|Drawdown of Shawnee Mission Park Lake Set to Begin July 9|
The previously-announced drawdown of Shawnee Mission Park Lake is scheduled to begin on July 9. Johnson County Park and Recreation District officials plan to lower the lake level by as much as 10 feet to facilitate a number of improvement projects.
The drawdown is required to allow dredging of the lake to remove accumulated silt and will also facilitate the construction of a wetlands which will use native plants to filter silt and pollutants entering the lake. Also planned while water levels are low are improvements to the lake's dam and the park's Dog Off-Leash Area beach.
These projects will impact access to the lake for all water-based recreation activities including swimming, boating, and fishing, and will also alter the view from a number of park shelters. The park's beach and marina operations have announced plans to have shorter seasons this year, which will both conclude in mid-July when lake levels become too low for those activities.
Improvements at the Off-Leash area will include re-grading of the dog beach to improve access and safety. Officials expect the project will be bid in July with work beginning in late August. It is anticipated the dog beach area could be closed for up to two months. Efforts will be made to make other portions of the off-leash area available during the project, but they could be closed periodically as well.
Lake levels are expected to remain low until at least late spring 2008. Both refilling of the lake and completion of the work will be especially weather-dependant. The lake projects will not affect the 23rd annual Shawnee Mission Triathlon, which will take place on July 8.
Since before the first of the year, those purchasing District fishing permits have been notified of the lake drawdown plans and information on the improvement plans was provided in the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's Spring and Summer Activities catalogs. A public meeting on the lake plans was conducted on April 25 and a public meeting on the dog beach improvements took place on June 6. More information on the projects can be found at www.jcprd.com/pages/smp.cfm.
The Shawnee Mission Park Lake renovation projects are part of the District's 20-year Master Action Plan, MAP 2020, which includes renovations to existing District parks as well as acquisition of additional park land. Shawnee Mission Park is located in Shawnee and Lenexa, with a main entrance at 7900 Renner Road.