Olathe news briefs for the week of July 30, 2012


City Council

The Olathe City Council will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7 in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session.  Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the city’s website).  To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the city’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.

Summer Pool Closure Schedule Announced

Olathe will reduce pool operations beginning in August as follows:

  • Mill Creek Pool will close for the season on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.
  • Frontier Trail Pool and Oregon Trail Pool will close on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m.
  • Black Bob Bay will remain open through Labor Daywith new hours starting Aug. 13:
    • Aug. 13-17; Monday – Friday open 4 to 7 p.m.
    • Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. –  Pool closes for weekday operation
    • Beginning Aug. 18 – Open Saturday and Sunday only from 12:30 to 7 p.m. through Labor Day, Sept. 3.

For more information about Olathe city pool schedules, visit the Parks and Recreation section of the city’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.

Olathe Seeking Artist Submissions

Olathe currently is accepting artist submissions for the Olathe Community Center Art Project.  Olathe is building a state of the art community center at Kansas City Road and Ridgeview Road.  The 72,000-square-foot structure will be completed in 2014.  Leopold Gallery is the art consultant for the project.

The Call is open to artists in Kansas and the Kansas City area, and is open to all art media.  The postmark deadline for submissions is Sept. 29.  Please visit www.OlatheKS.org/CommunityCenter for more information on the guidelines and submission process.

Tips for Protecting Your Trees

The heat and drought have wreaked havoc on landscapes across the city. The Olathe Parks and Recreation Department fields numerous inquiries about how homeowners can protect one of the most expensive pieces of their landscape, trees.

Rick Spurgeon, City of Olathe Arborist, suggests the following for residents wanting to protect their trees:

  • Don’t depend on your irrigation system.  Most residential systems are not effective at allowing the water to soak into the ground and get to the deep roots of trees.  Turf and trees have different needs.  Daily, shallow turf watering can actually kill your trees.
  • Think low and slow.  Run your hose on a low setting at the base of your tree for 3-4 hours every 10 days. Another idea is to drill holes in a 5 gallon bucket, set along the base to the drip line (the canopy) of the tree and fill, do this a few times every week or so a couple of days a week.
  • Aerate your trees. Many homeowners aerate their yards on a regular basis, but neglect their trees. The soil needs to be broken up around the tree to allow oxygen and water to flow to the root system properly. Turf aeration DOES NOT aerate the trees. Trees need aeration over one foot deep.
  • Don’t over water.  Just as important as low and slow watering every few days, remember that watering everyday can also cause stress. Space out your watering, but make sure the water is SOAKED DOWN DEEP, not just muddy on top.
  • Mulch.  Adding a good layer of mulch around your tree will help insulate the roots and conserves water.

Spurgeon also suggests that residents consider trees for fall planting that are either native or adaptive to the area and our weather.  A few suggested drought-hardy trees include Bald Cypress, Chinquapin Oak, Swamp White Oak.

“Many times homeowners worry about their grass and not their trees in drought situations,” said Spurgeon. “What is important to remember is that you can have brand new grass in as little as two weeks, but in many cases it takes 80 years to replace a tree lost to conditions like we are experiencing.”

School Programs Filling up at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm

It’s back to school time and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, 1200 Kansas City Road, offers students an opportunity to discover history where it happened. Mahaffie offers hands-on activities with animals, wagons and a working stagecoach ensuring a fun learning experience for students and a valuable tool for educators. Each of five structured programs are designed to meet curriculum standards for both Kansas and Missouri schools. Mahaffie also offers two programs that can be taken into the schools.

The Growing Up Victorian program is offered for kindergarten through third grade. Students participate in 1800s activities designed to help them make comparisons with their lives today. Hands-on activities include laundry demonstrations, 19th Century Games, chores and a stagecoach ride.

Three programs are designed for third through eighth grades. Wagons Ho! is our most popular school program and features hands on activities from the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe Trails. Students learn why and how so many 19th Century Americans went west on these trails. The JB Mahaffie Had a Farm program features 1860s hands on farming activities. Students learn that the Mahaffie Farm became famous as a stagecoach stop and was even more important as a family farming operation. Kansas is also famous for cowboys and students can experience cowboy skills during the Home on the Range school program. Many of the tools, skills and words used by American cowboys trace their beginnings to the vaqueros of Mexico. Discover these connections and find out if the lives of 1860s Kansas cowboys match what is portrayed in the movies. The Tragic Prelude program is for fourth through eighth grades and features concepts from the Civil War. Students can explore life on the Kansas/Missouri border during the Border and Civil Wars including the military, Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers and civilians caught in the middle.

Cost for students is $5 and Mahaffie suggests a one adult to ten student ratio. School programs last approximately two hours. To book a school program, contact Liz Smith at 913.971.5111.

Mark Your Fall Calendars Now for Upcoming Mahaffie Events

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, 1200 Kansas City Road, announces the 2012 Fall Calendar of Events. The featured fall event is the Wild West Show and Bullwhacker Days on Saturday September 22 and Sunday Sept. 23. Experience performances from Annie Oakley, the Whip Guy, and enjoy lots of hands on activities for kids such as roping and gold panning. New this year is Wicked Liars: Fire Eating, Sword Swallowing and Juggling. Enjoy a Cowboy Baseball Game using 1860s rules on Saturday and a youth rodeo and mutton busting on Sunday.

Other special events include Grandparents Day on Sunday September 9, Fall Home School Day on Thursday September 13, and Cemetery Tours on Thursday Oct. 11, Friday Oct. 12 and Saturday Oct. 13. This year, Cemetery Tours feature stories of Olathe during the Civil War. Tour tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 1 and can be purchased in the Heritage Center during regular business hours. Tickets are $5/adults and $4/kids ages 5 to 11. Join Mahaffie on Saturday, Oct. 20 for Tiger Cub Scout Day highlighting Fall Harvest activities, and Saturday, Oct. 27 for the third Trick or Treat OFF the Street event.

Winter events include a Santa Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 24, Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 1, and a Holiday Tea on Sunday, De. 9. For more information about Mahaffie special events, visit www.mahaffie.org.


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