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Condition of Brush Creek has attention of KCMO residents, city leaders

Area east of The Paseo could see future improvements as concerns are raised
Brush Creek Pond Scum
Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-25 14:53:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the City of Fountains, there are many waterways and water displays, but one area of Kansas City’s Brush Creek is not so inviting.

"I see pond scum, trash and old branches. And yuck. That’s what I see," said Judy Rimpson, who lives east of The Paseo overlooking Brush Creek.

She says the view out her window is not a pleasant one.

"People that have lived here for 10-15 years, they’ve looked at the same thing, and it also smells," Rimpson said.

Although Brush Creek is still and filled with pond scum east of The Paseo, the water is clear and moving just a short drive west to the Country Club Plaza area.

Rimpson has lived in her apartment for six years and told KSHB 41 News she has reached out multiple times to the city’s parks and recreation department, asking for help with cleaning up the creek. But she says she hasn’t received a response.

KSHB 41 reached out to Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation, and they sent the following statement via Benjamin Nelson, the general supervisor for the department's Central District:

"Our delayed response in servicing those areas along Brush Creek has aroused due to an accumulation of circumstances such as staffing constraints and limited resources to express the least; also, we’ve had other constraints presented to us involved with the City’s increased houseless population," Nelson said. "We’d like to thank everyone involved for their patience and we would like to reassure the public that we’re working on reconfiguring our staff to address those concerns presented by the public regarding those situations presented."

KCMO 3rd District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson says the creek dam in this part of the city is not concrete based like it is in areas west of the buildup.

"It’s a mud-based dam. All the trash just really flows from other parts of our region, bounces off and it sticks all in at Brush Creek," Robinson said.

This issue is personal to Robinson, who told KSHB 41 she has invested seven years working to resolve this problem.

"When we talk about environmental racism and environmental injustices, Brush Creek is that case study example of differences that have happened over decades," she said.

Moving forward, change could be coming soon. A new project manager at KC Water will conduct a feasibility study with community feedback to follow.

For Rimpson, she is just hoping for a cleaner view out her window.

"There’s a lot of good people out here and we do care, we care about what our neighborhoods look like. I would like to see the same water on this side," Rimpson said.