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Heartland Conservation Alliance Mid-Year Update

HCA says farewell and thank you to Jacquie Whalen, HCA summer intern. Ms. Whalen did a wonderful job of organizing and planning the implementation of HCA’s Youth Council and Green Guard stewardship program. She accompanied HCA staff at the Environmental Management Commission meetings and the Climate Protection Steering Committee meeting Her role with HCA has proven valuable for the help of HCA and our partners as well as improving her professional development skills. Jacquie is returning to the University of Notre Dame, studying Environmental Science with a focus in Sustainability.

HCA Program and Work Group Updates

Education and Outreach Program

The goals of the Education and Outreach Program are to help people of all ages and backgrounds connect with nature and the outdoors so that they are healthier, happier, and have a deeper connection to and can access the benefits provided by nature.

HCA’s Work Group has been working hard to kick start and fully launch the Renew the Blue message campaign! Look for the Renew the Blue logo promoting the Blue River as a community asset! Get outdoors and experience the river!

In July, HCA hosted a small but intense focus group session with our partners to view a pitch film about the Blue River and gather critical feedback. Our partners including Healthy Rivers Partnership, KC Parks and Rec, Vireo, Missouri Department of Conservation, Bridging the Gap, Blue River Watershed Association, KC Water Services, Mid-American Regional Council, and community partners provided us guidance on the pitch film and what the full-length documentary key message should be. We heard great feedback and are putting those suggestions to work! The pitch film will be ready for public view by the end of the year, 2017.

HCA is recruiting youth ages 14-24 to serve on our Youth Council. Please help spread the word to our youth, they are the leaders of today and we need their voice! You can find more information about HCA’s Youth Council here and signup using our google form. The first meeting will be held September 16, location to be determined.

We are recruiting youth and adults for our Green Guard stewardship program in Marlborough! Learn about nature and why it’s important to your community! For more information visit our stewardship page here.

Conservation Program

The goals of the Conservation Program are to restore and protect natural areas in Greater Kansas City benefiting the community and future generations by improving water quality, creating recreational opportunities, protecting life and property, and preserving our natural and cultural heritage.

As part of a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, Heartland Conservation Alliance supported BoysGrow in regenerating 3,000 square feet of wetlands with native species at Municipal Farm. They also planted around 200 native fruit and nut trees as part of their agroforest system as a demonstration of a native food system. Pawpaw, serviceberry, persimmon, choke cherry, and hazelnut trees were some of the native trees planted at Municipal Farm.

Heartland Conservation Alliance was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Missouri Natural Resource Damages Assessment to work with the city of Kansas City on 18-20 acres of wetland restoration at Municipal Farm. This grant will result in HCA’s first conservation easement.

Alliance Services Program

The goals of the Alliance Services Program are to convene our Partners to work on projects, discuss important issues and learn together.

The Partnership Workgroup heard from you through our 2016-2017 Partnership Survey. The three main themes we heard are: recognition, consistency and communication. HCA appreciates your feedback and are taking the necessary actions to improve our partner relationship so that we can better achieve your goals and protect natural places together.

If you would like to join one of HCA’s work groups please contact Joy Heaviland, Partnership Coordinator, for more information at

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