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Overland Park, Kansas

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Country  Kansas
Population  181,260 (2013)
Unemployment rate  3.6% (Feb 2015)
Area  75.37 sq mi
State  Kansas
Mayor  Carl R. Gerlach
Points of interest  Deanna Rose Childrens Farmstead, Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Overland Park Convention Center, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Deer Creek Golf Course
Colleges and Universities  Johnson County Community College, Cleveland Chiropractic College, Ottawa University - Kansas City, Saint Paul School of Theology, National American University - Overland Park

Overland Park is the second most populous city in the State of Kansas. Located in Johnson County, it is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri and the second most populous city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 173,372.

Contents

Map of Overland Park, Kansas

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History

Overland Park, Kansas in the past, History of Overland Park, Kansas

The city traces its roots to 1905, with the arrival of its founder, William B. Strang Jr., who plotted subdivisions along a military roadway on 600 acres (240 ha) he purchased that are now part of the old downtown area. One of those subdivisions was named Overland Park, and was the site for the first airplane flight west of the Mississippi with shows by the Wright brothers, sponsored by Strang, on December 24, 1909.

Overland Park, Kansas in the past, History of Overland Park, Kansas

The city was incorporated as a "first class city" on May 20, 1960. Its initial population was 28,085 and was bounded by Antioch Road (west), 107th Street (south), Chadwick (east) and I-35 (north) with 13 square miles (33.7 km2) incorporated. By 1990 the population was 111,790 and in 1995 the incorporated land area was 56.6 square miles (146.6 km2). Since 1995, the population has grown to 173,250 in 2008 with 75.33 square miles (195.10 km2) of land area. Overland Park is now the second most populous city in Kansas. (Wichita is the largest.)

In early 2008, the city council voted to annex an additional 15 square miles (39 km2) south of existing city limits. The annexation was approved for an additional 8 miles (13 km) and went into effect March 10. After the annexation, the city spans nearly the entire distance between the northern and southern borders of Johnson County.

On April 13, 2014, a pair of shootings committed by a lone gunman occurred at the local Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom, a local Jewish retirement community. A total of three people were killed in both shootings. The suspected gunman, described as a man in his seventies, later identified as Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., was taken into custody.

Geography

Downtown Overland Park is located at 38°58?56?N 94°40?15?W (38.9822282, -94.6707917) at an elevation of 1,086 feet (331 m). Located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of Interstate 435 and U.S. Route 69, central Overland Park is roughly 13 miles (21 km) south-southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri and immediately east of Olathe, the county seat.

Overland Park, Kansas Beautiful Landscapes of Overland Park, Kansas

The city lies on the northern edge of the Osage Plains a few miles south of the Kansas River. One of the rivers tributaries, Turkey Creek, flows northeast through the extreme northern part of the city. South of Turkey Creek, the majority of the city lies in the watershed of the Blue River. Several of the rivers tributaries run east-northeast across the city; from north to south, these include Indian Creek, Tomahawk Creek, and Negro Creek. In the far southern part of the city, two more tributaries, Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek, join to form the main stem of the Blue River itself.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.37 square miles (195.22 km²) of which 74.84 square miles (193.84 km²) is land and 0.53 square mile (1.38 km²) is water.

As a suburb of Kansas City, Overland Park is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, and it borders other communities on all sides. These include Kansas City, Kansas to the north, Mission and Prairie Village to the northeast, Leawood to the east, Stilwell to the south, Olathe and Lenexa to the west, and Shawnee and Merriam to the northwest. Most of Overland Park, specifically the part of it lying north of 159th Street, lies within the area of Johnson County referred to as Shawnee Mission.

Economy

The service sector constitutes most of the local economy. Health care, retail trade, professional and technical services, finance and insurance, and information technology are the city’s five largest industries.

Culture

Overland Park, Kansas Culture of Overland Park, Kansas

The city is home to Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 300 acres (120 ha) arboretum and botanical garden. The Oak Park Mall is one of the areas top shopping locations with Nordstrom stores, two Dillards stores, a Macys, a JCPenney, and nearly 200 other stores.

The Deanna Rose Childrens Farmstead, a 12-acre (49,000 m2), attraction is among the top 10 tourist destinations in the Kansas City area. It has more than 200 animals, hay rides, fishing pond, early 1900s school house and more. It was recognized in August 2008 as the top "family" attraction in Kansas City by the Nickelodeon Channel.

The Overland Park Golf Division operates two of the Kansas City metro’s most popular public golf courses: St. Andrews Golf Club and the Sykes Lady Golf Club. These courses host more than 130,000 rounds of golf a year.

Overland Park has finished construction on a 12-field tournament-quality soccer complex. All the fields have synthetic turf and lights. It has an irrigation system to cool the turf on hot days.

The city is also home to Overland Park Convention Center.

Historic Downtown Overland Park contains a farmers market, the clocktower plaza and a statue of Overland Park City founder William B. Strang Jr.. It also hosts the Strang Carriage House and is home to the Overland Park Historical Society.

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

The city has numerous public art works installed under the Public Art Program, most notable ones being

  • Shim Sham Shimmy - A sculpture of arching blue steel plates by artist David Stromeyer, installed at the intersection of 119th St and Blue Valley Parkway. It is 18 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter and is lit at night.

  • There are three community centers in the city: Matt Ross Community Center, the Jewish Community Center, and Tomahawk Ridge Community Center.

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    References

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