Green Guard Stewardship Training
On September 2 HCA and Green Guard Stewards from the Marlborough Community attended a tour led by Will Gibson, Down to Earth Services, to check out the “Nature Nodes” in bloom at the Parks with Purpose project site. The native plantings attract and support the Monarch butterfly during its yearly migration through Kansas City. Green infrastructure is preventing stormwater run-off from entering the sewer system. The park features a stormwater detention wetland and helps reduce sewer overflows, basement backups, and down-stream flooding in the watershed.
Kiva Johnson (left) and Nancy Yuelkenbeck (center) learned about conservation during the Green Guard training program, funded by The Conservation Fund.
The park also features an amphitheater, playground, and a variety of trees. The project seeks to create safer places for children to play, strategies for clean air and water, increased flooding resilience, improved public health, and the creation of green jobs.
Saturday, September 12 from 11am to 2pm, The Blue Valley Community Advisory Council and HCA hosted a Blue Valley Park Community Resource Parade. Participants followed the park road around the park, stopping at the four resource stations to receive a variety of community resources. Native plant seed balls with an info packet on the benefits of native plants were distributed at the first resource station. Participants at the second resource station received a map and plant identifications for a self-led hike through the restored forest on oxbow lake. Parade participants continued along the park road to the third resource station: the prairie restoration. There they received a snack pack and a 15-page packet of nature-based curriculum, including activities to do in the park. At the fourth and final station, participants received backpacks and school supplies donated by the Blue Valley Neighborhood Association.
Vicki Beiriger, Healthy Rivers Partnerships, explains how an oxbow lake is made (middle). A participant forages for paw paws (right).
Education & Outreach Work Group
The Education & Outreach Work Group met on September 10. The Work Group discussed the Renew the Blue events affected by COVID-19 and plans for 2021. They decided to focus on increasing Renew the Blue data by implementing the “Restore, Protect, and Engage Challenge,” which will promote neighborhood cleanup efforts while utilizing partnership resources. Work Group members are assigned to a team and will compete against each other for the highest Renew the Blue scores.
The next Education and Outreach Work Group meeting is Thursday, November 12, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. If you are interested to get involved in this Work Group, please contact Sarah Benal: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2020-2021 HCA Youth Council is accepting applications for passionate people between the ages of 14-24. This non-partisan campaign aims to bring awareness about people-centered approaches toward mitigating pollution in the watershed. The Youth Council is a great opportunity for those looking to develop practical conservationist skills, while also making change in communities.