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Annual Partnership Summit First Event at the HOP

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

The 7th Annual Partnership Summit will be held outdoors at the Heartland Overlook Preserve, AKA the HOP. Photo by Kelly Pullen.

The global health crisis reminded us how much we need essential workers - doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery store workers, and mail carriers. While seeking healthy places to relax, exercise, and socialize during this time we also rediscovered how much we need nature. We were reminded that humans need nature; nature is essential. This fall, Heartland Conservation Alliance will host the 7th Annual Partnership Summit to celebrate nature on Saturday and Sunday, October 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, families and children of all ages can participate in safe nature-based activities. “Just as we cannot take essential workers for granted, we cannot take nature for granted,” said Partnership Coordinator, Natasha Karsk. “Nature is not only a respite in stressful times, but also the sponge that cleans the waters, an air filter, and the soil that provides food for our bodies.”  For the past seven years, Heartland Conservation Alliance has hosted the Annual Partnership Summit to celebrate essential partners and collaborative efforts restoring and protecting nature in the Kansas City region. We are excited to host this year’s celebration at the newly-acquired Heartland Overlook Preserve (AKA, the HOP.) We invite participants to explore this 40-acre oak-hickory forest in the heart of the Blue River Watershed. To encourage social distancing, attendance will be limited, masks will be required and we are following all safety recommendations from the CDC. Attendance is free, but tickets are required. Sign up to visit at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. “We have carefully reviewed local and national safety precautions,” explained Jill Erickson, Executive Director. “We are confident this outdoor event will be safe and can’t wait to invite people to come see this beautiful wild place along the Blue River that we saved at auction last year.” The Summit adventure weekend begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 17 with “Into the Woods,” a safe, outdoor family-friendly event hosted by Exploring Roots, a local nonprofit dedicated to creating healing relationships between people and nature for the well-being of both. Families will learn orienteering and have an opportunity to discover natural wonders. The adventure continues at 10 a.m. on Sunday, October 18 with a Partnership Fair. Come visit booths hosted by members of the conservation community. Learn how they are protecting, restoring, and caring for your region’s natural resources. Food and beverages will be available from local food trucks including Urban Cafe, Polar Oasis and Taste of Brazil. We will feature videos and speakers to share stories from the field helping you learn how nature is essential. “In light of all that has happened this year, one thing remains clear,” said Erickson. “Nature is essential for a livable, healthy, vibrant future for all.” Join Heartland Conservation Alliance on October 17 and 18 at the 2020 Annual Partnership Summit to connect and re-discover nature.

For more information about the Partnership Summit, contact Natasha Karsk,

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