If you’ve ever wondered who Lamar Avenue is named for, what Marty Street’s aeronautical claim to fame is or why Quivira Road is nowhere near the fabled (and fictional) city of riches sought by Coronado, a local event commemorating National Trails Day is the place to be.
On June 3, seven new entries in a series of interpretative historical signs to be installed along a 10.1-mile stretch of Indian Creek Trail in Overland Park will be unveiled to the public. Set for 9 to 11 a.m. at the shelter at Roe Park, located at 10400 Roe Ave., the event will also include refreshments and a walking tour of the trail.
The signs — four will be installed by National Trails Day, another seven should be in by Labor Day and another two by Thanksgiving — tell the stories of the streets near which they’re placed through vintage photographs, drawings, maps and other images from more than two dozen archives, said Henry Fortunato, director of the Indian Creek Interpretative Signage Project.
Fortunato, a history buff and serious walker — his resume boasts a border-to-border walk across Kansas — developed the project, which he hopes to expand to include Leawood, Olathe and Kansas City.
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“It’s a great way to access local history without being overwhelming,” he said. “You don’t have to read the whole sign — in fact, they’re designed so you don’t have to. These are permanent signs, and they’re trails people use all the time. You can read one part this week, one part next week.”
Overseen by the Johnson County Museum Foundation, the project is funded by donations from several area charitable foundations and institutions. Installation and site planning services are being provided by the City of Overland Park and in-kind research assistance by the Johnson County Museum, the Overland Park Historical Society and the Lenexa Historical Society.