The Topeka Riverfront Advisory Council is pleased to announce its first community survey informing the Topeka Riverfront Activation Plan is now complete, garnering close to 1,500 submissions that provided input on riverfront perceptions, as well as activities and amenities community members would like to see as property is developed along the stretch of Kansas River running through Shawnee County.


The survey, which remained open Dec. 14 through Jan. 12, was promoted on social media, posted to the project website, and sent to all email and text message subscribers, collecting feedback from 1,489 respondents. Of those, 74% agree the river is an untapped resource, 57% think the river is a beautiful community asset, and 59% believe the river is important to Topeka’s economy.


“We’re excited that so many Topeka-area residents made their voices heard through our latest river engagement survey, and we hope to hear from many more throughout the planning-and-development process,” said Greg Schwerdt, chair of the Riverfront Advisory Council. “Successful completion of this survey represents a pivotal step forward in our community’s riverfront journey, and the input received is already proving instrumental in steering the advisory council’s priorities.”


The most appealing riverfront and on-river activities identified by respondents were walking/jogging, picnic areas, play areas, kayaking/canoeing/paddleboarding, biking, and tubing/floating. The most appealing amenities, meanwhile, were enhanced lighting and safety features, trails, outdoor entertainment/event space, a pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and NOTO, dining options, and river access points for on-water recreation and nature viewing.


“We’re eager to see how the top activities and amenities chosen by members of our community may come to fruition through the Topeka Riverfront Activation Plan,” said Ashley Gilfillan, Director of River Strategies for the Greater Topeka Partnership. “Based on the input we’ve received, it’s clear there is strong appetite now for local riverfront development. We want to see this community resource become a hub for exciting activity and a springboard for further investments. This truly represents the start of something big.”


As the Topeka Riverfront Advisory Council moves forward with the Topeka Riverfront Activation Plan, the latest survey insights will serve as a guiding force to create a vibrant and inclusive riverfront experience that aligns with the aspirations of the community. For more information and updates, visit