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2020 - Rising to the Challenge

By Matt Davis, Board President

A Kansas City native, Matt Davis couldn't stay away from bicycles as a young man. He continues today to share his love of bicycling alongside his passion for community development, active transportation and conservation.

This has been such a tough year for all of us. This marks my fourth and final year serving on the Board for Heartland Conservation Alliance. Looking back, I couldn't be more proud of the accomplishments made and how we have faced so many challenges together. Volunteering my time has been rewarding, but it is time for me to make room for new leaders and allow me to spend more time with my family. Not to worry - I have promised my fellow Board members and the HCA staff they can count on me to continue to help plant trees, build trails and fight to protect the Blue River. Serving as President these past two years, one of the projects I am most proud of is saving the Heartland Overlook Preserve, what we affectionately call the HOP. I continue to be blown away by the support from the community for protecting loved places in our city, like the HOP. Donations continue to arrive from across the metro in all sizes - I am so grateful for each one of them. Volunteers are working to remove invasive species and scout out new trails. We truly are an Alliance and can't tackle all that needs to be done without each of you. As I mentioned at our 7th Annual Partnership Summit, I grew up spending time outdoors. Some of my best memories are times spent in nature with people I love. I am thankful that as a dad myself, I was able to contribute to making sure there are woods for everyone’s kids to explore in the future. On behalf of the crew here at HCA, I thank you for your contributions this year and urge each of you to continue to lean in and support this work because we need you more than ever. Together, we have faced and will continue to face many challenges. I am confident HCA is ready for what 2021 has to offer because of its strong partnerships and all the new Board members who joined our work this fall. You can meet and learn more about them all on our website. See you on the trails! Welcome new and renewing HCA Board members! Samuel Bennett, Community Volunteer Bill Blessing, Retiree Sprint /Embarq Kristen Bontrager, Parkville Nature Sanctuary Olusola O. Festus, UMKC Matt Hart, Arise Virtual Solutions Sarah Hemme, Community Volunteer Kyle Johnson, Down To Earth Services Chandler Little-Eagle, SS&C Technologies Spencer Martin, KCKS Public Schools G.G. Owens, JE Dunn Construction Gerald Shechter, KCMO Office of Environmental Quality Scott Schulte, Vireo Regan Tokos, Hoxie Collective Roberta Vogel-Leutung, Community Volunteer

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