Gardner, Kansas is a small city situated at the crossroads of two famous trails: the Santa Fe and Oregon-California. It was established as a Free-Stater settlement in 1857.
The city enjoys a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. Major employers in Gardner include BNSF Railway and USD 231 school districts. The city is governed by a mayor and five at-large council members with four-year terms. Notable residents include John Anderson (football coach), Michael E. Brown (astronomer), Jeff Colyer (former Governor of Kansas), Brett C. Leonard (playwright/screenwriter), David Lindstrom (former NFL player), and Melissa Stockwell (Paralympic athlete).
Gardner is an accessible, affordable, safe, and friendly city that encourages economic development through its citizens’ support of local schools, neighborhoods, and government. It offers housing options, top schools, safe streets for walking or cycling, and has been dubbed one of the safest cities in Kansas.
Gardner was founded in 1857. Its namesake, Henry Gardner, was then Governor of Massachusetts. From 1861 to 1863, the city suffered attacks from Missouri Bushwhackers. In 1886, it applied for annexation as a town and eventually became an incorporated City in 2002.
Known as the ‘Where Trails Divide’, Gardner has witnessed much of America’s Westward expansion. Here the Santa Fe Trail split with one branch headed Southwest towards Los Angeles and San Diego, and the Oregon/California trail leading Northwest towards Kansas River Valley, before following the Platte River Westwards.
It eventually split up into present-day Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah regions. In 1861 Gardner experienced its first attack by Confederate forces – becoming one of Johnson County’s first towns to do so.
The city features numerous public parks such as Clinton State Park, Hillsdale State Park, and Perry State Park. There are two golf courses: The Gardner Golf Course and Lakeside Hills Golf Course; Olathe Lake is also nearby the course. Visitors can also enjoy local festivals such as Johnson County Fair which is usually held around August every year.
The vibrant city of Gardner, Kansas has experienced incredible growth over the past few years. In mere two years, its population has grown from 23,287 to 23,942, a 145.9% increase since 2000. With a population density of 1,890.4 people per square mile and most residents identifying as white (87.5%) or Hispanic (7.5%), Gardner is becoming more diverse every day.
The median age in Gardner is 31.7 with an average household income of $116,419 and 10.23% of households being high-income households making over $200,000 per year; 38.50% are part of the labor force and the current unemployment rate stands at 3.4%. There are currently 792 households in Gardner with an average household size of 2.44 people and 65.9% owner-occupied housing units.
Gardner, KS offers a wide range of healthcare options to meet the needs of its residents, from primary care physicians and urgent care centers to hospitals.
Olathe Health Care Express Gardner has an online Patient Portal where patients can communicate securely with their clinic physician and staff, request appointments, submit prescription renewals, view test results, and manage their health profiles.
Aside from Olathe Urgent Care – Arbor Creek and College Point are two other convenient sources of urgent care assistance in the area.
Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital provides in-patient rehab specialist treatment while Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center and Miami County Medical Center offer emergency care, surgery, imaging services, and more.
No matter the healthcare service you may need in Gardner, KS you have multiple options available to ensure quality medical attention. Online Patient Portals are also available at certain facilities for easy access to personal records as well as lab/test results through various mediums such as mail, phone, or digital platforms.
A few educational institutions like(Johnson County Community College) JCPC, University Of Kansas Medical Center, and Kansas City Kansas Community College provide education facilities nearby Gardner City).
Gardner has a total of eleven schools. Seven elementary, three middle, and one high school teach around 6,200 students. An Alternative Education Center also exists providing courses in auto collision, welding construction trades, and a culinary kitchen for students who need an alternative path to earn their diplomas.
The Alternative Education Center is an extension of the High School serving students on a different path toward attaining their diplomas. A District Activity Complex situated on the High School Campus provides competition stadiums, baseball, and soccer fields as well as practice grounds.
Efforts are made to ensure that all members of the community have access to quality education meeting their needs, backgrounds, and interests thus creating positive educational experiences for each student.
Gardner KS has options for public and private transportation. RideKC provides a weekday route that connects workers to jobs near New Century Parkway and Logistics Park KC, with multiple stops in both Gardner and Edgerton. The 3-Trails-Edgerton Express bus route 596 also serves 3-Trails Park & Ride.
Ride KC Freedom is a shared ride program available to older adults (over 65), persons with disabilities, or those with low income. Freedom On Demand offers an on-demand, curb-to-curb, or door-to-door service through the same three categories.
Private transportation in Gardner includes Catch-a-Ride Program, Gratitude Transportation, HD Express Taxi, and Cire Transportation.
The city is also undertaking the Gardner Destination Downtown project to improve the downtown area. Improvements include pedestrian streetscapes, increased amenities, mobility hub concepts supporting transportation choices, as well as traffic calming changes which will enhance the look and feel of Downtown. There are currently steering and implementation committees welcoming public input throughout the 10-month project process.
For school district students, First Student is the district transportation provider. Pick-up locations can be anywhere in the district but enrolment must be at least two business days before the start of service for preschool riders.
Points of Interest
Gardner may not be a major tourist destination, but there’s plenty to explore. The Gardner Historical Museum provides insight into local businesses, schools, and individuals. Take a self-guided tour of the junction on the Santa Fe Trail and Oregon/California trails. Get outside at the popular Hillsdale Lake for fishing, boating, hiking, or camping.
Edgerton is only a few miles away, with its BNSF Railway refueling plant and office employing around 200 people. Or head out to Johnson County Community College nearby in Overland Park to visit the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy cultural events year-round.
State parks close by include Eisenhower State Park, Clinton State Park, and Perry State Park–all great for outdoor activities from hiking to fishing and boating. Kansas City gives easy access to places like Kansas Speedway, National World War One Museum, and Country Club Plaza shopping district too.
Lastly, there are some unique local businesses in Gardner—Groundhouse Coffee, Exbeeriment Brewing Company, and KCPL Prairie Wetlands–to explore and help support their economy too!