Overland Park, Kansas 2020

Overland Park began as a vision that came to fruition with the purchase of a large piece of land on an old military road outside of Kansas City. William Strang had one goal: to develop a “like a park” city ​​which has been well planned with an excellent education and transportation system. Today, Overland Park in the US state of Kansas represents William Strang’s first achievement and is a boom town that is part of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Attentive visitors can spot Strang’s other early entrepreneurial successes on Santa Fe Drive. It was once Santa Fe’s historic trail, which played a part in the great migration and later evolved into a successful intercity streetcar line. Overland Park is connected like never before with Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri just a stone’s throw away.

Overland Park Geography and Climate

Aerial view of Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb.

Overland Park is a large city located in Johnson County, in the western part of the US state of Kansas. The city covers a total area of ​​195.21 km2, of which 1.38 km2 is occupied by water and 193.83 km2 is occupied by land. Located east of Olathe, Overland Park is the second most populous city in the state. The city is located approximately 1 km south-southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. Overland Park resides in a geophysical area known as the Osage Plains, which includes savanna grassland. The city lies south of the Kansas River. Turkey Creek, which is a tributary of the Kansas River, flows on the northern outskirts of Overland Park.

With four seasons per year, consisting of distinct wet summers and snowy, windy winters, Overland Park is placed between two climates on the Köppen climate classification. Thus, it experiences a humid subtropical climate as well as a humid continental climate. Over a year, precipitation is collected over 90.6 days from rain, hail and snow. Precipitation amounts to 1054.1 mm and snowfall to 355.6 mm. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average temperature of -6.5°C, while the hottest month of the year is July, with a temperature of 31°C.

Overland Park History

Statue of William B. Strang, JR., founder of Overland Park, Kansas
Statue of William B. Strang Jr., founder of Overland Park, Kansas. Editorial credit: Jon Kraft / Shutterstock.com

Before Overland Park was established, it served as a thoroughfare to Olathe, which served as a resting place on the Santa Fe Trail. Sapping Grove Park, located in modern Overland, was once a resting place for early caravans wagon from the 1830s and 1840s. Present-day Santa Fe Drive is the route that migrants took before the settlement of Overland. As such, Overland Park was founded when a subdivision was laid out at the end of a former military road by founder William B. Strang Jr. His vision was to build a park-like city in 1905. , he planned Mission and Village des Prairies. However, its most notable achievement came in the 1940s with the addition of an intercity streetcar system which Strang founded under the Missouri-Kansas Interurban Railway. This system linked Olathe to the west with Overland Park and Kansas City, Missouri to the east. The tram line was nicknamed the “Strange Line”, and Sante Fe Drive still has old remnants of the streetcar system, with the Strang Carbarn and Strang Carriage House still standing today.

Population and economy of Overland Park

View of the Prairie Fire Museum and Entertainment Complex in Overland Park, Kansas
View of the Prairie Fire Museum and Entertainment Complex in Overland Park, Kansas. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Overland Park has a population of 197,238, with a population density of 1000 people per km². It is the second largest city in the state of Kansas with Wichita ahead of it. The median household income is $115,441 and the gross monthly rent is $1,164. On the cost of living index, Overland Park rates 111.2, while Kansas State is 83.1. However, 4.88% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The unemployment rate is 3.0%, while the US unemployment rate is 6.0%. The largest industries contributing to the economy include health care and social assistance at 15.2%, scientific and technical services at 13.8%, and retail trade at 10.7%. The highest paying jobs are in public services at $87,000, information at $84,063, and scientific and technical services at $76,230.

Attractions at Overland Park

Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Beautiful pond and bridge at Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden, in Overland Park, Kansas
Beautiful pond and bridge at Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden, in Overland Park, Kansas. Editorial Credit: Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.com

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a 300-acre dedicated green space founded in 1990. It serves as an educational and recreational area to display over 1,700 plants in the gardens and native Osage Plain. Activities include hiking along maintained hiking trails that highlight Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Blue River. Additionally, guided tours can be booked in advance of the various gardens, which also feature limestone cliffs. More so, there is a children’s discovery garden which has a story tree, a frog pond and mulberry wood, among other child-friendly features. The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden are open daily, and children under six years old get free admission.

Deanna Rose Family Farm

Deanna Rose Family Homestead is open seasonally from April through October and focuses on educating the public about what a turn-of-the-century farmhouse once looked like. Founded in 1978, the farm has more than 250 animals, a fishing pond, a school, a vegetable garden, a flower garden and a raptor exhibition.

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