Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) welcomes public comment on long-range management plans for the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area in Blue Springs. MDC in May invited suggestions from the public for aiding staff in updating plans for an area popular in the Kansas City metro area as a hiking and wildlife viewing destination. An initial draft is now complete. The public can view the plan and provide comment through Aug. 31 by visiting http://mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
This plan focuses on management of the forest, woodland, restored native grasslands, and hiking trails on the area. The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center building and educational programs are not part of this area management plan.
Burr Oak Woods was purchased in 1977 and was among the first conservation projects developed in a metropolitan area using funds from the one-eighth of 1 percent sales tax approved by voters in 1976 for forests, fish and wildlife. The area’s 1,071 acres include forest, woodland, and restored native grassland habitats. Burr Oak Creek passes through the property. Six hiking trails thread among the varied habitat, with some sections passing the creek and impressive limestone bluff outcrops.
The Nature Center and trailheads are accessed via the entrance at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. But the conservation area also includes land north of Pink Hill Road. One parking lot offers access to the north area off Strode Road.
MDC staff will review comments as they develop a final management plan for Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area. Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how best to incorporate them will be based on the property’s purpose, it’s physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional and state-wide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.