Conservation Program Update


Honeysuckle forms a thick understory and limit how much sunlight reaches the seedlings of native plants and thus inhibit the growth of new plants. They also compete with native plants for moisture and nutrients in the soil. Photo by Magali Rojas.



Heartland Conservation Alliance’s Renew the Blue volunteer restoration workdays have begun and we need your help. The next workday is Saturday, September 17, 9:00am - Noon at The Heartland Overlook Preserve. Volunteers will remove invasive bush honeysuckle and have a chance to check out the trails running around the property. All of the workday sign ups are available on HCA’s Calendar.

Join our team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to remove trash and invasive bush honeysuckle from our green spaces and streams. Your work will directly impact the Blue River, a vital resource in Kansas City, making it healthier and resilient for future generations. Volunteers must be at least 16, and have a guardian sign a waiver if they are under 18.


We have already removed over 18,000 square feet of invasive bush honeysuckle from our Action Areas, which directly impacts the health of the Blue River making space for native plants and wildlife, and increasing biodiversity in the area. Make a difference by signing up for the workdays on our website.




The Blue River starts at the Overland Park Arboretum and flows 42 miles to the Missouri River. Stormwater runoff is a major concern because it causes erosion and pollution. Photo by Sarah Benal.


Heartland Conservation Alliance’s 2021 Blue River Report Card and 2022 Blue River Action Plan are now available for public viewing on HCA’s website. In 2021 the health of the Blue River scored a ‘C,’ an improvement from 2019’s grade of a ‘C-.’ HCA’s partners seek to grade the Blue River watershed by taking data from a variety of indicators. The Blue River Action Plan outlines conservation projects to address the findings from the Report Card.

As more natural areas are paved over, the landscape is less able to absorb heavy rains, leading to floods. The Blue River Report Card and The Blue River Action Plan will increase awareness among Kansas City communities, and progress watershed protection policies that will ensure the Blue River remains an asset into the future.


You can find the 2021 Blue River Report Card and the 2022 Blue River Action Plan on our website.

For more information visit heartlandconservationalliance.org. For speaking inquiries, contact Sarah Benal, sarah@heartlandconservationalliance.org.

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