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First Look at Preliminary Master plan Proposals for Heritage Park
POSTED: 09/19/2003
Construction of a Heritage Farmstead, the addition of a nine-hole executive golf course, and the elimination of the current Blackbob Island shelterhouse and construction of a replacement pavilion on or off the island are among possibilities being considered for Heritage Park, 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe.

Some of the changes being considered for this and two other parks (see related news releases) were outlined for Johnson County Park and Recreation District Board Members during a Special Board Meeting on Sept. 8.

During the meeting, a consultant with Landplan Engineering outlined highlights of preliminary new master plans being prepared for Shawnee Mission Park, Heritage Park, and Ernie Miller Park. Once completed, the master plans will guide future development and renovation of the parks and will be implemented over a number of years.

No final decisions on the plans have been made and the Sept. 8 presentation was a preview to a second series of public hearings set for Sept. 23 through 25 (see related news release). The second public meeting on Heritage Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.

The preliminary plans were prepared following a first series of public meetings conducted in May as well as a separate series of meetings with other governmental representatives and special user groups in late August. No timeframe or budget figures for the proposed changes are being discussed at this time.

Officials acknowledged that a number of smaller projects not discussed at the Sept. 8 meeting are also contained in the proposals and will be discussed during the individual public meetings.

Among the major proposals for Heritage Park are:

  • A new loop road system would be built around the park's main lake and would also involve the establishment of a new park entrance off 159th Street to better serve residents to the north. Once this is accomplished, the existing entrance off Pflumm would be abandoned. This is also expected to increase picnic and trail activity within the park. Also planned is a new park entrance off Lackman on the southwest side of the park. An existing Soccer Park entrance to the south would become a park entrance and the soccer park entrance would be moved. The westernmost portion of an existing dual roadway on the main lake's west side would be retained, but the redundant western road would be eliminated and that area would be restored to natural vegetation.

  • The access road to the Heritage Park Golf Course would be realigned to allow for the addition of a new nine-hole practice or executive course. Several small lakes within the golf course would be expanded to increase their water storage capacity.

  • To recognize the agricultural history of the area, a "Heritage Farmstead" is being planned for the southeast portion of the park. This would emphasize agriculture practices excluding animal husbandry. The farmstead could involve a reconstructed family farm to allow both educational and recreational elements. Agriculture fields within the park would continue and the addition of agriculture research fields may be pursued.

  • Officials hope to keep the active-use portions of the park at approximately current levels, but some improvements are planned, including better located and increased parking for both the Heritage Park Soccer Park and the Heritage Park Football Complex.

  • Two different concepts are being considered for the park's distinctive Blackbob Island shelterhouse. Both concepts would involve eliminating and replacing the existing barn and silo on the island, which are deteriorating and inadequate. Under one proposal, Blackbob island would be eliminated, allowing for deepening the lake and increased water capacity, and a new large pavilion would be constructed near the park's marina. Under the other proposal, a new pavilion would be constructed on the island, complete with utilities, which would allow for restrooms and other amenities. Under this proposal, access to the island would be by a new boardwalk. No specific costs were discussed, but officials warned that costs for a new island pavilion would be considerably higher than building one near the marina.

  • Wetland cells would be added on both sides of the creek at the main lake's north end.

  • Approximately 5.5 miles in new multi-use trails are planned. This would include two multi-use trail connections in the north portion of the park. One would connect to the Heritage Park Bike Trail being developed by the City of Olathe, while the other would provide access to residential developments to north. There would be a separate loop in the park's southeast corner near the proposed "Farm Homestead." A number of unpaved nature trails would also be added.
For more information, contact JCPRD Landscape Architect Jim Wilson at (913)438-7275

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