Natural and Cultural Features of Southern Kansas City, Part 2: Leawood, Overland Park, Prairie Village

southern KC Grandview Leawood

above link is to an orientation map of the area

This post includes parks in Kansas east of Metcalf Avenue and south of 71st Street.

National Historic Trail Sites

Santa Fe Trail Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”), 7727 Delmar Street in Prairie Village, features a disc golf course amid swales from the original Santa Fe Trail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A National Historic Trails panel overlooks the trail ruts.

Weltner Park (N38o59’17” W94o36’31”) is at State Line Road and 78th Street in Prairie Village. National Historic Trail panels describe this location as the historic Nine-Mile Point, located 9 miles and 10 chains south of the mouth of the Kansas River. The first survey of the state line in 1823 indicated that the Santa Fe Trail crossed the state line at this point, after heading west from Swope Park area. The Santa Fe Trail was also surveyed a couple of years later, in 1825.

Johnson County Park

Meadowbrook Park (N38o57’42” W94o38’47”) is 80 acres on Nall Avenue at Somerset in Prairie Village. There are three miles of paved trails and three lakes, along with picnic shelters and a clubhouse.

Leawood

133rd Street shared-use trail extends from High Drive west to Nall Avenue.

137th Street Trail extends from Chadwick Road west to Nall Avenue.

143rd Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Aberdeen Street west to Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.

Brook Beatty Park (N38o58’18” W94o36’57”) is on Lee Boulevard south of Meadow Lane and opposite of the 86th Terrace intersection. The small park has a playground adjacent to a stream. Trees include sycamore, redbud, and baldcypress.

City Park (N38o55’52” W94o37’6”) is 78 acres at 10601 Lee Boulevard just south of I-435. The park includes an aquatic center, soccer fields, tennis courts, baseball fields, and sand volleyball. The Indian Creek Greenway crosses the park.

Gezer Park (N38o53’13” W94o37’44”) is 10 acres at 133rd Street and Mission Road. A parking lot is on 133rd Street opposite Pawnee Lane. The park reflects the geography of Israel and is named after the Gezer Regional Council in Israel that participates as a sister city to Leawood. The park includes water features representing the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and Jordan River. Other features are a vineyard, Havdalah Gardens, and the Golan Heights. A replica of the Gezer Calendar, dating to 1600 BCE, which was excavated from the Tel Gezer archaeological site, is also in the park. A walking trail which circles the park passes many of the features, including a playground. Trees include London planetree, columnar juniper, eastern white pine, dawn redwood, shingle oak, and swamp white oak. A shared-use path along 133rd Street borders the park.

I-Lan Park (N38o54’5” W94o38’53”) is 11 acres at 125th Street and Nall Road, including 2 shelters, a playground, and a restroom. The park commemorates the sister city partnership of Leawood with I-Lan, a city and county in Taiwan. A bridge in the city in Taiwan has been named the Leawood Bridge. There is a Chinese-themed shelter and a public artwork, the Cloud Gate. The Tomahawk Creek bicycle-pedestrian trail and a bicycle-pedestrian loop are in the park.

Indian Creek Greenway extends from the Missouri State Line upstream to Mission Road, where it continues west into Overland Park. The greenway is part of the American Discovery Trail.

Ironwoods Park (N38o51’38” W94o37’28”) is 111 acres at 147th Street and Mission Road. In the park are the Prairie Oak Nature Center, Oxford School House, and walking trails. The paved walking trails are in two loops making a figure 8. A spur walking trail leads from the playground west to Mission Road. A second spur is a shared-use path extending from the amphitheater parking lot north to Norwood Street near 143rd Street. To the south of a pond is the unpaved Raccoon Hollow Nature trail, which is about 100 yards long. Historical panels at the park describe the Black Bob Shawnee Reservation and the Oxford Schoolhouse.

The Black Bob Shawnee Reservation was 33,400 acres, located in Indian Territory (present-day Kansas) west of New Santa Fe. The Shawnee were removed from east of the Mississippi and established a town near the Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek confluence, which is today north of 179th and Antioch. Lands of the reservation were allotted to individual tribal members before the Civil War. After the Civil War, reservation lands were occupied by whites, leading to legal disputes. In the 1870s, President Rutherford Hayes ordered the Shawnee to move to Oklahoma.

The Oxford Schoolhouse was moved to Ironwoods Park from Mission Road and 135th Street, just to the north. The park was part of the historic Oxford Township, which was bordered by 95th Street on the north, 167th Street on the south, Black Bob Road/Lackman Road on the west, and the Missouri state line on the east. The township is famous for the Oxford Fraud, which took place during the Kansas statehood organization in 1856. In the election of 1857, there were 1,628 pro-slavery votes cast in the township. Most of the names were revealed to be part of an old Cincinnati directory. The Secretary of State would not certify the election and Kansas threw out the votes. This angered southern Democrats, causing a split in the Democratic Party, and leading to the election of Lincoln, the candidate of the Republican Party, in 1860.

Lee Boulevard Trail extends from Mission Road east to Leawood City Park, passing the Leawood Wastewater Facility.

Leawoof Dog Park (N38o55’59” W94o36’42”) is 8 acres accessible from Leawood City Park by crossing the bridge on the Indian Creek Greenway Trail.

Tomahawk Creek Greenway is 4.1 miles, extending from the Indian Creek Greenway at College Boulevard southwest to I-Lan Park. The trail continues into Overland Park. A spur leads from Tomahawk Park east to the intersection of 123rd Street and Mission Road.

Tomahawk Park (N38o54’40” W94o38’2”) is on 119th Street between Mission Road and Tomahawk Creek Parkway. It includes a playground and a section of the Tomahawk Creek Greenway.

Town Center Drive Shared-Use Trail extends from Nall Avenue to Tomahawk Creek Parkway.

The Herman J. and Ella B. Voights House (private), 2405 West 103rd Street (N38o56’30” W94o37’10”), is listed on the NRHP as an example of prairie-style architecture. It dates to 1923.

Overland Park

110th Street Trail leads west from Nall avenue to Lamar Avenue, passing by the Overland Park Convention Center.

135th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Nall Avenue west to Lamar Street.

137th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Chadwick Road in Leawood west to Lamar Avenue in Overland Park.

141st Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Lamar Avenue west to Metcalf Avenue.

143rd Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Aberdeen Street in Leawood west to Metcalf Avenue.

159th Street Shared-Use Trail extends from Mission Road west to Metcalf Avenue.

Beth Torah Park (N38o54’4” W94o39’27”) is 12 acres between Lamar Avenue and 127th Street. A greenway bicycle-pedestrian trail follows an unnamed tributary to Tomahawk Creek and passes the confluence with Tomahawk Creek. Access is from Lamar Avenue. Trees include hackberry, walnut, bur oak, chinkapin oak, black oak, sycamore, elm, and ash.

Creekside Park (N38o50’45” W94o39’7”) is 20 acres at 15599 Nall Avenue, between Nall Avenue and Lamar Avenue. Near Nall Avenue is a playground. One paved greenway trail extends from Nall Avenue or Reeds Street to Beverly Street and across it to a dead end between 156th and 157th Street. A second follows the creek to Lamar Avenue. The greenway trails follow a riparian area along Negro Creek and a tributary creek.

Empire Estates Park (N38o57’8” W94o38’22”) is 1 acre at 9640 Roe Avenue, between 97th Street and Catalina Street, including a playground. A riparian area and stream are behind the playground. Trees include pin oak, maple, and swamp white oak.

Foxhill North Park (N38o56’12” W94o38’8”) is 21 acres at 10600 Indian Creek Parkway, along the Indian Creek Greenway Trail east of Roe Avenue. It includes a playground and soccer field.

Foxhill South Park (N38o55’52” W94o37’58”) is 6 acres at the end of El Monte Street, providing a parking lot for the Indian Creek Greenway.

Green Meadows Park (N38o50’59” W94o39’31”) is 18 acres at 15401 Beverly Court, featuring a playground and 0.7-mile trail. The trail extends from Glenwood Avenue southeast to the greenway in Creekside Park, which extends to Nall Avenue. Access points to the greenway are Beverly Court north of 156th Street, 153rd Street at 152nd Terrace, Lamar Avenue between 153rd Street and 155th Street, and Glenwood Avenue at 152nd Street. The greenway follows a riparian area along Negro Creek.

Hawthorne Valley Park (N38o54’20” W94o38’31”) is 14 acres at 12300 Roe Avenue. The Tomahawk Creek greenway trail crosses the park.

Indian Creek Greenway extends from Foxhill South Park along Indian Creek to Roe Park, continuing through Nall Hills Park, James Place Park, and Pinehurst East Park, crossing under Metcalf Avenue. It is part of the American Discovery Trail.

James Place Park (N38o56’25” W94o39’40”) is 16 acres along Indian Creek between 103rd Street and Lamar Avenue. There is a playground and picnic shelter. Access is by following Indian Creek bicycle-pedestrian trail south of 103rd Street, adjacent to the entrance road into Promise and Indian Creek nursing facilities. Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Lamar Avenue Shared-Use Path extends from 150th Street north to 133rd Street.

Linwood Park (N38o56’56” W94o37’55”) is 3 acres behind the Reverend Robert and Shirley Meneilly Center for Mission of Village Presbyterian Church. The park includes a playground. Access is from 99th Street. Maple, sweetgum, and red oak trees surround the playground.

Metcalf Avenue Shared-Use Trail extends in four sections. One section extends north from College Boulevard north to 87th Street. A second section extends from the Tomahawk Creek greenway south to 141st Street. A third section extends from 147th Street south to 149th Street. A fourth section extends from 152nd Terrace south to 159th Street.

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, 5801 West 115th Street, #106, is a partner site of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Nall Avenue Trail extends from 159th Street north to Creekside Park, and 137th Street north to Indian Creek.

Nall Park south to 135th Street, connecting the Indian Creek Greenway, Tomahawk Creek Greenway, 110th Street Trail, 133rd Street Trail, and 135th Street Trail.

Nall Park (N38o56’18” W94o38’50”) is 13 acres at 10440 Nall Avenue, featuring a playground and soccer field. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Nall Hills Park (N38o56’20” W94o39’4”) is 28 acres at 5501 Indian Creek Drive. The park includes a playground. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park. A historical panel to the south of Indian Creek near Nall Avenue describes John Nall, a 19th century resident of the area. Nall was a native of North Carolina who settled in Johnson County after 1859. His farm was locally famous for its fruit, and he sold peaches at the City Market. At the north end of Nall Avenue (at 49th Street) was the Shawnee Baptist Mission, where a magazine was published in the Shawnee language from 1835 to 1844. In modern times, major developments that have taken place along Nall Avenue include the headquarters of the NCAA and Sprint (now T-Mobile).  The Nall Hills subdivision was an early suburban development in Johnson County. The area is also the demographic center of the Kansas City Jewish community, with many institutions located along Nall. A second historical panel on the north side of Indian Creek near Lamar Avenue describes Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, for whom the street was named. He was a Mississippian who never visited the area. Lamar served in the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, was involved in the 1876 compromise that placed Rutherford B. Hayes in the presidency and ended Reconstruction in the South. He was secretary of Interior under President Grover Cleveland and served on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nottingham Downs Park (N38o59’24” W94o38’41”) is 14 acres between Lamar Avenue and 123rd Street. A greenway bicycle-pedestrian trail leads from Lamar Avenue just south of 125th Street north to 123rd Street, with an additional access at Walmer Street.  Scattered picnic tables are along the greenway, which features a riparian area with a rocky stream, a tributary to Tomahawk Creek. Trees include honey locust, hackberry, bur oak, swamp white oak, shagbark hickory, chinkapin oak, and walnut.

Osage Park (N38o58’19” W94o39’34”) is 6 acres at 87th Street and Lamar Street, including a walking path, playground, and shelter. A parking lot is on 87th Street. Trees include sycamore, sugar maple, swamp white oak, mulberry, pin oak, golden rain tree, hackberry, elm, red oak, walnut, ash, ginkgo, and white oak.

Pinehurst East Park (N38o56’32” W94o39’53”) is 12 acres at 10210 Glenwood Road. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park.

Museum at Prairiefire (N38o52’55” W94o39’8”) is a partner site of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Prairie View Park (N38o59’43” W94o39’9”) is 2 acres at Outlook Street and 74th Street west of Nall Avenue. Access is from 74th Street and via a walkway from the end of Reeds Lane north of 75th Street. There is a basketball court, picnic shelter, and playground. A riparian area and tributary to Brush Creek are crossed by a bridge. Trees include red oak, white pine, hackberry, pin oak, and swamp white oak.

Regency Lake Park (N38o51’35” W94o39’40”) is 14 acres at 14800 Lamar Street, featuring a playground, picnic tables, fishing piers, and a ½ mile trail encircling the lake.

Roe Park (N38o56’22” W94o38’29”) is 41 acres at 10400 Roe Avenue, including a splash pad, tennis courts, soccer fields, and shelters. The Indian Creek Greenway Trail crosses the park, and a spur trail loops around the park and leads to 103rd Street.

Tomahawk Creek Greenway is 149 acres and extends from the Indian Creek greenway just south of College Avenue south to Tomahawk Park at 119th Street, Hawthorne Valley Park at Roe Avenue, and I-Lan Park at Nall Avenue. It continues southwest and crosses Metcalf Avenue.

Wilderness Lake Park (N38o50’15” W94o38’28”) is 17 acres at 16001 Rosewood Drive, including a playground, picnic tables, and a 0.6-mile trail which encircles a stocked fishing lake. Access is from 161st street and 163rd Terrace.

Prairie Village

Bennett Park (N38o59’24” W94o38’41”) is at 77th Street and Rosewood Drive, featuring baseball fields, a picnic area, a loop trail, and playground equipment. Trees include shingle oak, red elm, redbud, Siberian elm, serviceberry, ginkgo, and honey locust.

Ralph E. Carroll Memorial Plaza (N38o59’36” W94o37’50”) is at the northwest corner of West 75th Street and Mission Road, featuring a fountain and plantings. Golden rain tree, red cedar, and swamp white oak provide shade.

Franklin Park (N38o58’15” W94o38’21”) is 12 acres at Roe Avenue and Somerset Drive, featuring a picnic pavilion and ballfield. The park is part of the Prairie Village Arboretum. Trees include royal star magnolia, dawn redwood, ginkgo, Kousa dogwood, paper bark maple, Pacific sunset maple, constellation dogwood, honey locust, Kentucky coffeetree, serviceberry, red oak, hackberry, bald cypress, swamp white oak, pin oak, and shingle oak. A row of Osage orange trees extends through the center of the park. A shared-use path extends south to Meadowbrook Park along Roe Avenue and north along Somerset Drive to Mission Road.

Harmon Park (N38o59’18” W94o38’0”) is 18 acres at West 77th Place and Delmar Street, featuring a pool, trails, playground, tennis courts, and a community garden. Adjacent to the south is Santa Fe Trail Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”), 7727 Delmar Street, featuring a disc golf course. Santa Fe Trail Park includes swales from the original Santa Fe Trail, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A National Historic Trail panel overlooks the trail ruts. To the east of Santa Fe Trail Park is Skate Park (N38o59’22” W94o37’50), a skateboard area between the City Hall, art gallery, community center, and fire station. Trees include honey locust and maple.

Mission Road Shared-Use Trail extends from Somerset to 71st Street.

Porter Park (N38o59’45” W94o38’22”) is 8 acres at Roe Avenue and Tomahawk Road, featuring baseball, soccer, a picnic shelter, and walking paths. It is the former location of Porter School. With Franklin Park, it serves as the Prairie Village Arboretum. A trail along Tomahawk Road extends north to 71st Street. Brush Creek forms the park boundary on the east. Trees that may be viewed include shingle oak, chinkapin oak, overcup oak, American hornbeam, sycamore, London plane tree, white pine, Kentucky coffeetree, tuliptree, littleleaf linden, Jane magnolia, serviceberry, black tupelo, paper bark maple,  frontier elm, ginkgo, black walnut, sweetgum, redbud, golden rain tree, and sweet magnolia.

Roe Avenue Shared-Use Trail extends from Meadowbrook Park to Somerset Drive.

Somerset Shared-Use Path extends from Roe Avenue to Mission Road.

Talliaferro Park, formerly Meadow Lake Park (N38o59’12” W94o37’10) is at 2900 West 79th Street between Norwood Drive and Aberdeen Street, featuring a trail, picnic tables, tennis court, basketball, soccer, and baseball. Trees include honey locust and linden.

Tomahawk Road Shared-Use Path extends from Roe Avenue to Oxford Road

Weltner Park (N38o59’17” W94o36’31”) is at State Line Road and 78th Street, featuring basketball, volleyball, and picnic areas. National Historic Trail panels describe this location as the historic Nine-Mile Point, located 9 miles and 10 chains south of the mouth of the Kansas River.

Windsor Park (N38o59’54” W94o37’38”) is 6 acres at 7200 Windsor Street. The park is between Windsor Street and St. Ann Catholic School, featuring tennis, volleyball, picnic pavilion, baseball diamond, picnic shelter, and playground. A walking trail passes labeled trees and includes several bridges over a tributary to Brush Creek. Parking is along Windsor Street at Canterbury Street. Trees include black oak, American hophornbeam, American elm, American linden, Amur maple, baldcypress, black cherry, black oak, white pine, ginkgo, northern red oak, Nuttall oak, white oak, pin oak, shingle oak, mulberry, and Kentucky coffeetree.

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