Volunteers working with the Kansas City, Mo., Parks and Recreation Department fanned out in various parks across the city today to celebrate Earth Day and kick off the Parks Department’s Partners in Parks program.
Volunteer and Historic Northeast resident Olivia English was stationed at The Colonnade at Gladstone Boulevard and St. John Avenue to dispatch other volunteers across Kessler Park from Indian Mound all the way to Paseo Boulevard.
“Kessler Park and Cliff Drive are definitely hot spots,” English said. “We’re trying to get ahead of the invasive honeysuckle overgrowth so we can actually see where the trash and litter is. If it’s on the ground, it’s in our water.”
According to English, two groups were focusing their efforts in Kessler Park, Evergy and CocaCola, who together brought roughly 40 volunteers to Northeast. English’s recruitment efforts brought that number closer to 50 total.
Spring Cleaning events are scheduled for April 22, 23, and 24, and the city’s Parks Department has prepared litter kits with gloves and trash bags for anyone to pick up at nine of their Community Centers on those days.
As anyone who has scoured the woods in Kessler Park knows, trash isn’t the only thing one can discover nestled in the trees. Today’s clean up also netted a number of trash bags filled with animal bones.
A bag behind the Colonnade contained remains thought to belong to goats and chickens. At Indian Mound, bags containing what was thought to be chicken talons, goat bones and a pig skull were found, along with a sealed bag of manure. Parks Rangers filed a police report on the bones.
The Parks Department’s official Earth Day activities culminate with a 3 p.m. ceremony in Ilus Davis Park at 11th and Locust, where founding Parks Partner JE Dunn company will officially be adopting the downtown park.