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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

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.”

New season of 50 Plus Bingo begins Sept. 27

A new season of themed bingo games is being kicked off  in late September by the 50 Plus Department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. In all, four bingo sessions will be presented at three locations through mid-December. 

All of this season's 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. Cost of admission covers food (or snacks) and staff time to administer the bingo program. No additional charge for bingo. Advance registration is required.

To find these programs in the My JCPRD Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under 50 Plus and then under enrichment & special interests. In the printed catalog and when using the website’s advanced search,  look for the keyword “games.” 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 four-digit course IDs listed below. 

“Apple Cider” is the theme for the first bingo session which will take place on Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Dr., Roeland Park. Other upcoming fall and winter 50 Plus Bingo programs being planned include: "Tricks & Treats" on Oct. 10 at the Matt Ross Community Center; "Fantasy Football" on Nov. 1 at the New Century Fieldhouse, 551 New Century Parkway near Gardner; and "Candy Cane Lane" on Dec. 12 at the Matt Ross Community Center. Another November session previously scheduled at the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse has been cancelled.

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 booths participate in Old Settlers activities

Johnson County Government will again have an informational booth with its spin-to-win prize wheel during the Johnson County Old Settlers celebration in downtown Olathe this week. The booth will be located in front of the administration building from Sept. 6-8. The department of Emergency Management and Communications, Sheriff’s Office and Election Office will also have booths during the three-day festival, featuring the “Kansas largest parade” starting at 10 a.m. Saturday with a theme of “Love and Peace: A look back to the 1960s.”

This marks the 120th anniversary of Old Settlers, which started in 1898 with a downtown community picnic with a band, bubble gum blowing contests, watermelon seed spitting contests and sack races. Along with traditional horseshoe-pitching contests and an ice cream social, annual activities now include craft and food booths, carnival rides and bands as part of nightly live music.

Several streets around the county square will be closed during the event to accommodate activities, booths, the carnival and crowds of people. The downtown Olathe parking garage will be accessible to the general public.With rain in the forecast for the next several days, you may want to monitor the Old Settlers Facebook page for weather-related updates.

 

 

Parent & Child Twilight Hike offered on Sept. 7 and 28 in Ernie Miller Park

An intergenerational program being offered in mid- and late-September at Ernie Miller Park allows children ages two to six with a parent or guardian to explore park trails as the sun sets.

The program is called Twilight Hike and is offered at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, and again on Sept. 28. Both programs take place at the park, which is located at 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Participants will listen for nocturnal sounds such as the cricket's chorus and the barred owl's call, and then gather around a cheery fire ring for stories, songs, and a tasty treat. Participants should bring a flashlight. An adult must register with each child.

To find this program in the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s 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 “adventure walk.”

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. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359 or register online, for the Sept. 17 session or for the Sept. 28 session.

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

2018 Fall Hayrides offered for organized groups at two parks

Enjoy the crisp autumn air by taking a hayride through Oak Ridge Parklands at Shawnee Mission Park or in Heritage Park. Organized hayrides for groups are available through the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and conclude with a warm campfire where apple cider and marshmallows await!

JCPRD hayrides are tractor-drawn, last approximately one hour, and are followed by a one-hour campfire. The cost is $7 per person or a minimum of $80 when there are 12 riders or less. There is a maximum of 25 people per wagon and one adult per 10 children is required.

Hayrides are now being scheduled for dates between Sept. 15 and Nov. 18. Hayrides take place seven days a week during the above timeframe at Oak Ridge Parklands, 7460 Ogg Road, Shawnee; 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. Hayrides fill quickly, so please call early to assure your choice of dates. For scheduling and information, call (913) 831-3359.

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 “hayrides.”

For individuals or families wishing to participate in a hayride without having to worry about reaching minimum numbers or placing a deposit, two Public Hayrides are also being offered this fall. One will take place on Sept. 30, while the other will take place on Nov. 4. Both take place on Sundays and begin at 2:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge Parklands. The cost is also $7 per person for a one-hour ride followed by a one-hour campfire. Preregistration is required. For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online, visit the district’s website at www.jcprd.com,  for the Sept. 30 ride or for the Nov. 4 ride.

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

Summer camp guide now online; registration underway

Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 2018 Camp Guide is now available online, and hard copies are available in all Johnson County Libraries.

Registration for camps begin Monday, Jan. 29. Online registration starts at 6 a.m., and in-person registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the JCPRD registration office located in Building D in Antioch Park at 6501 Antioch Road in Merriam. 

Camp registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Many camps fill quickly, so don’t delay or you may find your first choices unavailable. 

For faster, easier registration go to jcprd.com and create an account before searching or registering for camps. 

In all, nearly 60 camp programs are listed in this year’s guide, including camps for ages 3 through 18. Camps range from full-day to partial-day programs serving a variety of interests, including more than 25 camps new in 2018.

Most full-day camps offer weekly sessions with weekly start dates from June 4 through July 30; other camps begin throughout the summer. This year’s camps take place at locations throughout Johnson County. For the convenience of working parents, most full-day programs provide supervision and self-directed activities from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

 

Upcoming Events

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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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