The county’s newest park at the former Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club will have about four miles of trails, a “great lawn” the size of two football fields and exercise equipment geared toward senior citizens, according to a sneak peak of the master plan offered last week by the park’s architect.
The plan is to be considered by the county park and recreation board at its meeting Wednesday. But architect Kelly VanElders of Landworks Studio outlined a few of the park’s features for county commissioners last week.
VanElders said the park planners tried to incorporate the ideas that came from various open houses. One of the most demanded features, he said, was trails. The proposed plan will include about four miles of trails and may eventually be linked to the areawide trail system.
If the plan is approved, Meadowbrook will be one of only six parks in the country to have exercise stations catering to the needs of seniors, VanElders said. The fitness stations will be located in a shaded area in the north half of the development.
The Meadowbrook development for the area bounded by Nall and Roe avenues and 91st and 95th streets recently was approved by the Prairie Village City Council, clearing the way for it to move forward through county government. The public/private development — a partnership between Van Trust Real Estate, the county and Prairie Village — will convert the former golf course into about 45 acres of housing including a senior living facility, luxury single-family homes and a boutique hotel.
The remaining 83 acres will become a swath of green space that the county hopes will be a regional destination. “We truly feel this is a park that is going to benefit everyone in the county,” said Jill Geller, director of the county park and recreation district.
The residential part of the development is bisected by three water retention ponds that will be incorporated into the park, but most of the park area will be across the northern area.
VanElders said a decision has not been reached on what to do with the clubhouse, which will have to be either rebuilt or remodeled to make it handicap-accessible.
Most of what he showed commissioners was planned for the area near the clubhouse. An oval “great lawn” on one of the larger fairways could be a good spot for large gatherings, he said. The plan also proposes an “iconic garden” providing the clubhouse area a manicured landscape and sculpture.
The architects also envisioned a play area using some of the existing characteristics of the greens, he said. The 18th fairway, near the clubhouse, may feature a sand bunker filled with rubberized mulch along with other modern playground equipment, for instance. That play area is expected to be one of the most used in the park, VanElders said.
“Gone are the days when we do the old plastic slide,” he said. “What families are demanding are some new challenges,” that put more of the body in motion.
The proposed plan also includes pickleball court and a pavilion comparable to the shelter at Antioch Park, VanElders said.
Several more approvals are needed before construction can begin.
County commissioners also got an update on plans for a rebuilt Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility in Leawood. The commission is working on a plan to build a $280 million treatment plant that would largely replace the existing one at 10101 Lee Blvd.
The existing plant, built in 1955, handles only about 40 percent of the wastewater from its area, with the rest going to Kansas City. But federal regulators have required Kansas City to supplement its existing sewer treatment with large storage tanks to increase capacity during wet weather, and that has driven up the rates the city charges its customers.