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POSTED: 08/06/2001
A late fall 2001 opening is expected for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District's newest park. The new 850-acre Kill Creek Park near De Soto is expected to open later this year. This would be the JCPRD's first regional park to open since Heritage Park in Olathe was dedicated in 1981. Although a specific date has yet to be set and will be dependent upon favorable weather for completion of work at the park, a late October or early November opening is planned.

Kill Creek Park is an 850-acre facility with an entrance located near 120th and Homestead Lane. To get to the park, get off of Kansas Highway 10 at the Kill Creek exit and proceed south to 120th Street. Turn right and go to Homestead Lane. Take a left onto Homestead and the park entrance is on the right near the crest of the first hill.

The new park will be left largely undeveloped and feature magnificent prairie and lowland vistas accessible only by walking trails. The developed portion of the park will include a 26.5-acre lake featuring a swimming beach with a bathhouse (set to open to the public in 2003) and a marina. Other facilities include: four picnic shelters, a playground, a boat ramp, restroom building and 1.25 miles of roads. Also on the property are 3.36 miles of paved trails, 2.23 miles of unpaved trails and 3.64 miles of equestrian trails.

Another portion of the park will feature the Timber Ridge Adventure Center, which will open in 2002. This facility will offer youth camp programming and will also eventually be available for corporate retreats. The Timber Ridge Adventure Center will feature: a Welcome Center with restrooms and multi-purpose space, two small lakes with a boat dock and fishing dock, a program shelter, an archery range, a BB gun range and a ropes challenge course with 22 elements.

The amenities above represent the first of three phases of development envisioned for Kill Creek Park. Work on these developments began in early 2000. Large landscape art elements discussed during early conceptualization of the park are still being considered and would be dependant upon securing private financing.

After targeting the general area for a regional park in the late 1970s, the JCPRD acquired the first portion of the land for Kill Creek Park in 1989 when it received a donation of 355 acres. Additional acreage has been purchased with the assistance of the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County. The District continues to seek additional adjacent acreage within the boundaries of the former Sunflower Army Ammunitions Plant. This would be contingent upon the method and timing of the federal government's dispersal of the property.

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