Turkey Creek

A tributary to the Kansas River, Turkey Creek is located in urbanized areas of Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas.


Turkey Creek fast facts

Flows through: Jackson County, Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Kansas City, KS, Kansas City, MO, Lenexa, Mission, Mission Hills, Paola, Sibley, Smithville

Key rivers and water features:

Size: 19,898 Acres

Population: 97,760 (2006 Data)

Current land use

Pollutants of concern

Bacteria, elevated nutrients, dissolved solids, sediments and other trace elements from both point sources (such as wastewater-treatment effluent) and nonpoint sources (such as stormwater runoff, leaky sewage lines, septic tanks, and atmospheric deposition).

Natural resource features


Shawnee Mission Park, Turkey Creek Streamway Park, Antioch Park, Sar Ko Par Trails Park, Gary L. Haller Trail, Charles J. Stump Park

Recreational amenities

A number of parks with established trails exist within the watershed and along the stream corridor.

Cultural and historical information

The Turkey Creek basin has a long history of significant floods and human manipulation. Beginning with the flood of 1844, Turkey Creek has been continually channelized, moved, filled and eventually directed through a tunnel at key points. The area experienced severe flash flooding in 1977, 1993 and 1998. The October 4, 1998 flood caused over $12 million in flood damages in Merriam, overtopped Interstate 35 and threatened lives in several areas of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.


Much of the creek’s original floodplain has been developed for industrial, commercial, residential and urban uses. Several major flood events have occurred over the last 50 years, with extreme events in 1993 and 1998. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been implementing flood damage reduction measures throughout the stream corridor to address flooding issues over the past several years.

Current activities

A feasibility study of the Upper Turkey Creek watershed is currently underway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Kansas City District, the local project sponsor  and the city of Merriam, Kan., are examining measures for flood risk management

Future plans

The Turkey Creek concept plan’s main objective is to restore the health of the corridor by installing native landscaping features and a 10-mile trail. To date, two miles of trail have been constructed in Merriam; an additional mile will be completed in the fall of 2009. The remaining seven miles will be completed contingent upon funding.

Key players


PDF maps of Turkey Creek