NewsLocal News


Heartland Conservation Alliance encourages KC to get outside during Blue River Discovery Days

Nonprofit working to preserve Blue River
blue river.JPG
Posted at 7:10 PM, Sep 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-11 20:52:42-04

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Charlie Keegan

Seated in a kayak with a paddle in hand, it’s easy to escape the hustle and bustle of Kansas City, Missouri.

Logan Heley, of Heartland Conservation Alliance, took a group of journalists, scientists and municipal employees on a kayak trip down the Blue River.

“We have beautiful nature and natural resources right here in the Kansas City area — in your own neighborhood, even,” Heley said.

Heartland Conservation Alliance works to preserve natural areas and highlight their impact on human life.

During the month of September, HCA is hosting Blue River Discovery Days. The group wants people to kayak, fish, hike or bike along the river.

Heley said rivers like the Blue River provide flood control and help reduce the urban heat island effect.

“We need to take better care of it. Part of that is getting more people out here to appreciate it,” Heley said.

During the three-hour kayak ride, Heley showed how easy it is to connect with nature.

The Blue River runs through the middle of Kansas City. It’s 42 miles from the Overland Park Arboretum to the Missouri River.

Currently, outfitters like KC Canoe and Kayak mostly rent equipment for trips on the Missouri River, but Heley hopes they can find business on the Blue River.

“When you’re on the water, it’s a different perspective than when you’re on the bank,” explained Laurie Brown, an ecologist who’d never kayaked the Blue River before.

Blue River Discovery Days include a fundraiser to support Heartland Conservation Alliance’s work. The nonprofit recently launched a free nature guide program.

On Sept. 30, the organization will host a festival celebrating the Blue River at Minor Park in KCMO.