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Education & Outreach Program Update

HCA is hosting a series of Green Guard Stewardship training workshops in March and April. The series will be held on site at Dunbar Farms, 81st and Troost, Boon Area #1 and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center. Local conservation and environmental experts will introduce participants to the basics of stewardship of a vacant lot using nature based solutions. Each lesson will provide practical resources and information through hands-on learning. This is funded by Health Forward Foundation as part of our Restoring Vacant Lots project.

If you are or know someone interested in using nature-based solutions to restore vacant lots in their community, register on our website. These workshops are free.

On Jan. 7 HCA led the Education & Outreach Work Group to discuss upcoming Renew the Blue events. Events during January, February and March will focus on the theme “The Blue River Enriches My Life” and include outdoor events that adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

The annual MLK Jr. Nature Walk has been canceled this year due to COVID-19. To honor the day HCA encourages people to participate in a self-guided tour of important landmarks around Kansas City.

HCA Board member Scott Schulte and Executive Director Jill Erickson made a presentation on the climate and stormwater benefits of added tree canopy and floodplain reforestation to the Overland Park Legacy of Greenery committee on Jan. 7, 2021. They shared results and recommendations from the Blue River Report card and highlighted how Overland Park can play an important role in improving the health of the Blue River. They also explained that recent research proves there is significant carbon sequestration potential in floodplain reforestation. Learn more about the Report Card and how to make a difference in the Blue River Watershed.

Coffee Creek is part of the Upper Blue River Watershed. It is currently a mix of new suburban and business developments. Many cities in the watershed are developing rapidly, threatening the health of ecosystems. Photo by Ian Fannin-Hughes.

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?

The next Education & Outreach Work Group meeting will be Thursday, 3/11/21 at 10 – 11:30am. If you would like to attend a Work Group please contact Sarah Benal at

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