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Posted on: September 23, 2019

JCPRD board seeks input on name for observation tower and future park

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A mid-October deadline has been set for public input on proposed permanent names being considered by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District for an observation tower and a new park property.

During its Sept. 18 regular monthly meeting, the Johnson County Board of Park & Recreation Commissioners tentatively approved the name Russell and Helen Means Observation Tower for the tower project currently under construction in Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe, as well as the name Arthur and Betty Verhaeghe Park, for the future park to be located near the intersection of 167th and Flint Street. 

Both of the proposed names honor former owners of the respective properties who donated land and/or money towards the JCPRD projects. It is anticipated both projects will open later in 2019.

Construction of the observation tower in Kill Creek Park got under way in November 2018, and a late 2019 completion is expected.  The 45-foot tower will have an elevator and stairs, and will afford 360-degree views of the surrounding lake and prairie areas.

Development of Verhaeghe Park got under way earlier this year. This 11-acre property is located about halfway through the 3.4 miles of the Coffee Creek Streamway Park, which opened in October 2017, and will serve as a trailhead and access point for that trail. Planned amenities will include a picnic shelter, playground, community garden, drinking fountain, and parking lot.

In accordance with JCPRD policy, the board is currently seeking input from the public on the proposed park and project names. For consideration prior to the formal naming of the properties, input must be received on or before Oct. 18.  Comments and/or alternate suggestions may be submitted to the board by sending an email to or by sending a letter to: Board Chair, JCPRD Administration Building, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee Mission, KS 66219. 

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