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.
It is the next step in the community’s long-term plan to create a world-class Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
This project page will be updated throughout construction of the LongHouse Visitor Center.
8909 W. 179th Street
Overland Park, KS 66013
The new LongHouse Visitor Center will expand access to much of the Arboretum’s natural spaces and beauty for all visitors.
The LongHouse Visitor Center features a modern stone building with metal and wood accents and a zinc-colored metal roof. The contemporary design of the building will provide panoramic views to the outdoor areas of the Arboretum.
Construction of the new building will provide more than 21,000 additional square feet of interior space for exhibits, hands-on learning, a cafe, gift shop, office and administration space, and rental spaces for weddings, corporate meetings and community events.
Exterior spaces will include new entry gardens, a reflecting pool, a great lawn and additional parking.
The visitor center will be known as “LongHouse,” which honors Janet Long, a private contributor to the project. The name is reminiscent of longhouses of Native Americans and Scandinavian cultures, which used these buildings as community gathering spaces.
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.
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.
The following are key dates for the planning, approval and construction of this project. Dates will be updated as the project progresses.
The existing facility will be remodeled to focus on environmental education opportunities for the community.
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.
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.
The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park is fundraising for this project. You can make a donation online or by check.
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:
If you have a question about programming, renting a space at the new visitor center or other Arboretum operations, please contact: