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Second round of public workshops on new master park plans for three properties scheduled for Aug. 6 and 11
POSTED: 07/21/2008
A workshop on the Cedar-Niles property is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m on Wednesday Aug. 6 at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. A workshop on the Sunflower Nature Park and Rieke Lake property will take place from 6 to 8 pm on Monday, Aug. 11 at the De Soto Senior Center, 32905 W. 84th St. De Soto. Descriptions and locations of the park properties are below.

Two initial workshops on these properties took place in June and were well attended. Since then the consultants, Bowman, Bowman & Novick, have been developing conceptual plans for each park site. During the August meetings, the consultants will make a brief presentation on the conceptual plans at about 6 p.m. each night, followed by opportunities to the public to review plans and talk with consultants and District staff.

Individuals who are unable to attend the public meetings are encouraged to visit the District website at and submit their thoughts and comments in writing on any of the three sites to Aug. 18 is the deadline for submitting comments.

Part of the master planning process involves finding permanent names for the two future park properties. The public is welcome to submit naming ideas for the properties and all suggestions will be considered. One consultant on hand during the August meetings will be devoted to taking and discussing name ideas. Final naming of the sites will be subject to approval by the District Board, which has previously set park naming guidelines.

Formulating new plans for existing and future parks was a recommendation of the District’s 20-year Master Action Plan, MAP 2020, which was put into place in 2001. MAP 2020 recognized a need to update development and renovation plans for various district parks as a guide for the next 20 years.

In March, the District hired the local firm of Bowman Bowman Novick, Inc. to prepare master plans for the three sites. The firm specializes in park, recreation planning and design. They have been key players in many of the most successful parks within the Kansas City area. BBN previously worked with the District in 2002 and early 2003 to prepare a master plan for Antioch Park, of which two phases have now been implemented.

Sunflower Nature Park is located at 36915 W. 103rd St, just south of K-10 Highway near Edgerton Road. The park currently features two ball fields, one picnic shelter, two restroom buildings, a paved one-mile loop trail, a small fishing lake, and two parking lots. The park was first dedicated in 1984 and was visited by 46,289 people during 2007.

The Rieke Lake site is located just west of the De Soto and is located east of Edgerton Road, west of Sunflower Road, and north of K-10. The site includes a 30-acre lake previously used for fishing as well as a mix of woodlands, forest, and open areas in various forms of agricultural use.

The Cedar Niles site is located west of K-7 Highway adjacent to Lake Olathe and The Prairie Center natural prairie area. The northern property boundary is 119th Street and the south boundary is one-half mile south of 135th Street, just east of The Prairie Center. Cedar Creek runs through the site, which is predominantly mixed woodlands with areas of open space. Among other issues, the master plan process will consider the property’s connection with The Prairie Center and with nearby Lake Olathe, which is owned by the City of Olathe.

It is anticipated final master plans for the three park properties will be presented to the District Board during its regular meeting on Oct. 3. Implementation of the new master plans will be subject to fund availability and approval of the District Board, but current tentative Capital Improvement Plans call for development to begin at the future park sites in 2009 and at Sunflower Park in 2012.

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