Blue River Action Plan



This plan was developed to help guide policy makers, community members, Alliance members , land owners and land managers in achieving benefits from sound conservation practices in Action Areas sites identified by the Heartland Conservation Alliance Conservation Work Group. The first Plan was created and adopted in 2016 by a subcommittee of the Blue River Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Funding was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to create the plan. At that time there were six Action Areas. Missouri Department of Conservation Community Forester Wendy Sangster led the committee. Then, as now, Action Areas were determined by examining information from the current Natural Resources Inventory for the Kansas City area and from the Kansas City area Forest Conservation and Restoration Priorities map that was partially derived from an extensive i-Tree Eco study.


The eight Action Areas represent geographic areas in the watershed where Heartland Conservation Alliance and others are actively working on the ground to improve the health of the watershed. 

The Work Group chose Action Areas that are:

  • highly visible to the public

  • provide public access to the Blue River

  • provide good opportunities to enhance stormwater management

  • are located and will benefit underserved communities

The Work Group used goals and objectives for the Action Areas to frame the goals and objectives for each of these sites.  Since the completion of the 2019 Blue River Reort Card, the Work Group is actvely reviewing each Action Area to insure goals and objectives will reflect the findings from the Report Card and increase the health of the watershed in a measurable method. Establishing a healthy and productive riparian habitat is the primary focus of this management plan. Social and equity issues are also very important. Work in each  Action Area is led by various community champions and work is getting done by many Alliance members. As an Alliance guided by collective impact, whenever possible we create projects with community led vision and input to insure local expertise is at the table and local goals and priorities are getting met.

The Blue River Action Plan summarizes and prioritizes decades of work to restore the health of the watershed including four regional plans: Mid-America Regional Council's MetroGreen Plan, KC Water's Combined Sewer Overflow Plan, the Upper Blue River Watershed Plan and Kansas City WildLand's Conservation Opportunity Action Plan. These plans represent thousands of hours of local expertise and millions of dollars of investment. Heartland Conservation Alliance is dedicated to advancing the recommendations in these plans for a more resilient, healthier and equitable future for Kansas City.


The regulations don’t require, but the cost of not is high……Can we reference K-State Study?


2016 Action Plan Committee Members: Wendy Sangster, Caitlin Dix, Crew Schuster, Tom Jacobs, Jill Erickson , Roberta Vogel-Leutung, Scott Schulte, Stephen Van Rhein, Jeremy Peichel, Ginny Moore


2019 Action Plan Committee Members: Wendy Sangster, Joy Ellsworth, Laurie Brown, Edd Brown, Adison Banks, Jill Erickson, Scott Schulte, Stephen Van Rhein, Bill Fessler, Ian Fannin Hughes, Molly Gosnell

-Developed 2016

-Created with funding from EPA for Urban Waters

-Revised 2019 with focal species, vision statements, online map reference

-Due to be published 2020

Action Areas

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