A vision for a vibrant, resilient Blue River ecosystem that boasts healthy riparian corridors, diverse plant communities, urban forests and prairie grasslands, with abundant habitat for wildlife.
From the Missouri-Kansas state line to its confluence with the Missouri River, the Blue River flows through more than 20 miles of suburban and urban neighborhoods, industrial areas, brownfields, wetlands and forest. The river is a regional asset with great potential, but it is currently underused.
Access to the river is limited in most reaches, and many challenges exist — there are legitimate concerns about water quality that limit swimming and fishing opportunities. In some places, forests, grasslands and wetlands have been lost to encroaching development. There is also a common perception that unmanaged areas along the river may be unsafe or promote crime. Where some see valuable wildlife habitat, others see a haven for snakes and undesirable insects.
There is an enormous opportunity to involve residents, community organizations and businesses in efforts to “Renew the Blue,” reinforcing the value of nature in an urban setting.
The Blue River Watershed is unhealthy because much of the land has been altered from a natural area to areas with house, streets, and sewers. When we disturb natural areas, plants that are not native to this area can spread and choke out the plants that wildlife need for food and homes. Native plants do a better job of filtering pollution.
We can help the rivers be healthier by restoring land to a more natural state. Renew the Blue partners measure the success of our restoration by the number of acres invasive species removed, trees planted and native plants planted.
We can all help keep the Blue River healthy by reducing the trash and litter that makes its way to our streams and rivers. Each year, Renew The Blue Partners organize hundreds of volunteers to pick up trash in and around the Blue River and its tributaries.
We measure success of protecting the Blue River with tons of trash removed from the river or prevented from getting into the river and the number of tires removed from the Blue River.
The Blue River offers many benefits to our community including habitat for wildlife, drinking water, and outdoor recreation.
Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the Blue River, so our Renew The Blue partners work to educate and connect more people with this beautiful community asset.
We measure our success with the number of events about or on the Blue River, people attending our events, people we reach in promoting our events, and the number of partners supporting our event.
Since 2017 Renew the Blue Partners have...
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Hosted 315 events
A proud member of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership
The Urban Waters Partnership reconnects urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies. The Partnership also collaborates with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our Nation's water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits.
Heartland Conservation Alliance serves as the Urban Waters Ambassador. The Ambassador convenes the regional partners involved in the
Renew the Blue and Urban Waters projects.
Magali Rojas, Urban Waters Ambassador and
HCA Environmental Justice Program Manager