Places to Go: The Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

By Larry Archer | December 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2023

The Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center

A taste of Missouri in the heart of KC

Designed as an outdoor oasis in an urban setting, Kansas City’s The Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center (CDC) also has strong ties to historic figures who influenced the area centuries apart.

Located on nearly 10 acres, the 34,000-square-foot visitor center features a wall-sized mural depicting the area in the time of Lewis and Clark, according to Gorman CDC Manager Stacey Davis.

“And we have a half-sized keel boat replica of what they would have gone up and down river in,” Davis said.

And while the center has a Lewis and Clark theme, it’s named after a pioneer of another sort.

“Anita B. Gorman was the first female conservation commissioner,” she said. “She was also heavily involved in the KC Parks Board, but her real goal was a nature center that served the people who rarely leave the sidewalk, people who were in the heart of the city.”

The center’s nearly one-half mile of trails takes visitors through a variety of habitats, she said.

“We’ve got a mini forest, pond, prairies,” she said. “We’ve got all the main Missouri habitats here, just mini — you get a taste of Missouri right in the heart of KC.”

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This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale