Facebook Social Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Social Icon You Tube Social Icon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Park and Recreation

Phone: 913-438-7275

7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66219

You are here

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

Grand reopening of Antioch Park’s Dodge Town postponed until April 21
April 5, 2018

Due to anticipated winter weather on Saturday morning, Johnson County Park & Recreation District officials have postponed the grand reopening of the Dodge Town play area in Antioch Park until April 21.

Originally scheduled for April 7, the reopening  on will celebrate the popular play area’s reopening following nearly six months of renovations. 

The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Plans include comments from local officials, a “rope cutting, ” some fun photo opportunities, and a lunch of “lil’ doggies” (hot dogs), chips, and water. “The Marshal of Dodge Town” (Johnson County Park Police Officer Seth Salmans)  will be deputizing kids and passing out badges and bandanas.  

Dodge Town closed in late September for an extreme makeover which included removing and replacing all the buildings, decking, and mulch. They’ve all been replaced with new versions of most of the buildings, including the schoolhouse, bank, pony express, city hall with a clock tower, general store, and blacksmith shop. New additions include a pour-in-place safety surface between the buildings, faux horses and calves, a train station, complete with a shaded seating area for parents, and a stationary train play element for the kids.

The reconstruction project corrects issues of drainage and general disrepair. The much-loved play area was originally built in 1961, and countless children have explored the western town replica in the years since. It has been rebuilt three times previously.

 

Marshal of Dodge Town looking forward to reopening event
April 5, 2018

Any rogues, hooligans, vagabonds, or rapscallions who might be in the area of Antioch Park on Saturday (April 21), had better watch out!

The marshal of Dodge Town will be out and  about and he’ll be recruiting dozens of new deputies during the Grand Reopening ceremony. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m.  Everyone, and especially young cowboys and cowgirls, are invited to this free event, which includes lunch and a badge!

Johnson County Park Police Officer Seth Salmans will portray the marshal, and he says he’s looking forward to this fun event where he’ll test some would-be new deputies at the recently-refurbished western-themed play area. 

“I enjoy immersing myself in the history, customs, mannerisms, and garb of another era,” Salmans said. “But what I really enjoy is the interaction with other people, and having an interaction with people that in many ways will be remembered for a lifetime.”

Serving as the marshal of Dodge Town won’t really be much of a stretch for Salmans, not only because of the many roles he’s played  as part of his interpretive duties with JCPRD at both Ernie Miller Park and at the Johnson County Museum, but because of his background working at another famous western Kansas locale.

“My first job was at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City,” Salmans said.  “Every summer since I was fifteen, I have worked/volunteered my time at the museum and this role was more or less the same. That experience was in part what helped me in getting my job as a park police officer. This character is so ingrained in my personality, outside of mentally going through the motions, there really isn’t much prep outside of the outfit. Let me tell you though that putting together a three-piece period-correct outfit is serious business. Especially when strapping on a gun belt and a badge.”

The popular Dodge Town play area closed in late September for major renovations which included removing and replacing all the buildings, decking, and mulch. Most of the buildings have been replaced with new versions, including the schoolhouse, bank, pony express, city hall with a clock tower, general store, and blacksmith shop. Added during these changes was a pour-in-place safety surface between the buildings, faux horses and calves, a train station, complete with a shaded seating area for parents, and a stationary train play element for the kids.  The reconstruction was necessary to correct drainage issues and general disrepair. The much-loved play area was originally built in 1961, and countless children have explored the western town replica in the years since. It has been rebuilt three times previously.

Saturday’s reopening event will include comments from local officials, and a “rope cutting” to carry through the western theme. After this, a lunch of “lil’ doggies” (hot dogs), chips, and water, will be served, some fun photo opportunities will be available, and the marshal of Dodge Town will be deputizing kids and passing out badges and bandanas.

Officials have said the event will proceed rain, shine, sleet, or snow.

Orienteering workshop for ages 16 and older offered on April 28
April 4, 2018

Do you enjoy hiking cross-country, but fear losing your way? If so, join the Johnson County Park & Recreation District for a Map and Compass Orientation Workshop beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

Learn the basic skills of using a topographic map and a magnetic compass in this beginner's workshop for ages 16 and older and children accompanied by a parent or guardian. This beginner's workshop is taught by members of the Possum Trot Orienteering Club and will introduce participants to orienteering, a fun way of learning the basic skills for using a topographic map and a magnetic compass. The program includes a practice orienteering hike in the park. Workbook and the loan of a compass are provided.  Remember to dress for the weather. To find this program in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under adult and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “map & compass.”

The cost for this three-hour workshop is $15 per person for Johnson County residents or $17 for nonresidents. Preregistration is required. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and complete a barcode search for 41284.

For participants ages three to 18, this program is also eligible for credit in the Environmental dimension for the JCPRD U holistic wellness program. Participants can complete Achievement Classes (similar to academic grade levels) and earn Achievement  Badges and Awards. To register for JCPRD U, call (913) 826-2950.

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

Public invited to TimberRidge Adventure Center Open House on April 28
April 4, 2018

Whether or not you've seen or experienced the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's TimberRidge Adventure Center, an open house scheduled for Saturday, April 28, is your next chance to do so. Also on the same day, a related open house for the center's 40-foot-tall Hawk's Nest Climbing Tower will give interested parties 12 and older who register in advance a free opportunity to experience the tower's two climbing walls.

The TimberRidge Adventure Center is located at 12300 S. Homestead Lane, Olathe, and is a 200-plus acre facility 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. With the exception of this annual event, the facility is accessible only by reservation or as part of programming.

The TimberRidge Open House will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Climbing Tower Open House will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The open house events are meant to give visitors an opportunity to explore the facility, which is used primarily for adventure and challenge programming, as well as for rental opportunities for a variety of events, including outdoor weddings, corporate events and picnics, and family reunions.

Open house activities will include: kayaking, canoeing, and pedal boating on Catfish Pond, the largest of TimberRidge’s three ponds, and use of the facility’s archery and BB gun ranges for ages 8 and older. Cops-n-Bobbers, a local non-profit organization with the goal of bringing kids, police, and the community together for educational and fun community events, will have a mobile station with rods, reels, and bait available, or you can bring your own. All ages are welcome to participate in the Family Fun Treasure Hunt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Johnson County MedAct will also be onsite with a fire truck, and will be teaching hands only CPR. The agency met its goal of teaching this life-saving technique to 50,000 residents in 2017, and is continuing to teach it and explain how chest compression only CPR really does make a difference and saves lives. 

In addition, the center’s trails will be open for hiking and fishing in the ponds is allowed. anglers are allowed to take fish from the ponds as long as they are following state creel and length limits.  While JCPRD fishing permits have been waived for this event, Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license, which will not be sold on-site.

The Challenge Course is central to TimberRidge and is used to promote problem solving, and enhance teamwork through safe and challenging situations.

The activities at the center’s 40-foot-tall Hawk’s Nest Climbing Tower will give interested parties 12 and older who register in advance a free opportunity to experience the tower’s two climbing walls. Participants will be required to complete medical and liability releases prior to participating, and those under 18 will also need the signature of a parent or guardian. To register, fill out the registration form or call Outdoor Adventure Specialist Lysa Holladay Dvorak at (913) 856-8849.

The open house is also an opportunity to give the public a look at two other features of the facility  including  the Whispering Pines Shelter, which can accommodate groups of up to 200 people and  the large curving deck on the back of the Welcome Center which can accommodate up to 80 people.

This event is held in conjunction with Outdoor Kansas Kids Day. Started in 2001, this program is an initiative of Kansas Wildscape to provide multiple outdoor recreation opportunities for Kansas youth with adult partnering and mentoring to encourage outdoor recreational opportunities, and promote and provide an active lifestyle as an alternative to sedentary activities. The program covers the entire state of Kansas and involves Kansas State Parks as well as other organizations and venues such as city and county park and recreation departments.

For more information about the open houses or the TimberRidge Adventure Center, contact Outdoor Adventure Specialist Lysa Holladay Dvorak at (913) 856-8849.

 

Mildale Farm Community Day set for April 28
April 4, 2018

The public will have an opportunity to explore and fish at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Mildale Farm property during a Mildale Farm Community Day set for Saturday, April 28.

The five-hour event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will give interested parties access to the 158-acre site including the 22-acre rental property in southwest Johnson County as well as to about 136 acres which are actually part of the adjacent 578 acres of agricultural property, all of which was purchased by JCPRD in 2005. Visitors will be directed to park in the large lot near Mildale Farm’s main barn.

The public can bring their own bait and tackle and practice catch-and-release fishing in any or all of seven ponds within the 158-acre area. While District fishing permits have been waived for this event, Kansas residents ages 16 to 64 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license, which will not be sold on-site.

Arts and crafts activities for kids will take place  in the main barn and visitors can explore and picnic on the grounds. The centerpiece of the Mildale Farm property, the high-quality equestrian-style barn featuring peg construction and a hand-laid brick floor, will be open. Restrooms will be available, but the property’s two homes and other outbuildings will not be open during this event.

Rules for this event will be posted and will be the same as at other district properties. Among them: no alcohol, pets must be on-leash, and vehicles must remain on roadways. Park Police will be on hand to enforce these as well as the catch-and-release fishing provision. To find this program in the JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under Fun for All and then under special events. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keywords “family fun.”

Mildale Farm is located at 35250 W. 199th St., Edgerton. From the north, take Interstate 35 south to Homestead Lane. Proceed north on Homestead Lane. Turn left onto 199th Street and proceed west 1.6 miles. Mildale Farm will be on the right.  From the south, take Interstate 35 north to Sunflower Road and proceed north of Sunflower Road 0.7 miles. Turn left onto to 207th St., and proceed west for 0.1 miles. Turn right onto 8th St. (Edgerton Road) and proceed north 1 mile. Turn right onto 56 Highway and proceed east 1 mile. Turn right onto 199th St. Mildale Farm will be on the left.

For more information about this event, call Sarah Vogelsberg  at (913) 826-2957.

Watch for a late spring opening for Phase I developments at the 1,980-acre future Big Bull Creek Park, of which the Mildale Farm site will be a part. A combined park maintenance building and Johnson County Park Police substation to be located just north of the intersection of Four Corners Road and 199th St. Other anticipated amenities include a parking lot, two picnic shelters, a restroom, a nature themed playground, and a three-quarter-mile paved trail on Sunflower Road north of 207th St., and a group campground near 213th St. east of Spoon Creek Road.

Pages