Graphic courtesy of JCPRD

Graphic courtesy of JCPRD

Big Bull Creek Park, almost 2000 acres generally southeast of Edgerton, may finally be developed, at least according to a master plan developed by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. The land was originally purchased more than a decade ago. In the late 1990’s county officials prioritized undeveloped property for parks while it was still affordable.
A public hearing is set for 4:30-7 p.m. Feb. 22 at New Century Fieldhouse.
Because Edgerton is adjacent to the west side of the park, “This park has the opportunity to act like a large backyard for the residents and businesses of Edgerton,” according to the master plan.
A primary entrance is being planned along Sunflower Road to provide easy access from the Interstate 35 Sunflower Road exit. Pedestrian access to trails have been planned.
Because of the park’s size, it will be organized into several zones of about 500 acres.
“Each zone will aim to be at least 500 contiguous acres in size, with no paved roads, lighting, or buildings inside the perimeter,” the plan states. Paved and soft trails will be only on the zone edges. Planned areas include prairie habitat, savanna habitat, forest habitat and core habitat.
Active recreation will be largely determined by access from Interstate 35 and US 56 Highway.
North of 199th Street activities may include disc golf course, fishing pond, open air shelters, a large four-season rental pavilion that would accommodate 200 people, a dog park, glampground (glamourous camping), RV campground, nature playground, and a tent campground.
Mildale Farm will retain its current use as a rental facility.
The proposed Sunflower entry in the Center Zone, across from Martin Creek Park, includes a Sunflower Pavillion for 200 users, welcome kiosk, open air shelters, destination playground, loop trails and a Weber Farm Overlook. Building remnants of the original Weber Farm will be removed, but the plan recommends two concrete silos be retained as unique landmarks. An overlook of surrounding landscape is also planned for the farm site.
South of 199th, the plan calls for passive use including: trail use, creek access, and some group camping. Auto traffic will be limited.
At the many trails, signs will be placed to provide information, park map, amenity locations, drinking water and a shade structure. Trails will be both hard and soft surface. There will also be clearly designated equestrian trails and forested areas.