Visitor Center Project

The City of Overland Park is building a new visitor center that will provide community and learning spaces and more opportunities to enjoy nature at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

This project page will be updated throughout construction of the visitor center.

Address

8909 W. 179th Street
Overland Park, KS 66013

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Location

The area where the new visitors center will be located is currently open green space primarily used for a nearby service road. The additional building and gardens will expand visitor access to the property and natural beauty of the Arboretum.

Use the round slider to move the image comparison divider left to right to see the placement of the new building on the current property.

Current Arboretum Layout
Site Plan Post-Construction

This image is not a construction plan and represents the general expected placement of buildings and features after construction. Review the full site plans online.

Take a Tour

This Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park video gives visitors an idea of what they will experience at the new visitor center.

Guests will arrive at a circle drive that flows from the front lawn and new additional parking spaces. Visitors can enjoy the great pond before entering the building, which provides a full view through to gardens on the west side of the building.

Inside the building is a gift shop, ticketing booth, classrooms, meeting spaces, offices and restrooms, all along a common corridor. To the south, there will be a cafe with space to host events and gatherings, facing out onto a terrace along the water and leading out into additional gardens.

Project Schedule

The following are key dates for the planning, approval and construction of this project. Dates will be updated as the project progresses.

  • 2006 – Overland Park City Council approves Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Master Plan, including ideas for expansion beyond existing gardens.
  • 2016 – The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park began fundraising private donations to contribute to the project.
  • 2018 – Overland Park City Council approves funding of the visitor center through the 2018-2022 Capital Improvements Program.
  • January 11, 2021 – Overland Park Planning Commission approves final development plan for the visitor center.
  • February 1, 2021 – Overland Park City Council approves final development plan for the visitor center.
  • May 17, 2021 – Overland Park City Council approves final change order for construction.
  • July 31, 2021 – Groundbreaking
  • Late Summer 2021 – Construction begins
  • Late 2022 – Estimated Construction completion date

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen to the existing visitor center when the new one is built?

The existing facility will be remodeled to focus on environmental education opportunities for the community.

How much will the project cost?

The completed project will cost approximately $22.7 million, which includes the acquisition of 20 acres of land, and design, construction and operating equipment.

The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park donated $11 million through generous community individuals and organizations. The rest is funded by the City’s Capital Improvements Program.

I've heard discussion about an amphitheater, chapel and other amenities. Are those part of this project?

The master plan for the Arboretum includes a great lawn, a sculpture garden trail, a chapel, a small outdoor theater and more.

Later phases of the master plan, including these additional amenities, are not funded at this time and are not part of this construction project.

The City is always looking for opportunities to bring additional programs and services to the Arboretum and all its facilities. When the time is right we hope to continue developing the master plan. We’ll continue to engage with the neighbors and community as these plans move forward.

Where can I donate?

The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park is fundraising for this project. You can make a donation online or by check.

Donate Now

Who can I contact for more information about this project?

The City of Overland Park owns and operates the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. City staff from the Parks and Recreation Department operate the facility. City staff from the Public Works Department are managing the construction of the new visitor center.

If you have a questions about the construction project or process of the new visitor center, please contact:

Kyle Dieckmann
kyle.dieckmann@opkansas.org
913-895-6053

If you have a question about programming, renting a space at the new visitor center or other Arboretum operations, please contact:

Karen Kerkhoff
karen.kerkhoff@opkansas.org
913-890-1751