Blue River Headwaters

Vision for a Healthy Action Area


Native-grassland with intermittent tree populations and a healthy network of ephemeral streams. The ease with which these grasslands and ephemeral streams can be developed necessitates the conservation of headwater land. 






























Champions: The Nature Conservancy, KS; The Conservation Fund, Kansas Land Trust, Heartland Conservation Alliance


Acres: 16,271


Keystone Ecosystems/Habitats: Ephemeral Streams


Focal Species: Plains Leopard Frog


Conservation Goals:

  • Land acquisition and conservation easement

  • Johnson County Stormwater protection

  • Riparian restoration/invasive species removal

  • Clean dumping grounds

  • Development of ephemeral streams, and stream buffer. 

  • Channelization

  • Invasive species

  • Illegal Dumping

About the Blue River Headwaters


Ephemeral streams are ones that do not experience water flow year-round. They are typically shallow and experience flowing water for brief periods in response to rainfall, snowmelt, and other precipitation. Ephemeral streams are typically found in the headwaters of permanent streams and are integral to the overall function and health of a watershed. They dissipate energy during high-flow periods, they help to recharge and discharge ground-water, they help prevent erosion, and they create wildlife habitat.


In rapidly developing areas, land management decisions often don’t recognize the important functions served by ephemeral streams, which can look empty or dry to those not aware of their important function. 

Caption about the Blue River Headwaters here.

Visit Us:


Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center

4750 Troost Avenue

Kansas City, MO 64110


(816) 759-7305, ext. 1148

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© 2013 Heartland Conservation Alliance