Protecting Overland Park’s Environment

The City of Overland Park plans, builds, protects and preserves a lasting quality of life in Overland Park. That includes a variety of efforts and initiatives to ensure Overland Park is a sustainable city.

This page provides information about how Overland Park residents and business owners can help the environment, and what the City is doing to minimize its environmental impact.

Protect Overland Park’s environment alongside family, friends and neighbors at volunteer opportunities happening throughout the year. Express your interest in volunteering using the form below.

Volunteer Interest Form

Sustainable Yards

Green Lawn Care Tips

Taking simple steps in your yard can improve water quality. Help keep Overland Park’s landscape both beautiful and healthy by

Even “natural” materials like leaves or grass clippings should not be placed around creeks, ditches, or storm drains. These organic materials will not break down easily in storm drains. Consider grass cycling or composting your lawn clippings.

Gardens + Landscaping

The plants in your backyard present an opportunity to contribute to the sustainability of Overland Park’s environment. Follow these best practices:

  • Click here to see what’s native to Overland Park
  • Consider the ultimate size of the shrub or tree, and make sure it will have room to grow free from power lines, decks, or roof lines
  • Select trees approved for planting in the public right of way, which are chosen for their hardiness to our city’s environment

Help From Johnson County Extension

Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners provide residents gardening tips and suggestions on their free hotline.

Contact the master gardeners at 913-715-7050.

Stormwater Cost Share

Overland Park’s stormwater cost share program encourages residents and business owners to incorporate stormwater management strategies on their properties.

Learn more about projects that are eligible and how to get reimbursed.

Sustainable Construction

New development impacts the environment by reducing the number of natural areas and wildlife habitats in the community.

Adopting sustainable construction practices can help developers save money and minimize the effect of development on the environment. You can help by

City Sustainability Efforts

The City of Overland Park is working to be a green neighbor as well. The following are City initiatives to create a lasting quality of life in our community.

Energy Consumption at City Facilities

The City of Overland Park monitors energy consumption at its facilities, including City Hall, other City offices, all police and fire stations, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, both golf courses, and other recreational buildings. In total, staff monitors electricity, natural gas, and water use from 24 buildings.

The City uses consumption reports to make informed decisions about managing current energy use. Monthly reports are also available to the public.

This information interfaces with the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager, which provides benchmarking for energy consumption. Currently, City Hall meets the profile for EnergyStar scores as it relates to buildings nationwide.

Additional information on the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager is available at

Sanders Justice Center Prairie Restoration

Overland Park is restoring 10 acres of turf grass near the W. Jack Sanders Justice Center back to natural tallgrass prairie.

Native plants, like switchgrass, big bluestem, indian grass and coneflower have adapted to our climate, making them superior to other vegetation types in surviving in our region with minimal support.

This prairie restoration will help treat stormwater pollution and further improve downstream bodies of water in the Tomahawk Creek and Blue River Watersheds. Keep watch at at Sanders Justice Center as the prairie establishes.

Floating Wetlands

Overland Park’s first floating wetland project is installed in the middle of South Lake.

Floating wetlands are buoyant structures that allow natural wetland plants to grow on the lake surface, absorbing excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.

Environmental Restoration Workdays

The City hosts environmental restoration workdays with the goal to improve water quality, the cleanliness of streamside forests, and the recreational experience at City parks.

Workdays often include local neighbors, environmentally-minded residents, City staff and elected officials. Activities include planting native trees and removing invasive species from streamside forests. Recently, volunteers have held workdays at the following parks:

  • Gregory Meadows Park – removed 40 cubic yards of invasive honeysuckle and planted 25 native trees, including oak, cottonwood and redbud.
  • Empire Estates Park – removed 40 cubic yards of invasive honeysuckle and planted 125 native trees, including redbud, pawpaw, symcamore and cottonwood.
  • Young’s Park – removed 700 cubic yards of invasive honeysuckle and planted 10 native trees, including oak, sycamore and Kentucky coffeetree.
  • Corporate Woods Founders’ Park – planted 100 native trees, including pecan, redbud, pawpaw, sycamore and golden currant.

These events greatly improve the local ecology of the park, while also enhancing climate resilience and sustainability. For information on upcoming environmental restoration workdays, visit the Calendar + Events page.


Rake It or Leave It

What impact does yard waste have?

Yard waste can serve as a source of nutrients or a source of water pollution. How we dispose of yard waste impacts our environment.

Mulched leaves and grass clippings add valuable nutrients to your lawn and save money. Decaying yard waste near bodies of water can harm wildlife and smother vegetation.

Overland Park Municipal Code 7.58 prohibits the disposal of yard waste near bodies of water or on roads.

A Guide for Overland Park Pet Owners

Pet waste left on lawns or streets does not break down or fertilize the grass. Pet waste washes into storm drains, ditches and lakes, traveling miles through the water. Harmful bacteria in pet waste can contaminate the water, making it unfit for human contact.

Protect local waterways by avoiding the following activities:

  • Putting pet waste in storm drain inlets,
  • Leaving pet waste on the lawn,
  • Throwing pet waste out in the woods,
  • And rinsing pet waste from kennel floors directly on the ground.

Instead, adopt these best practices:

  • Always clean up after your pet,
  • Take advantage of the complimentary waste bags offered at parks and along greenways,
  • Carry extra bags when walking your pet, and offer extra bags to owners who are without their own bags.
Only Rain Down the Drain

Did you know our storm drains lead directly to our streams and lakes?

Contaminants dumped on yards, curbs and streets all flow to stormwater drains.

Find more information on how to dispose of hazardous waste like paint, yard chemicals, oil and other automotive fluids on the Johnson County website.