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2023 Conference Park and Facility Tours

Monday, January 30th

Esports Trip –Join us for a tour of LevelUp facility in downtown Kansas City. The LEVELUP Arena is a full-service production facility and broadcast studio for esports tournaments, private events and content creation. Learn more about all things for esports.

Tuesday, January 31st

Facility Tour #1 – The first facility tour will cover the Blue Valley Recreation Commission and the Overland Park area showcasing Blue Valley Sports Complex, Sheels Sports Complex and Blue Valley Recreation Center, Hilltop.

- The Blue Valley Recreation Sports Complex is home to 24 fields, five picnic shelters, three playgrounds, and two climbing rocks. This complex was the first outdoor venue of its kind in the Kansas City Metro Area to go smoke-free in 2009. It’s been recognized as a Top 10 Baseball Facility by Insite on Sports Events and hosts 50+ tournaments a year for an economic impact of more than $14 million.  The SC is not just for youth baseball and youth/adult softball as youth sand volleyball also plays four courts at the complex and a few fields host various events including Family Movie Night and Family Fall Festival.

- The Blue Valley Recreation Center @ Hilltop is a prime example a great community partnership. In conjunction with the Blue Valley School District, the Rec Center opened in 2017 on the back side of the BVSD Early Childhood Center. The school district renovated the former mega church and partnered with Blue Valley Rec for an unused section of the building. The 100,000-square foot building sports a 20,000-foot fitness area, four fitness studios, the largest indoor walking track in the area, and eight Taraflex Sports courts for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, and table tennis. The addition to the existing building is also graded as a tornado shelter.  The Rec Center brought in more than $1 million in memberships sales during the first year it was open.

 Park Tour #2 – Our first park tour of 2 this conference will tour 3 beautiful parks: Meadowbrook, Strang and Thompson.

- Meadowbrook Park offers 80 acres of green space, complete with the Treeline Adventure destination playground, a Grand Pavilion, 8 pickleball courts, an outdoor fitness circuit, over 3 miles of paved trails, 3 lakes, numerous shelters, and the 10,000 square foot Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse which offers a myriad of programming for all ages.  This national award-winning park was developed through a public/private/public partnership and has been overwhelmingly embraced by the community!

- Overland Park's Strang Park is a premiere inclusive playground welcoming children and families of all abilities. The crown jewel of the park is the 17,000 sq ft. playground. It incorporates a myriad of activities for individuals of all abilities and ages. It includes sixteen elevated and twelve accessible ground level components. Some of the more notable attractions are the two in-ground trampolines, Twelve foot tall net climbing structure and a twenty foot slide tower. Play surfacing is a unique mixture of non static synthetic turf and poured-in-place. 

The architecture of Strang park is unique. It is intended to be reminiscent of the Strang Line Interurban railroad. The materials and design elements were intentionally selected to match the other elements located within the park. The steering committee consisted of a diverse group of residents who provided incredible insight on what color schemes, sounds and textures to incorporate within the design. 

Other notable features include a tribute to Martin Luther King and a scavenger word hunt. Strang Park opened in October of 2022.

- Thompson Park is set across 3.8 acres in the heart of Downtown Overland Park. It serves as a vibrant green space for gathering, playing and relaxing. It is a result of extensive planning to create a vision for its most significant downtown park space. A robust public engagement process resulted in a park design that embraces the prevalence of aviation in Overland Park’s past. In addition the park takes cues from the historic carriage house that was repurposed as a boutique public rental space. Thompson Park’s new modern play elements complement its historic features while creating a place that connects the demands of a thriving downtown environment. Thompson Park opened in September of 2020.

Wednesday, February 1st

Park Tour #2   The park tour on Feb. 1st will take attendees through several of the most natural parks and largest bodies of water on the western side of Johnson County. This tour will visit Shawnee Mission Park on a driving tour showing the multitude of uses in this park from a beach and marina to a destination play structure. Lake Olathe will also be toured and has had several recent renovations, including: a large indoor/outdoor venue, swim beach, splash pad, and amphitheater. Another stop will be at Black Hoof Park in Lenexa, which contains Lake Lenexa. There is a 2-mile scenic trail loop that goes around the lake, with several playgrounds, restrooms and shelters. Black Hoof Park is also the location of Lenexa’s newly constructed 18-hole championship style disc golf course. This course and a 9-hole family friendly course are set to open in spring of 2023. Also included on this tour is Wilder Bluff, which features over 40 acres of parkland with a unique treetop canopy playground, hillside slide and a natural themed sprayground.

Thursday, February 2nd

Facility Tour #2The second facility tour will visit 3 unique and outstanding facilities: Lenexa Recreation Center, Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center (SMSDAC), Merriam Community Center.

- Lenexa Rec Center is a  100,000-square-foot facility features high-quality amenities, spaces and programs for everyone to enjoy. We have cutting-edge fitness equipment, a fun-filled indoor pool, group fitness classes, a jogging/walking track that surrounds a full-service fitness floor, two gyms for open play and event rental spaces.

- The SMSDAC serves local students and the entire community and is made possible through a partnership between the school district, Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD), and the City of Lenexa.  It features 8, 50 meter competition lanes; 2, 1-meter diving boards; 2, 3-meter diving boards; and an instructional pool with an adjustable floor.  The City of Lenexa donated the land, the school district built the pool, and JCPRD manages the facility.  School district swim teams, local and regional competitive teams, and the general public have embraced this state-of-the art natatorium!

The Merriam Community Center opened in July 2020. This $36 million dollar facility is 66,000 square feet that has both indoor and outdoor pools, double gym, large fitness floor, community rooms and the Tim Murphy Art Gallery. Come see the newest community center in Johnson County that was featured in June 2022 Athletic Business Architectural Showcase magazine. 

Add the park tour when you register for the 2023 Conference.
If you have already registered and would like to add this tour, please contact the Jamie at
 (785)235-6533 or jamie@krpa.org.

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