media B1V1 class for ages 21 and older will partake in the process of collage to express their inner creativity. Students are encouraged to let go of expectations to discover what is unique about a visual adventure in integrating a variety of materials, discarded and recycled, with paint to explore the creative process. This class will use a "compose-as-you-go in paint and collage" approach to create an expression of this experience, time, and place. The resulting collages will be developed as personal treasure maps that tell a visual story through images and color. 

The arts partnership comes into play because this program is part of the Buy One Vet One (B1V1)  program.  Any program designated as B1V1 will include an additional $5 fee allowing a veteran to join the same participating program at no cost. This charitable program is presented as part of a grant awarded by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. Learn more about Operation: Art by visiting afteractionnetwork.org. 

To find the Mixed Media B1V1 class in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under fine & performing arts. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “art.” 

Mixed Media B1V1 is offered at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8. The cost for one three-hour session is $45 per person for Johnson County residents or $50 per person for nonresidents. Register online. 

The next B1V1 program being presented by JCPRD will be Introduction to Light on Saturday, Oct. 13. Register online

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

Whimsical Woods program returns to Ernie Miller Park on Oct. 6

There's nothing scary about a Halloween special event being offered at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Ernie Miller Park in early October. The program is called Whimsical Woods and is for ages 11 and younger accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

 

Participants will enjoy a walk on the park's trail with the award-winning staff of the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Costumed storybook characters will delight and entertain audiences of all ages. This program consists of a short trail walk with stations featuring interpreters who interact with participants. Participants will meet the Good Fairy and Forest Friends.  In addition, there will be live animals, stories, songs, and surprises. Group sessions will begin every 15 minutes between 1 and 3:15 p.m. For participants, the program length will be about one and one-half hours. In case of inclement weather, this event will be moved indoors.

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

Whimsical Woods is offered on Saturday, Oct. 6, beginning at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas-7 Highway. When paid in advance, the cost is $5 per person, including adults, for Johnson County residents or $6 per person for nonresidents. Onsite on the day of the event, the cost will be $8 per person, if space is available. 

Register by calling (913) 831-3359 or online at www.jcprd.com by clicking on “Register for Activities," and then completing a course ID search for any of the codes listed below.

For the 1 p.m. session, search for 11900. Codes for the other sessions are as follows: 1:15 p.m., 11901 ; 1:30 p.m., 11904; 1:45 p.m., 11905; 2 p.m., 11906; 2:15 p.m., 11907; 2:30 p.m., 11908; 2:45 p.m., 11909; 3 p.m., 11910; and 3:15 p.m., 11911. For more information about this program call (913) 826-2800.

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

Sunflower field planted for public enjoyment at Heritage Park

A sunflower field is adding color and generating a lot of interest this fall in the southeastern corner of Heritage Park

 

The eight-acre field of the state flower came about after the idea was suggested by a member of the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.

 

“A county commissioner encouraged us to investigate planting to provide a location for a sunflower field in Johnson County so area residents didn’t have to drive elsewhere to enjoy them,” said Superintendent of Parks and Golf Courses Bill Maasen. “We found a farmer who lived nearby who was willing to do it. He had not planted sunflowers before, but investigated it and did a great job.” 

 

The sunflower variety is the kind used for sunflowers as a row crop, and has multiple flowers on each stalk averaging about six to eight inches across. The plants get about four feet tall. 

 

The sunflower field in Heritage Park is located southeast of shelter #7 on Hallet Street within the park. From the intersection of Pflumm and 172nd St., go east, and 172nd street will curve north and turn into Hallet. Parking is available at shelter #7, or those going to see the sunflowers can park one car width off the road along Hallet. For the enjoyment of other park patrons, visitors are asked not to cut or harvest the flowers. Those who do so are subject to possible ticketing by the Johnson County Park Police.  

 

Since this is the first time a field of sunflowers has been planted in a JCPRD park, district officials aren’t sure what to expect. 

 

“It’s a public service and we’ll see if the citizens appreciate this use of Heritage Park” Maasen said. “We’ll gauge public comments and decide if we want to do this again in the future.”

JCPRD seeks public input on plans and projects

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

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

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

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.

First of two Public Hayrides offered on Sept. 30 in Shawnee Mission Park

In addition to fall hayrides for organized groups, each year JCPRD also offers opportunities for individuals and family members to enjoy the crisp autumn air from a tractor-drawn hayride without having to worry about reaching minimum numbers or placing a deposit. Advance registration is required. 

This hayride will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Oak Ridge Parklands in Shawnee Mission Park, 7460 Ogg Road, Shawnee. The cost is $7  per person and advance registration is required. Like the group program, this hayride will last approximately 60 minutes, and will be followed by a 60-minute campfire with apple cider and marshmallows. The second public hayride of the 2018 season is scheduled for Nov.4. 

To register by phone, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at jcprd.com for the Sept. 30 ride, or for the Nov. 4 ride

For anyone interested in group hayrides, spaces are available through Nov. 18 at both Shawnee Mission Park and at Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. Organized group hayrides also cost $7 per person but require a minimum of $80. Hayrides take place seven days a week during the above timeframe at Oak Ridge; and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only at Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of the date of the hayride. For scheduling and information, call (913) 831-3359.

To find these program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under special events and then under fun for all. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “hayrides.”

Upcoming Events

| View All
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:00am

50 Plus Monarch Migration

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 1:00pm

Whimsical Woods

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 1:00pm

50 Plus Travel Show

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Mon, 09/24/2018 - 5:30pm
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 5:30pm
Tue, 09/25/2018 - 5:45pm
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 9:00am
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 6:00pm
Thu, 09/27/2018 - 9:30am
Thu, 10/04/2018 - 9:30am
Thu, 10/04/2018 - 5:30pm

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