Blue River Documentary

Winner of a 2020 Mid-America Regional Emmy Award

Blue River is a documentary film featuring oral histories and the ecological and cultural history of the river. In conjunction with the Renew the Blue Campaign, we aspire to bring attention to the river, its needs, and the many organizations working to improve it. Together we will promote positive outdoor experiences, remind people of the river’s proud past and inspire them about its future, and promote sustainable development.

Local renowned filmmaker, Michael Price, English Landing Films, captured the beauty and the challenges of the river in all seasons. He is best know for his films seen on KCPT Evicted and A City Divided


To host a Blue River screening contact Sarah: 

Watch Blue River on Heartland Conservation Alliance's YouTube channel

Watch the trailer

The Blue River flows from Overland Park where the Wolf Creek meets Coffee creek to its confluence with the Missouri River through more than 40 miles of suburban, agricultural land, urban communities, industrial areas, Brownfields, wetlands, and forest. The river is a regional asset with great potential, but it is currently underused. According to a 2012 Mid-America Regional Council (regional planning agency) water quality survey, only nine percent of area residents know that they live in a watershed. People do not typically see the Blue River as a destination for respite and recreation. Once people know about this beautiful free place to play they will start to consider how to care for it.

The Blue River Documentary premiered in January 2020 on KCPT. Heartland Conservation Alliance planned to host screenings throughout the year, but due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, had to pivot to a virtual experience. On the last Monday of the month, Monday Movie Nights: Blue River included a Q&A with a panel of environmental and conservation experts. Each screening focused on themes such as restoration, recreation, climate change, the intersection of art and nature, and health and healing. The events raised over $9,000 through tickets and sponsorships and featured panelists from MoHives KC, The Nature Conservancy, Habitat Architects and Urban Trail Co. 

Photos by English Landing Films