Raindrop Walk

Raindrop WalkCentral GreenNative plantsRiparian Corridor

When a drop of rain falls on the Lenexa civic campus, it begins a long and busy journey to the heart of the City Center Watershed. Across the watershed, the City of Lenexa uses traditional stormwater treatment methods paired with natural solutions to clean and carry this rainfall to its destination.

Lenexa's Raindrop Walk is a self-guided walking tour that takes you on the journey of a raindrop. From the Lenexa Rec Center's main entrance to a bridge over the creek that carries water to Shawnee Mission Lake, you will venture across six stops throughout the 0.55 mile walk (1.1 miles round trip).

At each sign, you'll learn what challenges we face in protecting our water supply, how Lenexa treats rain runoff and ways you can help improve water quality at home — many of which you can receive reimbursement for through our Cost Share Program. Learn more about each of the six stops below.

View tour map

City Center Watershed

City Center Watershed

Stop 1: Follow the path of a raindrop

Located at the south entrance of the Lenexa Rec Center

This walking tour traces the path of rainfall from the Rec Center through the City Center Watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains into a common body of water, such as a nearby creek, stream, river or lake. A small watershed can feed into a larger watershed. This watershed is part of a much larger one - the Mill Creek Watershed. 

No matter where you live in Lenexa, you live in a watershed. The rainwater that falls on your property will potentially end up in the body of water your watershed drains into, carrying sediment, nutrients and chemicals with it along the way. Use this map to find your home and discover which watershed you live in. Your actions at home have an impact on the quality of the water in this watershed, as well as the health of the plants and animals that live there. 

Find your watershed

Infiltration Planters

Infiltration Planters

Stop 2: Rain gardens for the urban landscape

Located at the northwest corner of eastbound 87th Street Parkway and Penrose Lane

The infiltration planters that line the streets of City Center add natural beauty while effectively soaking up rainwater and filtering pollutants. A rain garden can achieve similar benefits at your home. You can place these gardens strategically in your yard to help solve drainage issues. And notice all the bees and birds in the illustration? By selecting the right plants for your rain garden, you can attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators. 

Learn more about rain gardens

Gray Infrastructure

Gray infrastructure

Stop 3: Capturing the everyday litter of City Center

Located at the south corner of Elmridge Street  and Penrose Lane

Lenexa uses a mix of gray and green infrastructure to treat and transport water through its watersheds. Both types of stormwater infrastructure are fairly subtle - you may not guess there's a an eight-foot-wide stormwater treatment unit under this manhole, or know that the flowerbeds along the street are performing important stormwater duties, too.

Click the buttons below to learn more about how things you may not have noticed before in our community play a vital role in our stormwater network.

Gray Infrastructure Green Infrastructure

Central Green

Central Green Stop 4: Turning rain to recreation

Located at the Central Green entrance on the south side of Elmridge Street 

Rainwater feeds into streams and ponds that make our community beautiful and allow natural areas to thrive. For that reason, the City of Lenexa takes advantage of rainfall to turn stormwater management projects into parks and recreational areas through our Rain to Recreation program. Central Green is a great example of this program's success, adding welcoming open green space, native grasses and flowers, natural habitat, a picturesque stream and trails to the heart of City Center. 
Here are a few more Lenexa parks and natural areas that play important roles in our stormwater and recreation networks at the same time:

  • Lake Lenexa at Black Hoof Park controls flooding around Coon Creek by temporarily holding rain back and releasing it after a storm. The 35-acre lake, dam and spillway are surrounded by trails and dense woodlands. You can boat and fish in the lake and spot a diverse range of animals and trees on a hike through the woods.
  • The Clear Creek Wetlands northeast of Prairie Star Parkway and Clare Road provide flood control for growing area development. Native vegetation cleanses rainwater while providing a home for wildlife. Trails winding through the wetlands offer the opportunity for a quiet walk among turtles, frogs and water birds.
  • The pond at Hidden Woods Park is surrounded by a native preservation area. This secluded spot in the middle of well-established eastern Lenexa is a great place to spot native flowers and wildlife. 

Native Plants

Native Plants

Stop 5: Stunning blooms, surprising roots

Located on the west side of the trail near the pond between Central Green and Parkhurst Park

You'll find native plants throughout our parks and City-owned property. Because they require little maintenance and perform important stormwater functions, they're an attractive, practical choice for both government gardens and your own yard!

You might be surprised by the aesthetic variety of native plants, from tall swaying grasses to showy flowering shrubs. Check out our native plant guides to find some stunning new additions for your garden.

Native Plants and Trees

Riparian Corridor


Stop 6: Nature's water treatment plant

Located on the bridge over the creek at Parkhurst Park

While the riparian corridor naturally treats rainwater, your actions also have a significant impact on the quality of water in our streams. Pollutants like nutrients, bacteria and sediment are harmful to our bodies of water.

  • Bacteria, including the kinds found in pet waste, can kill or harm plants and animals in stream habitats. 
  • Water that's murky from sediments prevents animals from seeing food and hinders the growth of natural vegetation.
  • Pollutants can make your water smell, taste or look bad. They must be treated in drinking water, which adds to the cost of your tap water.
  • Nutrients can cause rapid algae growth that starves the water of oxygen, killing plants and fish. Some types of algae also release toxins that are harmful to humans and pets.

Improving the way you care for your outdoor property is an important step in protecting our water quality. Follow the links below to learn how you can help.

Protect water quality in your everyday life Healthy lawn care tips