Natural Resources

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) is committed to maintaining the health and diversity of our natural resources through active and responsive stewardship. Of the 10,000 managed by the park district, 8,700 acres are natural areas. We manage 4,300 acres of forest, 540 acres of shrub-scrub, 1,000 acres of prairie, 2,400 acres of non-native grassland, 7 acres of wetlands, and 400 acres of open water.

JCPRD's vision for natural resource management is: The forests, prairies, waters, and wildlife in JCPRD's parks and streamways will be protected, restored, and well-managed to be diverse and long lasting for the enjoyment of all people now and in the future.

JCPRD Resource Management Plan:

A Conservation Tool for a Sustainable Future

JCPRD provides leadership in protecting open spaces across Johnson County, with special attention to the major riparian corridors and native prairies. The district's new 2019 Natural Resource Management Plan (PDF) guides all elements of the agency's efforts. JCPRD staff and consultants developed a 10 year phasing plan for restoration and management from 2020 to 2029. In this phase, natural resource technical staff and equipment will be stationed around the county to carry out the work, more volunteer labor will be used, and private contractors will be enlisted - all deployed in the most effective way possible to achieve the restoration and management goals of the plan.

JCPRD is often responding to disruptions in the processes that sustain healthy ecosystems. Millions of visitors, exotic plant invasions, and too-large animal populations all affect the ecosystem health and diversity that JCPRD strives to protect. Follow the links in the left sidebar of this page to learn more about how we manage these challenges.