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Overland Park is planning for the future of its parks system — How you can weigh in

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Overland Park is paving the way for the future of its parks and recreation system.

Called Playbook OP, the updated long-range plan currently under review will eventually identify future goals for the city’s pools, parks, green spaces and other recreational facilities.

The plan will also address recreation programming, system development and other recommendations for expanding the city’s vast parks network.

Four-year-old Owna Nelson plays in a fountain at Thompson Park on a hot summer day. Photo credit Kylie Graham.

Parks plan in Overland Park is 10 years old

Above, a massive chessboard at Strang Park in Overland Park. As part of the last long-range park plan, Strang Park saw some improvements.
Above, a massive chessboard at Strang Park. Photo credit Kaylie McLaughlin.

The playbook process is just starting

  • Last week, Parks and Recreation Director Jermel Stevenson told the Overland Park City Council Community Development Committee that the process to update the long-range parks plan kicked off in late September.
  • Updating the comprehensive plan is part of the parks and recreation accreditation process, Stevenson said.
  • At this stage, the city is identifying some of its parks and recreation needs for the future and studying current recreation trends.
  • The city is working with MIG, a design firm specializing in environmental planning and design, to update the master plan. The group worked on the 2013 parks plan.
  • Stevenson expected the city to finish drafting Playbook OP by the end of next year.
Overland Park's South Lake Park.
Overland Park’s South Lake Park. Photo credit Kaylie McLaughlin.

How can you weigh in on the parks plan?

  • Over the next few months, Overland Park will lead a number of public engagement activities connected to the revision process.
  • That will include interviews with community members and some focus groups.
  • The city is also hosting a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.
  • A citywide questionnaire about parks and recreation will also go out next month.
  • “We intend for this to be done with a lot of community input,” Stevenson said.

More Overland Park parks and rec news: Overland Park to turn old Marty Pool site into a new park

About the author

Kaylie McLaughlin
Kaylie McLaughlin

👋 Hi! I’m Kaylie McLaughlin, and I cover Overland Park and Olathe for the Johnson County Post.

I grew up in Shawnee and graduated from Mill Valley in 2017. I attended Kansas State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2021. While there, I worked for the K-State Collegian, serving as the editor-in-chief. As a student, I interned for the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT in Topeka. I also contributed to the KLC Journal and the Kansas Reflector. Before joining the Post in 2023 as a full-time reporter, I worked for the Olathe Reporter.

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