By David Markham
Getting out on or in the water is a favorite part of summer, and with modified operations to keep patrons and staff safe from COVID-19, the Johnson County Park and Recreation District is still offering those opportunities this summer.
The Shawnee Mission Park Marina opened on June 1 with daily operating hours. The Shawnee Mission Park Beach opens on June 12 with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hours. The Kill Creek Park Marina, which operates out of the Kill Creek Park Beach House, opens on June 20 with Saturday and Sunday hours. All three facilities will complete their summer seasons on Aug. 9. The Kill Creek Park Beach will not be open for swimming or sunbathing this year.
For safety, operational safety modifications will involve encouraging physical distancing for people who are not from the same household, frequent sanitizing of watercraft and facilities, and advance registration to use the facilities. Other modifications at the marinas include one-way walkways to enter and exit the dock, and patrons will be asked to enter and exit the boat without assistance from staff members.
Both marinas rent canoes, kayaks, , and paddleboards (which have a weight limit of 220 pounds), and Shawnee Mission Park Marina also rents pedal boats. All watercraft rentals must be completed online in advance at jcprd.com/marinas, where you can also find rental rates. Reservations close one hour prior to the actual rental time. Boat rentals will be offered every other hour to allow an hour in between for staff to sanitize the facility, boats, and equipment.
Hours for the Shawnee Mission Park Marina are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Boat rentals will be offered in one-hour increments at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. The marina will close at 4 p.m. on July 4 and Aug. 9, which is the last day the season.
Beginning June 20, the Kill Creek Park Marina will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The marina is closed Monday through Friday.
Starting Friday (6/12), Shawnee Mission Park Beach will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and visitors can choose from one of two time blocks offered from noon to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Space is limited to 75 visitors during any given time block to allow for physical distancing. Beach reservations will need to be completed online in advance at jcprd.com/beaches. All patrons will be asked to leave the facility once their session has concluded.
Regular daily beach admission rates for children 12 and under is $4 for Johnson County residents or $4.50 for nonresidents. Admission for adults 13 to 59 is $6 for Johnson County residents or $6.50 for nonresidents and ages 60 and older are $4 for Johnson County residents or $4.50 for nonresidents.
Open water swim training will not be offered at either beach this season. Because the two community pools where lessons would normally happen are not opening this season, JCPRD is not offering swim lessons this summer.
Here’s a few tips for reserving boats or beach times online. If a time slot says “closed,” that means that time slot is closed and not available. Scroll until you see a time that says “register here,” and the web page will walk you through the rest of the reservation. Unfortunately, the reservation page is not very mobile-friendly, therefore making your reservation on a PC is recommended. Reservations can be made only up to seven days in advance. Separate marina and beach graphic tutorials for reservations can be found on JCPRD’s Facebook page. If you need assistance, call the Reservation Department at (913) 831-3359, the Shawnee Mission Park Marina at (913) 888-1990, or JCPRD Visitor Services at (913) 438-7275.