|TimberRidge Adventure Center Dedicated Despite Rainy Weather|
While the weather on April 27 caused the cancellation of some of the activities planned for the event, including tours of the facility's adventure course, there was still a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's newest facility.
Interpretive Manager Bill McGowan said the idea for the TimberRidge Adventure Center stemmed from adventure trips the Park Safety and Interpretive Division offered in the 80s and early 90s.
"We thought it would be nice to have a place in Johnson County where people could experience adventure programming," McGowan said.
"We wanted this to be a place where kids could catch their first fish, sing campfire songs together, and develop lifelong memories," he added. "We also wanted a place where adults could reminisce about their outdoor experiences and create new ones."
JCPRD Director Michael Meadors said the property on which the Adventure Center sits was purchased by the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County in 1993. Bob and Bonnie Cumley, who sold the property, did so at a substantially discounted rate because they wanted it to be part of a park, he added.
Meadors called the Adventure Center a "unique facility" and explained that because of some of the activities, use will be by reservation only. He added that the facility will be made available to the general public from time to time through special events.
Other speakers for Saturday's dedication included Johnson County Board of Commissioners Chair Susie Wolf, JCPRD Board Chair Nancy Wallerstein, and Park Naturalist Molly Postlewait, who presented a Ojibway tale of the first butterfly.
Instead of the mass release of 50 monarch butterflies planned for the ceremony, only one butterfly was released, and it quickly sought a dry refuge. The remaining butterflies were sent home with their sponsors, to be released when the rain stopped and temperatures climbed above 55 degrees.
Also cancelled because of the Inclement weather was the Second Annual Galyans Outdoor Skills Day, which was to take place at TimberRidge in the Afternoon. That event will be rescheduled in the fall.
TimberRidge is a 200+ acre facility which is adjacent to the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's newest regional park, Kill Creek Park and is accessible via a separate entrance at 12300 South Homestead Lane, Olathe. The recently-completed Phase I of TimberRidge development includes a Welcome Center, archery and BB gun ranges, and a series of three ponds which offer canoeing, paddle boating and catch-and-release fishing. Central to the facility is a professionally-certified 22-element challenge/ropes course and 200-foot zip line, which will be used to promote problem-solving and enhance teamwork through safe and challenging situations. TimberRidge Adventure Center will offer a variety of adventure and challenge programming and rental opportunities.
For more information about the TimberRidge Adventure Center, call the Ernie Miller Nature Center at (913) 764-7759.