Parks in northeast Johnson County are mostly the province of its many municipalities, but this year NEJC residents can influence how the county park system develops and changes.
Over the next several months, the Johnson County Park and Recreation District will be updating its master plan for the entire system. Parks director Jill Geller said the 44-acre Antioch Park at 67th and Antioch, opened in 1955, is not only the county’s oldest park, but also its smallest. And, it is the closest for northeast Johnson County.
Northeast Johnson County had already been developed by the time the county park system began, leaving the northeast without large greenspace. Antioch is the closest to the northeast, although the county owns and runs the aquatic center and sports dome in Roeland Park and operates the Roeland Park Community Center and its programming. Geller said the department also offers some programming at the Prairie Village community building near city hall.
Tuesday evening at the Antioch Library, residents walked through display boards of each of the county’s parks and had a chance to offer comments and suggestions for future development. The parks department is wide open on suggestions for recreation, programming, capital improvements and future operations, said Darin Barr of Ballard King & Associates, one of the firms helping with the planning. A citizen survey is among the next steps. The comments from the open house sessions and surveys will be used to develop ideas that can again be open to public participation.
Barr said a proposal for the county should be ready by late next spring.