Sustainable Initiatives
Sustainable Initiatives

    The City of Shawnee is committed to environmental sensitivity and the pursuit of sustainability. Below are some of the major ongoing projects undertaken by the City in this area.

    Guiding Documents



      Department Stories

        Hide details for Parks and RecreationParks and Recreation
          The City has 30 miles of trails maintained by the Park and Recreation Department helping Shawnee be designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community.


          The Parks and Recreation Department works hard to receive the Tree City USA distinction. 2013 is the City’s 16th Year of recognition.

          The Park's recycling program continues to be a success. Many of these recycling containers were made from reused paint striping cans from Public Works. Not only are many parks equipped with recycling containers, but Shawnee events have recycling containers available.

          All urinals in Shawnee parks and pool bathhouses have been converted to waterless urinals and all park bathrooms have been upgraded to have energy efficient lighting. West Flanders Park was recently upgraded to have solar lighting.

          Parks and Recreation received a National Recreational Trails Grant in 2010 to purchase an electric vehicle that is used for trail maintenance and at special events. The Civic Center, Shawnee Town 1929, and the Parks Maintenance Shop were three facilities that received funding for energy efficient upgrades from the City’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant from the Department of Energy.

          Not only does Parks and Recreation implement sustainable practices in their operations, but they offer programs to residents to become more sustainable. Some of these programs include rain barrel classes and composting classes. Parks and Recreation also runs the City’s Farmers’ Market.
        Hide details for Public WorksPublic Works
          In addition to adhering to the City-wide policies for sustainability, the Public Works Department recycles materials whenever possible.

          The Public Works Department represents the City of Shawnee as a member of Operation Green Light, a regional effort to synchronize the traffic signals along major corridors throughout the metropolitan area. This effort helps traffic flow, reduces overall delays, and reduces the emissions of idling vehicles. Additionally, the traffic signal and pedestrian indicators throughout the City have all been changed to LED lights. New streetlight installations are also now specified to utilize LED lighting technologies.

          The Public Works Department strives to improve air quality. To do this the Department installed a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station that has allowed the Department to operate 3 CNG vehicles. Additionally, the Department is retrofitting some of the old diesel engine vehicles to improve air quality. Public Works suspends mowing activity when there are Red Ozone days and has decreased mowing the right-of-ways by 40% over the last three years.

          To reduce pollution and protect water resources, Public Works ensures clean water run-off at development sites throughout our community through their Land Disturbance Permit procedures and has created a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for each of the City’s facilities. The street sweeping program reduces trace pollutants from reaching our streams.


          The City has partnered with Johnson County Stormwater to provide grant funding for Shawnee residents that wish to purchase rain barrels or install a stormwater treatment facility, like a rain garden!

          The Codes Administrative Division enforces the 2012 IECC energy codes adopted by Council.

          The Public Works Department has retrofitted lighting for City facilities as well as piloted LED and induction lighting street lights around the City. These projects are paid for through Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant money.
        Hide details for PlanningPlanning
          "Complete Street" design, mobility choices, and sustainable design have become a priority of Shawnee in the last few years. To foster this effort, Shawnee Mission Parkway was one of six area corridors chosen in 2012 to be studied as part of the Mid America Regional Council's Creating Sustainable Places initiative.

          Part of this effort included a visioning exercise with area residents and stakeholders aimed at finding ways to improve transportation options, economic development and the overall appearance of this important corridor. Through keypad questions and online surveys, interested parties were polled to determine what was most desired as the area redevelops over time. The findings from these polls included a desire for enhanced transit options, a greater diversity of land use mixes to include more office and residential development, and future development with greater residential density.

          Based on these visioning results, the City will receive a final report with recommendations for implementing the desired vision.

          The City chose to expand on the work that came out of Creating Sustainable Places and wrote a grant application for the Planning Sustainable Places initiative, also sponsored by the Mid America Regional. Along with our grant partner (Johnson County Transit), Shawnee was awarded $120,000 in Surface Transportation Program funds to study redevelopment options for the Nieman corridor. The entitled project, "Community Connections - Nieman Road" is intended to:
            • Continue public engagement and interest generated by CSP project
            • Review transit needs and opportunities through the corridor with linkages to Shawnee Mission Parkway
            • Review existing and projected traffic through the corridor with analysis of potential lane reconfigurations
            • Assess access control, right-of-way, and space planning analysis to determine possible capacity for pedestrian, bicycle, and streetscape improvements
            • Develop design guideline principles for building orientation, redevelopment, pedestrian / transit amenities, and other “complete street” design elements
            • Determine long-term implementation strategies to accomplish the desired redevelopment pattern
          The Planning Department researched and developed the City’s Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) Ordinance. This Ordinance sets out guidelines for those that wish to install a wind turbine. The City Council adopted the Ordinance in early 2010.
        Hide details for ITIT
          Information Technology Strategies continue to focus on reducing energy consumption, recycling or product disposal, and reducing carbon footprint and employee engagement. Specific initiatives currently underway include:

          Data Center - Server Virtualization:
          Computer servers consume vast amounts of energy. They are required to run non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They require additional cooling systems and related equipment to keep them functioning properly. A virtual server is simply software that has been coded with the ability to host multiple servers within the same physical server. By reducing the number of physical servers the City’s requirements of a localized server room is drastically reduced with decreased power consumption and heat output.

          Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI):
          IT components contribute significantly to the environmental impact of most organizations with IT equipment consuming over 2% of the electricity in the US and that figure is growing each year. Desktop computing makes an especially large contribution to energy use, e-waste, and other areas of environmental impact. Converting a portion of our desktop PCs to use a virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, can be highly effective at reducing our environmental impact to our community.

          Citizen Relationship Management (CRM):
          Sustaining our city assets through our Asset Management module (Phase I) is a key piece of our CRM initiative. It provides valuable information regarding the selection, design and acquisition, operations, maintenance and renewal and/or disposal of our physical infrastructure and equipment. We are able to proactively schedule routine maintenance of our City Assets, as well as allow citizens to submit information related to potential issues with our various City infrastructure assets. Logging and maintaining this type of information provides an immediate synopsis of an assets continued longevity.

          Our 2014/15 goals are: Obtain funding for phase I; Complete CRM RFQ; Begin acquisition. Roll out of phase I is planned for 2014.

          City Fiber Master Plan:
          Develop a broadband fiber ring to sustain the City of Shawnee’s growing demands on broadband services.
          • Public safety and homeland security
          • Emergency and mission critical applications
          • Connect current and future city offices and public facilities.
          • Surveillance cameras for security and traffic monitoring
          • Parks and public spaces
          • Controlling traffic signals to improve traffic flow and save energy
          • Operation green light
          • KC Scout (metropolitan traffic real-time maps)
          • Interagency connectivity – Johnson County facilities
          • Local Emergency Operations Plan and emergency preparedness
          • Geographic Information System (GIS) Data
          • Clean and green technology
          • School safety and video access

          Alternative Storage Methods:
          Storage drives are another main component of data center hardware and, as companies’ storage needs increase; more energy is used to power these hard drives. This can be remedied by using large capacity drives and performing audits to eliminate redundancies in the system.

          Print Suppression, Document Imaging and use of network printers:
          It is wasteful in today’s society to print many documents when we have e-mail, electronic signatures, and the ability to create PDF documents. This saves time, energy and money by reducing the use of printers and paper.

          Computer Equipment Usage Practices:
          This includes using energy saving settings and encouraging employees to turn off equipment at the end of the work day and on weekends.

          Proper Disposal and Recycling:
          The IT Department encourages reuse of equipment that the City no longer utilizes through City Auctions. Some items that cannot be sold or auctioned are taken to an authorized electronic disposal processor.
        Hide details for Development ServicesDevelopment Services
          Development Services is overseeing the use of ARRA money for the Storm Water Best Management Practices project at the City’s Justice Center. The project includes adding stormwater quality rain gardens, retention areas, bio-swales and restoring native vegetation.

          Some millings from the Mill and Overlay program are sent back to the Public Works Service Center for reuse in the Chip/Seal Program
        Hide details for PolicePolice
          In 2008, the City’s Police Department moved into a state of the art LEED Certified building. Some of the features include energy efficient lighting, water conservation and the use of reclaimed materials.

          In 2010, the Police Department initiated steps towards paperless storage. The department currently scans in all papers and has eliminated the creation of manila folders with individually printed labels which used colored ink cartridges for the four colored tabs on the folders. This saved the unnecessary accumulation of the folders as well as the labels.

          In 2011, the department made our accident reports available online to the public for direct purchase. In 2013 the department began taking online reports that are non-emergency where there are no known suspects. Both of these save paper and ink for the department and it also saves fuel and pollution from reduced trips the public had to make to the station.

          In 2015, began utilizing e-tickets which cuts down on the amount of paper products related to ticketing.
        Hide details for FireFire
          The Fire Department participated in the Empower Program with KCP&L in the past. This program allows customers to agree to have their electricity usage decreased when there is a peak demand on the utility system.

          Fire Station 72 is part of the City’s LEED Certified project.

          The Fire Department has solar panels on one of their fire trucks. It allows the truck to have the necessary power to run equipment so that it does not have to idle.
        Hide details for City Manager’s OfficeCity Manager’s Office
          Although sustainable practices and programs are spread throughout the City organization, the centralizing Department is the City Manager’s Office. The Assistant City Manager coordinates the City’s sustainability program and Department staff chair the City’s Green Team. The City’s Work Plan that is coordinate through this department reflects several sustainable projects for the City. These projects often are led by, or project team members include City Manager Department personnel.

          The City Clerks Division has also moved to using online payment plans for business licensing which reduces their use of paper.
        Hide details for FinanceFinance
          The City’s Finance Department helps with the economic development processes. One way the City encourages LEED certification in new projects is through incentivizing with up to a 5% exemption option in projects that achieve LEED certification, but not to exceed the limit of incentives (80%).
        Hide details for Programs sponsored by the CityPrograms sponsored by the City
          Composting Classes
          Rain Barrel Classes
          Electronic Waste Event
          Shredding Events
          Park/City Event Recycling

          Neighborwood
          Healthy Yards Expo
          Bike Recycling
          Habitat Restoration
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