Vision for a Healthy Action Area
The Blue River meanders through two parks in this Action Area: Minor Park managed by Kanas City Parks and Recreation and Alex George Wetland managed by Jackson County Parks + Rec. The banks are severely eroded from flooding and are overgrown with invasive species. Minor Park provides playgrounds, recreation fields, shelters, and paved trails, as well as an arboretum created by Bridging The Gap and the historic Red Bridge over the river. The area also contains national historic pioneer trails as recognized by the National Parks Service. The surrounding neighborhoods are high density residential with some businesses built in the 1960s.
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Total Acres in Action Area
Bottomland forest and wetland
Summary of Threats
Invasive species, erosion of streambanks, sedimentation
Lack of dedicated resources for natural resource management
Collapse and closure of Blue River Road
Illegal dumping along roads and in parks
Focal Species: American Beaver
Indicators of Health
The Blue River Action Plan prioritizes projects to maintain or improve health indicators. We're focusing on the following indicators for the Blue River Parkway.
Summary of Conservation Priorities
Establish thriving wetlands
Restore eroded streambanks
Remove honeysuckle and other invasive species •Expand riparian corridor by planting native bottomland species
Support opportunities for recreation, especially trails according to MetroGreen standards
Increase diversity of trees and diversity of native species predicted to adapt well to climate change
Advocate for retrofit stormwater management practices in the residential neighborhood
Encourage large landowners to convert turf to native prairie or savannah
About the Alex George Wetland
As noted in the 2019 Blue River Report Card, residents of south Kansas City have strong Community Connections to the Blue River, and this Action Area provides a number of opportunities to access the Blue River including trails and parks. However, native habitat and trails are threatened by invasive species, a lack of resources for management, pollution from runoff, and infill development. Neighborhoods along the Blue River in this Action Area experience severe flooding.
Action Area Management Goals
Key strategies for this action area include supporting Jackson County Parks + Rec with restoration plans for the wetland, including funding and hosting volunteer workdays. Engaging the communities around the park is important for long-term stewardship of the area. Natural areas are under threats from invasive species, especially bush honeysuckle. There are hiking trails in the area that can benefit from support and resources.
While many organizations and individuals are working to protect undeveloped natural areas in this Action Area, this Plan highlights a few Alliance members that are leading successful projects to meet the goals of this plan, including: Jackson County Parks + Rec, Heartland Tree Alliance, Heartland Conservation Alliance, Kansas City Parks and Recreation.