Shawnee Mission Lake Restoration

Johnson County, Kansas

The Johnson County Parks and Recreation District retained our services to provide recommendations for improvements and management practices to upgrade Shawnee Mission Park Lake. The study was aimed at improving and protecting the water quality of the lake and addressing substandard dam safety conditions.

The county parks and recreation district wanted a plan that would restore mean depth and would protect the lake from sediment and other pollutants carried into it by increased urban runoff.

Our team developed a plan for stream improvements leading to the lake. The plan included constructing a 4-acre wetland complex that served as a connection and water quality improvement feature in the southeast cove, where the tributary stream drained to the lake.

The wetland and stream complex in our design included interpretive elements, such as pedestrian trails and overlooks with interpretive signage surrounding the wetlands and stream system. Other elements include a canoe trail and boardwalks through the wetlands; wildlife viewing blinds; and a potential prairie grass restoration area that blends with the park’s surrounding recreational elements. 

Permitting aspects of the project included the following: 

  • Jurisdictional determination of emergent wetlands, ephemeral, and intermittent channels
  • Coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the county parks and recreation district, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Johnson County Stormwater Program
  • Mitigation design
  • Section 404 and Section 401 applications

The project also involved many other aspects that included:

  • Removing sediment from the stream opening into the cove of the lake
  • Creating a wetland complex for educational and water quality enhancements
  • Designing and reintroducing stream meanders within the wetland complex
  • Designing and constructing a sedimentation forebay
  • Establishing a terrestrial and deep water habitat

Shawnee Mission Park hosts thousands of visitors each year and accommodates a wide variety of activities. Construction of the project, which began in 2007 and was completed in 2008, had minimal impact to park activities and resources.


Tony Stanton

Overland Park, Kansas


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