Overland Park, Kansas
|Overland Park, Kansas|
|Motto: "Above And Beyond. By Design."|
Location in the state of Kansas
|• Mayor||Carl R. Gerlach|
|• Total||75.37 sq mi (195.22 km2)|
|• Land||74.84 sq mi (193.84 km2)|
|• Water||0.53 sq mi (1.38 km2)|
|Elevation||1,086 ft (331 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||178,919|
|• Rank||US: 133rd|
|• Density||2,316.6/sq mi (894.4/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0479210|
Overland Park / / is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of Kansas. It is in Johnson County and is the largest suburb in the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 173,372.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Government
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Media
- 9 Parks and recreation
- 10 Culture
- 11 Notable people
- 12 Sister cities
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
The city traces its roots to 1905, with the arrival of its founder, William B. Strang Jr., who plotted subdivisions along a military roadway on 600 acres (240 ha) he purchased that are now part of the old downtown area. One of those subdivisions was named Overland Park, and was the site for the first airplane flight west of the Mississippi with shows by the Wright brothers, sponsored by Strang, on December 24, 1909.
The city was incorporated as a "first class city" on May 20, 1960, making it one of the youngest communities in Johnson County. Its initial population was 28,085 and was bounded by Antioch Road (west), 107th Street (south), Chadwick (east) and I-35 (north). In 1960 the population was 28,085 with 13 square miles (33.7 km2) incorporated. By 1990 the population was 111,790 and in 1995 the incorporated land area was 56.6 square miles (146.6 km2). Since 1995, the population has grown to 173,250 in 2008 with 75.33 square miles (195.10 km2) of land area. Overland Park is now the second most populous city in Kansas. (Wichita is the largest.)
In early 2008, the city council voted to annex an additional 15 square miles (39 km2) south of existing city limits. The annexation was approved for an additional 8 miles (13 km) and went into effect March 10. After the annexation, the city spans nearly the entire distance between the northern and southern borders of Johnson County.
Downtown Overland Park is located at  Located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of Interstate 435 and U.S. Route 69, central Overland Park is roughly 13 miles (21 km) south-southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri and immediately east of Olathe, the county seat.(38.9822282, -94.6707917) at an elevation of 1,086 feet (331 m).
The city lies on the northern edge of the Osage Plains a few miles south of the Kansas River. One of the river's tributaries, Turkey Creek, flows northeast through the extreme northern part of the city. South of Turkey Creek, the majority of the city lies in the watershed of the Blue River. Several of the river's tributaries run east-northeast across the city; from north to south, these include Indian Creek, Tomahawk Creek, and Negro Creek. In the far southern part of the city, two more tributaries, Coffee Creek and Wolf Creek, join to form the main stem of the Blue River itself.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.37 square miles (195.22 km²) of which 74.84 square miles (193.84 km²) is land and 0.53 square mile (1.38 km²) is water.
As a suburb of Kansas City, Overland Park is part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, and it borders other communities on all sides. These include Kansas City, Kansas to the north, Mission and Prairie Village to the northeast, Leawood to the east, Stilwell to the south, Olathe and Lenexa to the west, and Shawnee and Merriam to the northwest. Most of Overland Park, specifically the part of it lying north of 159th Street, lies within the area of Johnson County referred to as Shawnee Mission.
Overland Park lies in the transition zone between North America's humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) and humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) zones, typically experiencing hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 173,372 people, 71,443 households, and 45,516 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,316.5 people per square mile (894.4/km²). There were 76,280 housing units at an average density of 1,019.2 per square mile (393.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.4% White, 4.3% African American, 0.3% American Indian, 6.3% Asian, 2.1% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 6.3% of the population.
There were 71,443 households of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.3% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41, and the average family size was 3.04.
The median age in the city was 37.8 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.2% were from 25 to 44; 27.6% were from 45 to 64; and 12.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.
The median income for a household in the city was $71,513, and the median income for a family was $93,293. Males had a median income of $65,210 versus $43,413 for females. The per capita income for the city was $39,319. 4.9% of the population and 3.3% of families were living below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under the age of 18 and 4.9% of those 65 and older.
The service sector constitutes most of the local economy. Health care, retail trade, professional and technical services, finance and insurance, and information technology are the city’s five largest industries.
More than 40 companies have their corporate headquarters in Overland Park. Telecommunications firm Sprint's world headquarters occupies 240 acres (97 ha) of the city and employs about 8,000 people. Other companies with headquarters in the city include Fortune 500 company YRC Worldwide, Black & Veatch, Waddell & Reed, Ferrellgas, Ash Grove Cement Company, and Compass Minerals. Restaurant chain Applebee's was headquartered in the city from 1993 to 2007.
As of 2011, 73.9% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.1% was in the armed forces, and 73.8% was in the civilian labor force with 70.0% being employed and 3.8% unemployed. The composition, by occupation, of the employed civilian labor force was: 51.6% in management, business, science, and arts; 28.1% in sales and office occupations; 10.9% in service occupations; 4.2% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance; 5.2% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: educational services, health care, and social assistance (22.4%); professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services (15.6%); and finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (11.6%). Sprint is the largest employer in the city followed by Shawnee Mission School District, Johnson County Community College, Blue Valley School District, Black & Veatch, OptumRx, the City of Overland Park, YRC Worldwide, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and Waddell & Reed.
The cost of living in Overland Park is below average; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the city is 88.5. As of 2011, the median home value in the city was $224,200, the median selected monthly owner cost was $1,720 for housing units with a mortgage and $534 for those without, and the median gross rent was $911. In 2012, the dollar value of new residential construction was $142,004,873; the value in new commercial construction was $146,316,340.
Under state statute, Overland Park is a city of the first class. Since 1963, it has had a mayor-council-manager form of government. The city council consists of 13 members popularly elected every four years with staggered terms in office. For representative purposes, the city is divided into six wards with two members elected from each ward. The mayor is the 13th member, elected at-large. The council sets policy for the city, annually identifies city priorities for the Kansas Legislature and the United States Congress, and authorizes ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and agreements. The council meets on the first and third Monday of each month. The mayor presides over council meetings, appoints members to resident boards and commissions, meets with constituents, and signs ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and agreements authorized by the council. The city manager administers city operations and implements policies set by the city council.
Overland Park lies within Kansas's 3rd U.S. Congressional District. For the purposes of representation in the Kansas Legislature, the city is located in the 6th through 8th, 10th, 11th, 21st, and 37th districts of the Kansas Senate and the 8th, 16th, 19th through 24th, 27th through 29th, and 48th districts of the Kansas House of Representatives.
Public education in Overland Park is provided by several school districts including Shawnee Mission School District, Blue Valley School District and Olathe School District.
The Shawnee Mission School District operates five high schools.
- Shawnee Mission South High School
- Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
- Shawnee Mission East High School
- Shawnee Mission West High School
- Shawnee Mission North High School
The Olathe School District consists of four high schools.
- Olathe North High School
- Olathe Northwest High School
- Olathe South High School
- Olathe East High School
The Blue Valley School District encompasses five high schools.
- Blue Valley High School
- Blue Valley North High School
- Blue Valley Northwest High School
- Blue Valley West High School
- Blue Valley Southwest High School
The Johnson County Library serves the city. Overland Park is the location of several branch institutions:
- Ottawa University adult campus
- University of Kansas-Edwards Campus
- Johnson County Community College
- Baker University Overland Park Campus
- Emporia State University - Overland Park Campus (Metro Learning Center)
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas operates Catholic Schools in Overland Park. This list includes:
- Holy Cross
- Holy Spirit
- John Paul II
- St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Protestant Christian Schools include:
- Heritage Christian Academy
Jewish Schools include:
The city does not have its own public transportation system. However, Johnson County, Kansas operates "The JO" within the city limits. As of 2008, Overland Park was not part of Kansas City, MO's plans for a light rail system.
The Kansas City Star, Kansas City's main daily newspaper, provides coverage of local news and publishes an edition specific to Johnson County. In addition, two newspapers are published in Overland Park: the Campus Ledger, the bi-weekly Johnson County Community College student newspaper, and Kansas City Nursing News, a weekly trade publication.
Overland Park is in both the Kansas City radio and television markets. One radio station broadcasts from Overland Park: KCCV. It broadcasts on both 760 AM and 92.3 FM, playing a Religious format. KCCV is the flagship station of the Bott Radio Network (BRN), a network of Christian radio stations which is headquartered in Overland Park.
Parks and recreation
Overland Park has more than 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) of park land and open space. Many of the city's 72 parks feature one or more of the following: public golf, sand volleyball, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, and reservable shelters.
Points of interest
The city is home to Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 300 acres (120 ha) arboretum and botanical garden. The Oak Park Mall is one of the area's top shopping locations with Nordstrom strores, two Dillard's stores, a Macy's, a JCPenney, and nearly 200 other stores.
The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, a 12-acre (49,000 m2), attraction is among the top 10 tourist destinations in the Kansas City area. It has more than 200 animals, hay rides, fishing pond, early 1900s school house and more. It was recognized in August 2008 as the top "family" attraction in Kansas City by the Nickelodeon Channel.
The Overland Park Golf Division operates two of the Kansas City metro’s most popular public golf courses: St. Andrews Golf Club and the Sykes Lady Golf Club. These courses host more than 130,000 rounds of golf a year.
Overland Park has finished construction on a 12-field tournament-quality soccer complex. All the fields have synthetic turf and lights. It has an irrigation system to cool the turf on hot days.
The city is also home to Overland Park Convention Center.
Historic Downtown Overland Park contains a farmers' market, the clocktower plaza and a statue of Overland Park City founder William B. Strang Jr.. It also hosts the Strang Carriage House and is home to the Overland Park Historical Society.
The city has numerous public art works installed under the Public Art Program, most notable ones being
- Shim Sham Shimmy - A sculpture of arching blue steel plates by artist David Stromeyer, installed at the intersection of 119th St and Blue Valley Parkway. It is 18 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter and is lit at night.
There are three community centers in the city: Matt Ross Community Center, the Jewish Community Center, and Tomahawk Ridge Community Center.
Overland Park is highly populated by Protestants, reflective of the overall population of the state of Kansas. Large Baptist, Methodist, Nazarene and Pentecostal churches dot the landscape of Overland Park as well as its neighboring suburbs. Overland Park is home to Congregation Beth Israel Abraham Voliner, an Orthodox synagogue established in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1894. Another Orthodox synagogue is the Chabad House Center which serves as the Chabad Headquarters for Kansas and Missouri. Overland Park is also home to a relatively small Muslim population. The Islamic Center of Johnson County serves as a mosque and a community center for Muslims in Overland Park. 
Also, Overland Park is home to a significant number of Roman Catholics. Overland Park falls within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Parishes such as St. Michael the Archangel, Holy Trinity, Holy Cross, Holy Spirit, Ascension and Queen of the Holy Rosary serve Catholics in Overland Park. Holy Cross offers a Spanish mass for the Hispanic community in the city.
In popular culture and the arts
The city has developed a positive reputation in American media as an affordable and family-friendly community. CNNMoney.com has consistently ranked Overland Park in the top 10 of its 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. In 2009, BusinessWeek ranked the city as one of "The Best Places to Raise Your Kids", and U.S. News & World Report ranked it among "America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up".
Overland Park was the setting of the 2008 documentary series High School Confidential and the 2009-2011 television series United States of Tara. The YouTube series The Most Popular Girls in School is set in Overland Park.
Tara Dawn Holland, Miss America 1997. After six years as a local literacy advocate and tutor, she took her cause to the national spotlight when she was crowned Miss America 1997. She spent the year fighting for literacy education for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as raising funds and motivating those involved in the cause. Since her year of service, she has continued to speak for local, state, and national organizations on this critical issue.
William B. Strang Jr. (1857—1921) was an American railroad magnate and is considered the founder of the community. In 1905, Strang purchased 600 acres south of Kansas City and adjacent to present day Metcalf Avenue and 80th Street. "Strang envisioned a "park-like" community that was self-sustaining and well planned. He also sought strong commerce, quality education, vibrant neighborhoods, convenient transportation and accommodating recreational facilities." 
Overland Park has one sister city.
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- [dead link]
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- New Soccer Park
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- Sister City – City of Overland Park. Opkansas.org. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
- History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883. (Online HTML eBook)
- Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - Download 54MB PDF eBook),(Volume2 - Download 53MB PDF eBook), (Volume3 - Download 33MB PDF eBook)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Overland Park, Kansas.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Overland Park.|
- City of Overland Park
- Overland Park - Chamber of Commerce
- Overland Park - Visitor's Bureau
- Overland Park City Map, KDOT