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Nature keeps us healthy and whole - Nature is essential

By Matt Davis, Board President

Board President, Matt Davis (far left) introduces HCA's Board of Directors at the 7th Annual Partnership Summit. The Summit raised $10,000 as part of the Capital Campaign to restore and protect the Heartland Overlook Preserve, also known as the HOP. Photo by Sarah Benal. 

This year, we were reminded that humans need nature for health, for safety and for life. Nature is essential.

This fall we invite you to join our efforts to save a very important forest – 40 acres of oak and hickory nestled on the bluffs overlooking the Blue River in south Kansas City. Last August, Heartland Conservation Alliance purchased the Heartland Overlook Preserve--affectionately known as the HOP—at a public auction with help of a loan from The Conservation Fund.

Now Heartland Conservation Alliance needs to raise $250,000 for debt service and maintenance of the HOP. We are thrilled to share we are well on our way! At the 7th Annual Partnership Summit on Oct. 18, we raised $10,000. There are many demands – now more than ever – of your generosity, and we do not ask lightly. Please consider a gift of $50 to make your community a beautiful and bountiful landscape. Your gift will help us save the HOP and allow us to continue providing high quality, nature focused programs.

Our ability to deliver these programs depends on the support of our community. Your donation is an investment in our region’s natural places and the health of the local ecosystem. Your tax-free donation helps keep natural places beautiful. Your support strengthens the connection between neighbor and nature. No gift is too small.

Above: Long-term plans for the property include regenerative residential buildings and urban agricultural projects, demonstrating innovative ways for future development to support and enhance the multiple benefits that natural resources, like the soil, provides. Photo by Kelly Pullen. 

The mission of Heartland Conservation Alliance is to protect places in our city that benefit our community and our ecosystem. Prior to purchasing the HOP, our Conservation Work Group carefully reviewed the HOP’s natural resources, including critical habitat for threatened species like the tri-colored bat, and could see immediately why this land needed to be protected. In addition to critical ecosystem services, this land is a key connector for more than 60 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails along the Blue River.

Today we are working in partnership with Heartland P5 Holdings, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Urban Trail Co., The Conservation Fund and many others. Our goal is to create a model for how urban land can be sustainably managed to enhance the benefits of natural resources, create economic opportunities and provide more access to natural areas like the Blue River Corridor.

Just as we cannot take essential workers for granted, we cannot take nature for granted. Nature not only provides a respite in stressful times, but also cleans the water, filters the air, and stores and provides nutrients in the soil.

Humans need nature, and we never realize how much we value these places until they are gone. Please consider a donation to ensure our work preserving and restoring natural areas may continue. Nature needs you just as much as you need nature. Nature keeps us healthy and whole. Nature is essential.

Thank you for your support!

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