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Education & Outreach Program Update

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

Heartland Conservation Alliance teamed up with Green Works KC, KC Water, and Chestnut Family Resource Center to organize the “Youth and Community in Motion” program. Each week kids from the neighborhood gathered outside and learned about stewardship, partnerships, and the importance of keeping water clean. The goal of the program was for kids to learn the skills to identify what makes their neighborhood strong, and brainstorm ideas for the ways to make it stronger.

Joan McDowd (center) of Chestnut Family Resource Center guides young stewards in a tree planting that took place on the final day. The stewards will be responsible for taking care of the tree over the years.

In September, HCA and Green Works KC led the activity “What’s Good in Your Neighborhood” and toured two vacant lots near the Chestnut Family Resource Center. The kids made note of the importance of stewardship, and brainstormed ways they could work together to build and maintain the pieces of their neighborhood they love. HCA walked them through a visioning activity to help the kids dream about what they could add to their neighborhood and they came up with ideas for a recreational space for sports, grilling and a garden. The biggest event, however, were the monarch butterfly chrysalises and native flowers provided by Green Works KC.

In October, KC Water taught the kids about storm drains and the importance of keeping the streets clean. “If it’s on the ground, it’s in the water!” Kate Delahunt, a Water Quality Educator at KC Water, explained. The kids participated in a neighborhood cleanup and tree planting before earning their diplomas at the graduation.


Education & Outreach Work Group

The Education & Outreach Work Group met on Thursday, 11/12/20 at 10 AM. The Work Group discussed plans for 2021 and the Renew the Blue Message. As part of the Renew the Blue Campaign, the Work Group hopes to provide events that will increase awareness and engagement with the Blue River, while also making sure communities are safe during COVID. Some activities to look out for include tree plantings, outdoor and nature-based lesson plans, and chances to reflect on our connection with nature.

If you would like to participate in Renew the Blue events, visit

The next Education & Outreach Work Group meeting is Thursday, 1/7/21 at 10 AM. If you are interested to get involved in this Work Group, please contact Sarah Benal:


Youth Council

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 Kansas City’s urban neighborhoods and their surrounding green spaces. It aims to answer the questions:

· What would Kansas City look like if we worked with communities, and HCA partners, to mitigate pollution in the watershed around the Blue River and the urban core?

· What change could we make by educating Kansas City about zero waste practices?

2019's Youth Council created an anti-litter campaign that focuses on social media and spotlights local businesses' sustainable practices.

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