Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff helped lead volunteer teams planting trees and picking up trash on April 2 for the 26th annual Project Blue River Cleanup. The project, coordinated by Healthy Rivers Partnership, is also an official Missouri Stream Team. MDC is a co-sponsor for Stream Teams and the annual cleanup. The cleanup is a volunteer-based, public-private partnership connecting people with conservation.
Organizers estimated that more than 800 volunteers turned out to work on the project. They rounded up tons of trash and discarded tires. MDC Urban Forester Wendy Sangster led a crew that planted tree seedlings on grassy embankments. Kansas City’s Lakeside Nature Center was headquarters for the cleanup. Volunteer crews worked at various locations along the Blue River and tributaries. Stephen VanRhein, MDC community conservation planner, led a crew cleaning up an illegal dump site. Besides trash, crews also cleared invasive bush honeysuckle from natural areas.
Volunteers included all ages and people from throughout the metro area, including families, such as Brian and Joedi Farquer and their three children of Kansas City, North.
“We wanted to get out in the community and help, and get our kids involved in volunteer work,” Joedi Farquer said.
The cleanup is part of an ongoing effort by conservation partners to preserve and restore natural beauty to the Blue River and tributaries, streams flowing through the heart of Kansas City.
For information on volunteering for MDC conservation programs, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/about-us/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities.