A grassroots campaign that could result in a change to the name of Negro Creek in east-central Johnson County has formed a committee and is currently reviewing research information, learning about federal guidelines, presenting to community groups and accepting name suggestions from the community. There has not been a decision to change the name, or if it should be changed, what the new name should be.
The small waterway meanders through several neighborhoods and a few small parks in southern Overland Park and Leawood, including portions of the Iron Horse Golf Course.
The creek is one of six geographic places in five Kansas counties, including Johnson County, and 757 sites in the nation with Negro or a related term in their names.
Negro Creek, in Johnson County, Kansas, is a tributary to the Blue River. The headwaters originate near 151st Street and Antioch Road in Overland Park.
The main stem flows generally east for 4 miles through the City of Leawood, to its confluence with the Blue River near 151st Street and Kenneth Road just west of the State Line. Its watershed encompasses 8.6 miles.
Renaming the Creek
Changing the name would take time with community input and with required support for the chosen new name by community organizations, two city governments, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners and state agencies.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names, a federal agency, has the final say on standardizing geographic names in the nation and typically changes a name only if local support for the change is strong. Once an application for a new name has been submitted, the process can take up to six months for a decision.
Submit questions/inquires/suggestions to [email protected].
Warning, the following document contains graphic descriptions of a violent historical event, includes and references a newspaper article from 1879 which contains offensive language that has been redacted.
- Johnson County moving forward with potential name change to creek many find offensive
- The Best Times
- Summer 2021 JoCo Magazine
- Historical or just offensive? Johnson County’s Negro Creek is long overdue for a new name
- Johnson County does deep dive into history of Negro Creek ahead of potential name change
- The push is on to change the name of Johnson County creek
- Push continues to change name of Johnson County creek that many find offensive
- Kansas county mulls changing creek’s racially loaded name
- Creek Topo Map in Johnson County KS