Visitors Center

Visitor Center

The Environmental Education Visitors Center (EEVC) is the starting point for guests visiting the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. It is located near the front of the 300-acre facility. Educational displays allow visitors to touch a shed snake skin, learn about birds and wildflowers and study books on trees and landscaping.

Many of the Arboretum's programs and events take place in the EEVC.

The EEVC showcases innovative and practical environmental building features and technology, including:

  • Geothermal heating and cooling - The aqua thermal system uses coils filled with a glycol solution submersed in the nearby pond. It saves 50 percent or more on energy costs.
  • Passive solar power - The building is oriented so it takes advantage of the seasonal angle of the sun to reduce heating and cooling costs. Also, the acid-treated concrete floor simulates the sun's rays.
  • Argon-filled windows - The windows are filled with argon gas, and the skylights are low emissions.
  • Insulated ceiling panels - 9 1/2 inches of Styrofoam sandwiched between two outer layers of chipboard creates an insulation system.
  • Radiant fireplace insert - EPA-tested channeled flues provide radiant heat. Fires keep the building warm and comfortable.

Built in 1999 as the Environmental Education Visitor Center, the building serves many purposes.

  • Pick up the Arboretum Trail Guide, educational materials and information on exhibits and activities at the Greeter’s Desk. Volunteers are always on hand to answer questions, provide guidance and point you in the right direction.
  • At the Garden Café, treat yourself to pastries from 3 Women and an Oven, Roasterie Coffee and deli sandwiches by Jersey Boyz, along with fruit, chips, ice cream treats, candy, sodas and juices. Full menu. [pdf link] Picnicking is allowed throughout the gardens. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  • In the Gift Shop, purchase field guides and nature-themed gifts and remembrances for everyone.
  • Enjoy permanent and rotating exhibits.

Education Classroom

At the EEVC you can browse our library, find out what birds live at the Arboretum and learn more about the trees that grow here. There are several resources for your use for free. Our TREEmendous Tree booklets are free as well and can also be utilized for the classroom and self guided field trips.

The lovely Sun Room, the Conference Room and the Classroom are available to rent for private functions during regular hours. After hours, the entire building and patio are available for rental. Call 913.685.3604 for availability and to reserve.

Room

Capacity

 Rental per Hour (+$10 permit fee)
Sun Room

10

$35

Conference Room

10

$35

Classroom

35

$100

Visitor Center

125

$250

Patio

75

$175

 

Other areas in the gardens also are available for rental.

Learn more about rentals.

Visit Us

8909 W. 179 St.,
Overland Park, KS 66013
The Arboretum is open seven days a week.
Oct. 1-April 9: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
April 10-Sept. 30: 8:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
(Fourth Saturday of June: closes at Noon)
Dec. 25 - Closed

Admission:
Free for members of Friends of the Arboretum
$3.00 Adult
$1.00 Child 6-12
Free 5 years and younger
No admission charge on Tuesdays.