|Haller Trail Dedication Set For June 1|
To recognize the leadership and legacy of the man who led the agency for more than half a century, the Johnson County Park and Recreation District will celebrate National Trails Day with the formal renaming of the trail located in the Mill Creek Streamway Park.
A renaming ceremony which will dedicate the trail as the Gary L. Haller Trail will take place at 11 a.m. on June 1 in the parking lot near Shawnee Mission Park's Shelter #8. The park in which the trail is located will continue to be known as the Mill Creek Streamway Park.
The dedication ceremony is expected to be brief and will feature speeches by District Board Chair Nancy Wallerstein, JCPRD Planning and Development Manager Bill Maasen, and current Director Michael Meadors, who worked under Haller as Superintendent of Recreation for more than 15 years.
The ceremony will also include a ribbon cutting and the unveiling of new interpretive signs which will be placed near every access point to the Mill Creek Streamway Park. The signs feature a portrait of Haller drawn by local artist Liz Middleton, wife of District Landscape Architect Cliff Middleton. The interpretive signs also explain the impact Haller has had on the District and the field of parks and recreation. A framed version of Middleton's artwork will also be presented to Haller during the ceremony.
Over the past year, all entrance and directional signs to the Mill Creek Streamway Park have been modified to include a notation of the Gary L. Haller Trail. A bronze monument plaque will also be placed on the trail, but the exact location will be determined by the Haller family.
In May of 2001, the District Board voted unanimously to rename the Mill Creek Streamway Trail after Haller, who served as District Director from 1974 until his retirement in late June of last year.
"Given the lasting impression Gary has made over the past quarter century on the park and recreation landscape, both locally and nationwide, it was absolutely imperative that he receive recognition commensurate with his legacy," a staff memo at the time stated. " The renaming of the Mill Creek Streamway Trail to the Gary L. Haller Trail is a worthy way of recognizing the outstanding and valued service he has provided to the District and the Johnson County community."
The main entrance to Shawnee Mission Park is located at 7900 Renner Road. Shelter #8 is located on the south side of the lake.