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The Nature Action Crew

About 

In 2021 HCA received a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation to establish a "Green Career Corps in Kansas City" pilot program. The Green Career Corps sought to fill a need for trained landscapers that can work with native plants in the Kansas City Metro Area, provide diverse opportunities for careers in conservation for underrepresented Kansas City residents, work on mutually-beneficial habitat projects in the Blue River Watershed and enhance the connection of underrepresented populations in nature. 

Today the Green Career Corps is now The Nature Action Crew, a full-time, paid position with Heartland Conservation Alliance. The Crew supports conservation work throughout Kansas City and the Blue River Watershed, particularly ongoing projects at HCA's Action Areas and projects led by our Alliance partners. Nature Action Crew members are encouraged to participate in professional development opportunities to further their conservation careers.

In 2022 HCA received the U.S. EPA Environmental Workforce and Job Training Brownfields grant. We received this grant in partnership with Cornerstones of Care and solidified the Conservation and Landscaping apprentice program with their Build Trybe cohorts. This grant funds the Build Trybe 10-week training program, which provides environmental restoration training to at-risk youth in foster care, ages 18-24, with a goal of placing students in environmental careers in the Kansas City areas impacted by brownfields. Each training cohort consists of 36 classroom training sessions and 12 hands-on learning in the field for a total of 180 hours of intermediate training, including 54 students receiving OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 40-hour HAZWOPER and OSHA 10 training. Graduates from Build Trybe have the opportunity to join HCA's Nature Action Crew.

Cornerstones of Care and Build Trybe

Cornerstones of Care has cared for foster children for more than 20 years in the community. They stand for the lasting and positive impact of the safety and health for tens of thousands of children and families in communities across the region.

Cornerstones of Care partners with children, young adults and families to improve safety and health through six key service areas:

  • Education

  • Mental & Behavioral Health

  • Foster Care & Adoption

  • Youth Support

  • Family Support

  • Community Trainings


Build Trybe is a proud program of Cornerstones of Care. They are a mentorship community that builds health and independence by empowering youth with employable skills, and are a bridge connecting youth to opportunity. Build Trybe's team of trade experts and community partners introduce and connect youth to three skill-based career paths: Culinary, Construction, and Horticulture/Landscape.

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The Nature Action Crew and Build Trybe learn valuable skills and have the opportunity to work with experts thanks to the funding and partnerships of:

  • Deep Roots

  • Full Employment Council

  • Habitat Architects

  • Health Forward Foundation 

  • Kansas City Parks and Rec

  • Mid-America Regional Council

  • Missouri Department of Conservation

  • MO Hives KC

  • National Fish & Wildlife Foundation - Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration

  • Native Lands LLC

  • Urban Trail Co.

  • U.S. EPA

  • U.S. Forest Service

  • Shumaker Family Foundation

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