Back in 1905, William B. Strang visioned a “park-like” community with parks, lakes and culturally rich neighborhoods. Today, the suburban area right outside Kansas City is just that. With a historic downtown center, fishing ponds and gardens along with farms and country schoolhouses, there are many prime places for photo opportunities in Overland Park.
Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
300 acres of gardens, trails and natural eco-systems, the area is a perfect reason for getting the camera out. Gardens of all kinds appear throughout the arboretum, each showcasing native trees, shrubs and flowers:
- Train Garden (not complete)
- Cohen Iris Garden
- Xeriscape Garden
- Marder Woodlands Garden
- Monet Garden
- Children’s Discovery Garden
Paved walkways, waterfalls, benches and sculptures weave through the area making an ideal background for wedding photographs, anniversaries or vacation memories. The Train Garden, not complete yet, will have a real caboose and train car setting along with a Depot, where parties and outings can be held. The Grape Arbor, found in Legacy Gardens, is the perfect place for shots with a bubbly brook and Kansas native flowers. The Monet Garden, typical of the French Monet Garden, showcases a showy palate of soft, weepy flowers, making it a beautiful location for photography.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
The 12 acre “turn of the century“ family farm is now an Overland Park attraction for families, especially for kids. Find a spot to take photos at the fishing pond or the one room schoolhouse. Wagon rides, ideal for a scenic picture, are also available at the farm. The Farmstead opened in 1978 to bring farm charm to children living in the city. Named after Deanna Rose, the first Overland Park police officer who died while on duty, children can pose in front of farm animals such as goats and chickens or stand in front of the teepee village. Strap the camera over the shoulder while hopping on a tractor or take a picture in the gardens. This is an amazing spot for an entire family photo.
Historic Downtown Overland Park
There are many spots for photos in historic downtown Overland Park. Located on the old Santa Fe Trail, the downtown area has many places to smile and click. Historic remnants of old town, like the Clock Tower Plaza, provide a perfect location for family pictures. The Farmer’s Market, nearby, pops with plenty of color from flowers, fruit and vegetables for terrific photo shots.
Overland Park Public Art
The area has plenty of sculptured artwork presenting a nice location for photography. The Friends of Overland Park Art organization has helped provide appreciation and education on culture, art, aesthetic, recreational and scientific development for Overland Park. Many statues and sculptures are anchored throughout the area:
- “Pierced Sky” by Matt Kirby at 103rd & Metcalf
- “Pod Forms” by Liz Vercruysse at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center
- “Converge” by Steven Richardson at Overland Park Convention Center
- Statue of “William Strang” by Kwon Wu at 80th & Santa Fe
Overland Park has much to offer as any city in Kansas. William Strang’s idea of keeping it a beautiful, “park like” city with an environmental awareness for a place to raise families remains present and easily captured through a camera.