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Education & Outreach Program Update

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

Stewards increased their awareness of issues facing the Blue River and participated in hands-on training to take action by serving as volunteers. Photo by Sarah Benal

The Green Guard workshop series, funded by KC Water, concluded in June. 12 Stewards received their Green Guard certificates, including Nature Action Crew members and Build Trybe students. With funding from KC Water, Heartland Conservation Alliance partnered with the City of Overland Park Water Quality Division, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, LDB Landscape Architecture & Engineering, MO Stream Teams, and Parkville Nature Sanctuary to offer the workshops. These workshops welcomed anyone interested in improving water quality in Kansas City's streams and looking for a community to address pollution and find solutions. Congratulations Green Guard Graduates!

Volunteer workdays concluded in June as well, and will resume in September. 20 volunteers cleaned approximately 18,000 sq. ft. of invasive honeysuckle in Blue Valley Park and Alex George Wetland at Blue River Parkway. If you're interested in joining HCA for our fall restoration workdays, you can find the dates and sign up on our Community Calendar.

The largest section of the trail at Little Blue Valley Park is a reclaimed race track/concert venue that was once Kansas City International Raceway. Since the track closed in 2011, nature has reclaimed most of it. Photo by Tabitha Carr.

Thank you to all who signed up for June's Exploring Roots Summer Adventure Challenge at Hidden Valley Park. 236 participants registered for the hike and celebrated the amazing trails in Kansas City. We loved seeing your adventures!

The Challenge continues through the summer, and in July hikers are encouraged to visit Little Blue Valley Park. The best part about the Summer Adventure Challenge is that it is all about what works best for YOU. Bring the family or hike solo. Reschedule in case of rain. Hit the trails bright and early, or make it a plan for after work.

This month hikers who reach one of the three signs posted along the trail can choose from a Native Plant coloring book from The Kansas City Public Library, a pint glass from The Kansas City Public Library, or a token for a free scoop of ice cream at Betty Rae's Ice Cream. At the end of the month, we’ll draw three grand prize winners who will receive either a Country Club Plaza Package, a River Market Package, or a Waldo Package.

Participants all month to complete the challenge, and prizes can be picked up at the Kansas City Public Library, Southeast Branch.

Update: HCA was notified that all the keychains are gone at Level 2. If Level 2 is your goal at Little Blue Valley Park, take a selfie by the sign and show your photo to the staff at the Southeast Branch Library to claim your prize.

You can register for July’s hike and learn more about the Summer Adventure Challenge on the website.


The next Education & Outreach Work Group and Outdoor Education Work Group is 9/8/22, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. If you’re interested in joining the Work Group, contact Sarah Benal,

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