|Ernie Miller Nature Center|
A beautiful, relaxing spot, the Ernie Miller Nature Center, on the west edge of Olathe, was created to heighten awareness of the natural world. Nature and walking trails meander along streams and through riparian and oak-hickory woodlands and native prairie. The education building features exhi...
Shawnee Mission Park
|Description: Here’s some urban wildlife you won’t want to miss! Located at 7900 Renner Road in Shawnee, Shawnee Mission Park is the largest of the Johnson County parks. This 1,250-acre urban refuge includes a 150-acre lake, ponds, marshes, thickets, and meadows. On the west boundary, experience the Mill Creek Streamway Trail. This meandering 8-mile asphalt treadway takes you along the stream and through riparian and hillside oak-hickory forests and upland native prairies.|
Wildlife to Watch: Hikers sometimes sight white-tailed deer, gray and fox squirrels, red and gray foxes, and wild turkeys. Northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers are commonly seen. On spring evenings listen for the call of the ship-poor-will. In the spring and fall check the lake and ponds for piedbilled grebes and mallard ducks. Ospreys occasionally fish the lake. Don’t overlook the common snipe and spotted sandpipers on the shoreline. The marshy ponds below the dam attract red-winged blackbirds, belted kingfishers, and great blue herons. In winter you may see a bald eagle perched on a shoreline tree.
Ownership: Johnson County Parks and Recreation
Size: 1250 acres
Closest Town: Shawnee
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: