Community Work Groups

Conservation Work Group

  • Conservation Work Group members:

  • Kelly Blandford

  • Bill Blessing

  • Laurie Brown

  • Joy Ellsworth

  • Ian Fannin-Hughes

  • Bill Fessler

  • Olusola Festus

  • Kyle Johnson

  • Ginny Moore

  • David Poirier

  • Scott Schulte

  • Regan Tokos

  • Stephen Van Rhein

Work Group Goals:

  • Protect natural resources

  • Improve water quality in the Blue River

  • Identify and support projects that meet conservation goals and benefit community

  • Identify funding opportunities and support HCA in developing funding sources for conservation projects

The Conservation Work Group meets nine months of the year on the third Thursday from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Find the next meeting on our calendar. 

For more information, please contact Jill Erickson, 


or (816)407-8088.

Education & Outreach Work Group

Education & Outreach Work Group members:

  • Belinda Caldwell-Shelby

  • Nova Clarke

  • Ian Fannin-Hughes

  • Sarah Hemme

  • Lara Isch

  • Ivan Katzer

  • Joan Leavens

  • Imani Malaika-Mehta

  • Larry O'Donnell

  • Kathryn Persley

  • Scott Sigman

  • Regan Tokos

  • Kevin Tosie

  • Roberta Vogel-Leutung

Work Group Goals:

  • Assess and enhance existing environmental education in Kansas City. 

  • Create a Blue River documentary film that can be used by all partners to promote the river.

  • Actively table and provide public outreach to increase public awareness of the Blue River and Heartland Conservation Alliance.

  • Implement Renew the Blue Communications Plan

The Education & Outreach Work Group meets every two months on the second Thursday from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center. Find the next meeting on our calendar. ​

For more information about meetings and projects, please contact HCA Outreach Coordinator Sarah Benal, sarah@heartlandconservationalliance.org

or (816)349-9201

Partnership Work Group

Partnership Work Group members:

  • Jim Armer

  • Kristen Bontrager

  • Sarah Hemme

  • Christina Hoxie

  • Brianna Leiker

  • Chandler Little Eagle

  • Carl Stafford

This work group's goals are to:

  • Maintain value of membership to Alliance for partner organizations by insuring mutual benefits

  • Provide direct support to help build capacity of Alliance partners

  • Provide opportunities for Alliance partners to share information efficiently with one another and stay informed of issues and opportunities

  • Effectively engage partners and potential partners

The Partnership Work Group meets every two months on the first Tuesday of the month from 5:30 - 7p.m. Find the next meeting on our calendar.

Please contact Jill Erickson for more information about the Partnership Work group. jill@heartlandconservationalliance.org

or (816)407-8088.

Policy Work Group

Policy Work Group members:

  • Samuel Bennett

  • Kelly Blandford

  • Kristen Bontrager

  • Andrea Clark

  • Victoria Dunkin

  • Michael Frisch

  • Sarah Hemme

  • Christina Hoxie

  • Robin Martinez

  • Bridgett Sanderson

  • Scott Schulte

Work Group Goals:

  • Promote an understanding of what we want to protect

  • Research the best practices for preserving land

  • Identify and engage those who can influence protecting land

  • Actively enlist champions to build support to protect land

The Policy Work Group meets every two months (on the last Friday from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Find the next meeting on our calendar

For more information, please contact Jill Erickson,


or (816)407-8088.