Blue Valley Park

Vision for a Healthy Action Area 


Walking through this landscape should feel somewhat open and airy. In the upland areas: the rest of the park could support some native grass prairie reconstruction in select areas. The parking lots and roads could should have some rain gardens and bioswales treating the rain water that runs off of them. 


Champion Team: Blue Valley Neighborhood, KC Park

Acres: 287 acres

Habitat: Oxbow wetland and riparian forest

Focal Species: Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Mr. Kessler’s 1922 paper, “Special Report for the Blue Valley Parkway,” explored development of rivers in other cities and suggested that the areas near the Blue River had great natural beauty and the River could be “one of the most useful and beautiful waterways in the country.” Unfortunately, the portion of the Blue River near Blue Valley Park (BVP) has been egregiously altered to fix flooding problems. It looks nothing like a natural rive and doesn’t follow the original channel. However, there is an oxbow lake in BVP. An oxbow is a lake is a disconnected length of the original river channel, pictured to the right.  The oxbow is really more of a wetland than a lake.

In the low land areas: Large native climax canopy trees that naturally grow along rivers for example sycamore, cotton wood, silver maple, swamp white oak. Under the trees are lower growing native herbaceous plants and shrubs. Mixed in are a few understory trees like paw-paw and service berry. 


  • Invasive shrub honeysuckle

  • Invasive Japanese Hops

  • Invasive Johnson grass

  • Limited riparian vegetation/mowed turf to the edge of the river

Conservation Goals
  • Invasive species removal

  • Expanding riparian vegetation / tree planting

  • Install rain gardens, bioswales, and prairie plantings

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