Community members bring Johnson County park back to life - KCTV5

Community members bring Johnson County park back to life

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Not many people visit Nall Park, a small recreational area tucked into the northern tip of Johnson County.  Its lack of use was one of the first things Brett Shoffner noticed about it. (KCTV5) Not many people visit Nall Park, a small recreational area tucked into the northern tip of Johnson County. Its lack of use was one of the first things Brett Shoffner noticed about it. (KCTV5)
ROELAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Members of one local community are creating an outdoor retreat for everyone to enjoy.

Not many people visit Nall Park, a small recreational area tucked into the northern tip of Johnson County.

Its lack of use was one of the first things Brett Shoffner noticed about it.

“It needed some activity. Big time,” he said.

But where some see an empty park, Shoffner sees the potential.

“Kind of a hidden gem of Roeland Park. It's just a nice, natural area. You wouldn't think you're in the city right off I-35,” he said.

Shoffner builds bike trails for a living. He contracted with the city of Roeland Park to build dirt trails through an unused portion of the area. With the help of dozens of community volunteers, he built a mile-and-a-half track complete with bridges with some advanced jumps and loops named from 'Mad Max' movies.

“I actually had to turn down some help because there are so many people who want to get involved,” Shoffner said.

Normally, dirt riders must leave the metro area to find a place to ride, but these are just two miles from Steve Hebert's home.

“I'll be able to pedal from my house down here, get a couple laps in and go back,” Hebert said.

The trails are for hiking, too -- turning the unused patch of woods into an outdoor urban getaway.

“It's a beautiful loop for hiking or running, right in the middle of Roeland Park,” Shoffner said.

For Shoffner, this project is a new way to shred and a way to show people a hidden gem in Johnson County.

“I get stoked on seeing people appreciate parks that haven't been used a lot in our urban core,” Shoffner said.

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