Submitted photo

After nearly a year of construction, a mid-October ribbon cutting is planned for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s newest streamway park trail.
This special event for the Coffee Creek Streamway Park Trail’s initial phase of 3.4 miles will take place beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, near Shelters 9 and 10 in Heritage Park, which is the current primary access point and western terminus for the new trail. The ribbon cutting will include light refreshments, giveaways, and comments by Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commission Chair Paul Snider and other officials.
“We’re pleased to open this new streamway trail, which will help serve the greenspace needs of southeast Johnson County,” said JCPRD Project Manager Bill Leek.” trail traverses open fields, most of it leftover pasture lands, with some woodlands along the stream,” he said. The woodlands along the stream consist primarily of oak, hickory, hackberry, sycamore, and cottonwood.
The new trail stretches from Heritage Park east to Switzer Road. At this time, the shelter near Heritage Park Shelters 9 and 10 is the only place trail users will find restrooms and other amenities. The trail is also connected to surrounding residential neighborhoods, but no parking for trail access is provided at those points. As with other JCPRD streamway trails, the paved trail is for pedestrians and bikes, and equestrian use and motorized vehicles are prohibited.
This phase of trail development ends to the east at 169th Street near Switzer Road and the Coffee Creek Crossing Development, where it connects to a sidewalk.
A future access point with amenities is planned about halfway through the phase I trail, but will have to wait until anticipated extensions of 167th Street going east and west and Flint Street going north and south give access to what is referred to as the Verhaeghe property. Extension of the two streets by the city of Overland Park is expected in 2018.
No funding or timeframe has been set for the trail’s next phase, which is expected to take the trail roughly two miles southeast to where Coffee Creek converges with the Blue River, just west of 69 Highway and northeast of the Overland Park Arboretum. Other agencies, including Overland Park, are planning trails along the Blue River.