Cedar Creek Falls

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Location:  Lake Olathe, W Dennis Ave (or W 143th Street) and S Wardcliff Drive, Olathe, KS

Found:  July 10, 2016

This natural waterfall is located on the south side of Dennis Avenue (or 143rd Street, whichever you prefer, but the street signs say Dennis in this area) where Cedar Creek empties into Lake Olathe at the south end of the lake.  The Dennis Avenue bridge crosses over the south end of the lake and you can see the falls as you drive by.  The falls were running pretty good this day as I’m sure all the recent rains are keeping the creeks flowing.

It is a popular fishing area in that the pool where Cedar Creek empties into is easily accessible.  There are large rocks down to the lake’s edge on the east side.  As you can see in a couple of pictures, there was a man and his two kids fishing the day I took the photos.  Do be careful though, it is uneven terrain.

There is a small turnout on the southeast end of the bridge, but if someone is already there fishing that spot may be taken and it’s big enough for maybe two vehicles, depending on how they parked.  There is a driveway to nowhere a little west of bridge on the south side, but there was someone parked there the day I was there.  If you go a little further west of the bridge, on the north side there is what looks to be a camping area, that may or may not be used anymore as there were no signs anywhere, that you can pull into.  It is maybe a quarter-mile away, if that far, and you will have to cross the road to get to the waterfall.

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City of Olathe Fountain – 135th Street

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Location:  W 135th Street, just west of S Pflumm Road, Olathe, KS

Found:  July 10, 2016

This fountain is at the eastern city limits of Olathe in the median of 135th Street, just west of Pflumm Road.  It is a large combination waterfall/fountain/planter.  On Google Maps, I measure it at about 120 feet in total length.  Due to fences on the south side of the road and trees on the north side of the road, it is very difficult to get the entire length of the fountain in one shot.  I tried though.

The middle section is a double-sided waterfall.  The side facing east has a sign that says “City of Olathe” to greet traffic entering Olathe city limits.  Each side of the waterfall has its own pool.  The two waterfall sides are identical, except there is no sign on the west-facing side.  The sides facing the street have a design on it that, to me, resembles a fountain or, maybe, a sunrise.

The east part is the fountain part.  It is a long pool sectioned off into 10 separate, but joined, pools.  Every other pool has a small bubbler in it.

The west part is a large planter that is home to five good-sized trees and the trees are roughly spaced out to resemble the bubbler spacing on the east end.

There are businesses nearby on the north side of the street where you can park and walk to the fountain.  You will have to go west on 135th to get to the streets that give access to the fountain.  Be careful though.  135th Street can be fairly busy.

I mentioned 135th Street in the post title because there is also a City of Olathe fountain in the median of 119th Street east of Interstate 35 and I wanted to be sure to differentiate between the two.

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Roe Highlands Fountain

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Location:  4970 Roe Avenue, Roeland Park, KS

Found:  June 24, 2016

Roe Highlands is an addition in Roeland Park that features both residential and commercial properties.  The commercial property is a shopping center that features a Lowe’s and Price Chopper among others.

This fountain sits next to the US Bank in the shopping center.  It has a square stone-covered basin with eight pillars of varying heights within it.  The pillars look like they are made of concrete.  There are eight to ten water jets at the bottom of the basin that shoot to the same height, although a couple of them weren’t working quite right the day I took the pictures.

There is a sidewalk running next to the property and a couple of benches on the north side of the fountain (opposite the bank) for sitting and watching the fountain and the world go by.

To get to this fountain, you will pass the Roe Highlands Entrance Fountains.

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Roe Highlands Entrance Fountains

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Location:  Roe Avenue and Access Road, Roeland Park, KS

Found:  June 24, 2016

Roe Highlands is an addition in Roeland Park that features both residential and commercial properties.  The commercial property is a shopping center that features a Lowe’s and Price Chopper among others.

These twin fountains with differently-shaped basins flank the entrance to the shopping center.  The one of the south side is built into the hill at the base of the Cricket Wireless store.  The one on the north side is free standing and features a hexagonal basin.  Both fountains are stone-covered and fairly tall.  Eight feet maybe.  Each has three fountains at the top and then the water flows over the edge and falls down to the basin below.  The stones are rough and uneven and creates different effects and splash-patterns as the water falls over them.

There is another separate fountain, the Roe Highlands Fountain, sitting next to the US Bank in the shopping center.

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Ridgeview Falls

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Location:  W 119th Street and Ridgeview Road, Olathe, KS

Found:  June 12, 2016

The Ridgeview Falls addition is a collection of businesses and restaurants at the corner of 119th and Ridgeview.  This waterfall looms above what would be an otherwise boring drainage basin.  There is a large pergola-like structure next to the CoreFirst Bank at the top of the waterfall and just off the parking lot.

If you decide to visit, note that the drainage basin has a fence almost all the way around it to keep people from falling off the top of the retaining wall.  It is open at the intersection though.  Also, since it is a drainage basin, it could be wet and muddy.  So, watch your step if you go walking out into it.

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Pratt Memorial Fountain – Renovated

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Location:  Dagg Park, Armour Road and Howell Street, North Kansas City

Found:  June 6, 2016

In the south part of Dagg Park fronting Armour Street sits this fountain.  It is a memorial to both Emma and Dorothy Pratt, both of whom were important community leaders in North Kansas City, MO.  Dagg Park is across the street from the North Kansas City city building and police department.

As you can see by comparing to my old Pratt Memorial Fountain post, Dagg Park has undergone a major renovation.  The park’s grand re-opening was on May 28, 2016.  There used to be a small swimming pool in the park.  It has been replaced with a playground and a couple of splash pad areas.  The new splash pads have been quite popular so far.  The park was packed both times I’ve visited since the grand re-opening.

The fountain area has also undergone a major facelift.  The trees and landscaping are gone.  In its place is a concrete walkway around the fountain, benches for sitting and a pergola.  The fountain has been cleaned up and repainted.  A grate has been installed in the fountain basin.  I was told this was put in place to keep people from falling in.  Apparently, this was either a problem or a concern that needed to be addressed.  In my opinion, the grate does not look good.  Either way, it is nice to see a fountain get renovated and taken care of when it needs to be.

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Waterfall Park – Independence

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Location:  Waterfall Park, 4501 S Bass Pro Drive, Independence, MO

Found:  June 5, 2016

Waterfall Park sits back behind Bass Pro Shop near the junction of Interstate 70 and Interstate 470.  There is a small lake and Waterfall Park sits on the west edge of the lake off a traffic circle where Bass Pro Drive meets Bluff Drive.

If you are going to visit here, put your walking shoes on as you will need them to get the full views of the waterfalls here.  You will either need to park at Waterfall Park, off the previously mentioned traffic circle or at Bass Pro Shop.  To see the close-up views of the waterfalls, you will need to walk along Bluff Drive.  The left/north lane of Bluff Drive off the traffic circle is for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, the right/south lane is a one-way lane for vehicular traffic.

Roughly a quarter-mile east along Bluff Drive from the park parking lot, you will encounter the first waterfall on the south side of the road.  It is built into the side of the hill there and very steep and tall.  The water flows through a sort of drain and flows under the road and comes out the other side where it cascades down further into the lake.  Please be mindful that there is a lane of vehicular traffic when you cross the road to get a closer look.  There is a permanent decorative fence on both sides of the road to keep everyone safe from the falls.

From the first waterfall, continue east around the bend and you will see a light pole and what looks like a gap in the stone wall.  The is where the second waterfall is located.  The water is rolling down the hill in this location.  It’s not very steep but there is a lot of trees and plants that obscure the view here and there.  It all falls down into a hole a couple or three feet deep and, like the tall waterfall, flows under the road and comes out the other side.  Unlike the other waterfall, there are no fences or barriers around this hole so be careful walking around it.

To get the full-on views of the waterfalls, you will have to hike around to Bass Pro Shop and follow the path along the north side of the lake.  When you get to the apartment building next to Bass Pro, you will be able to see the full first waterfall and it is spectacular.  Unfortunately, the second waterfall is hard to find and see from the opposite side of the lake.

I am not sure what the policy is on getting on the lake or walking in the “woods” behind the barriers along Bluff Drive, but those would be the only ways to get a better look at the falls.  The areas around the waterfalls are grown over with trees and undergrowth, plus you’d have to jump barriers to get there.  That may not be a safe course of action as I’m sure the wet rocks are slick and you may not be able to see where you’re stepping and what you’re stepping on.

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Hilton Garden Inn Fountain

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Location:  Hilton Garden Inn, 19677 E Jackson Drive, Independence, MO

Found:  June 5, 2016

This neat fountain is in front of the Hilton Garden Inn on Jackson Drive in Independence.  It is east of the Independence Center mall and not far from I-70 sitting among restaurants, the Hereford House shares the same parking lot, and shops.

There is a big basin with flowers and plants in it.  The water flows out of the basin through five gaps and cascades into the irregularly shaped pool below.

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Briarcliff City Apartments Fountain

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Location:  Briarcliff City Apartments, 3880 N Mulberry Drive, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 30, 2016

This fountain is in a traffic circle at the entrance to the Briarcliff City Apartments and is up the hill from the Briarcliff Hilltop Fountain.  A fairly basic fountain here.  Water bubbles out of the very top of the fountain and cascades down as it overflows each basin.  The traffic circle is well landscaped with shrubs and flowers.

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Power and Light District Fountain

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Location:  Power and Light District, near W 14th Street and Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Found:  May 30, 2016

AKA H & R Block Courtyard Fountain, AKA Elements Courtyard Fountain

This double fountain is located in the Elements Courtyard in the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City.  It is also at the foot of the steps to the H & R Block building.  The Elements Courtyard is a seasonal patio bar next to the district clock tower.

The fountain is a double-sided fountain, each side is identical to the other.  Water flows out the top and cascades down into the pool.  On the ends, there is a stairstep-type structure whereas the middle is much steeper.  In the middle of each fountain is a bowl which looks like it can hold any number of things such as lights or any other type of decorations.

The fountain and the patio bar was recently renovated.  I went up there earlier this month to get pictures but they were roped off with a sign saying they were under renovation.  I took these pictures in the morning on Memorial Day, which accounts for the lack of activity.

It is very hard to get a picture of both fountains at the same time, unless you want to count reflections in the restaurant windows.  I climbed up the stairway under the clock tower to get the photos from above and from just the way the fountains are arranged it was still kind of tough to get both fountains in one photo.

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