Discover Nature in the Heart of Kansas City
Explore ten acres of gardens, wetlands, walkways and wildlife that surround the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center building, located near the banks of Brush Creek at Troost in Kauffman Legacy Park. The environmentally friendly building houses information and outreach services of the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
- Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Extended hours first and third Tuesdays: Building open until 9:00 p.m. for programs and meetings, permit and Nature Shop sales until 7:00 p.m.
- First and third Saturday of each month: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
- Trails open daily during daylight hours.
Our mission to help urban children and adults appreciate the bounty and beauty of nature and learn outdoor skills such as hiking, camping, wildlife viewing and growing native plants. Buy hunting and fishing permits, and browse for books, videos and educational materials highlighting the natural resources of Missouri in the Nature Shop.
Learn from the past ...
Two hundred years ago Lewis and Clark explored the Missouri River and described a land of vast resources and natural beauty. Visit our lobby mural and workshop hosts to learn more about the Corps of Discovery.
Another link to the past is the reuse of building materials for the Discovery Center. These include masonry and lumber artifacts salvaged from demolished Kansas City buildings. Examine the masonry artifacts in our walls, the roof decking overhead, and wooden display fixtures in the Nature Shop and workshop windows.
Care for the present ...
Acquire the knowledge and skills to enjoy, protect and enhance Missouri's natural heritage in six hands-on workshops.
- Nature's Bounty—Learn ethics of hunting, fishing and harvesting wild edibles.
- Nature's Garden—Use native plants for landscaping.
- Exploring the Outdoors—Learn skills to enjoy hiking, birding and camping.
- Nature's Palette—Explore and express appreciation of nature through the visual arts.
- Woodworking for Wildlife—Learn habitat requirements for wildlife and build nest boxes and feeders.
- Nature's Aquarium—Study watershed models and perform water quality investigations.
You can help care for the present by joining the conservation and education efforts of the Discovery Center's Volunteer Corps.
Shape the future ...
The center's architecture and landscaping features several green-design demonstrations:
- Alternative energy sources include a geothermal heat pump and active and passive solar features.
- The Living Machine mimics nature as it cleans wastewater onsite, reuses treated water to flush toilets, and supplies the wetlands outdoors.
- Environmentally friendly building materials include calcium-silicate masonry units, glue-laminated beams, and stabilized-earth pavement trails. Bioswales in the parking lot hold and treat runoff before it empties into the storm water system.
- Countertops, paints, carpet squares and restroom stall partitions all contain postconsumer, recycled materials.
- Native-plant gardens demonstrate urban landscaping options, including small versions of upland and lowland forests, prairies and wetlands. Specialty planting areas include hummingbird, butterfly, wildflower and water gardens.