Northeast neighbors come together for park cleanups

Community members converged on Kessler Park over the weekend to clean up litter as the first of many summer neighborhood cleanups throughout the city.

Organized by the Kessler Park and Cliff Drive Conservancy, the volunteers focused on the disc golf course, Prospect Point, Zoe Tiffany Park and the area around Cliff Drive’s Gate Two.
Joining nearly 30 volunteers scattered throughout the park, Colby and Katie Childress participated in their first neighborhood cleanup in the Northeast.

“It’s everyone coming together and caring for our public spaces and hopefully getting more people to use our parks and trails, and getting out and staying healthy,” Amanda Wilson of Indian Mound said. “I think everybody’s doing their small part to invest in our community.”

Although Wilson, a neighborhood cleanup veteran, didn’t know when the area was last cleaned up, she said it looked like there was a lot less trash than before.

Sarah Dirks of Pendleton Heights, accompanied by her dog, braved the 90-plus degree weather to do her part for the community.

They were not the only ones taking advantage of the sunny, late-spring day in the 303.5-acre park.

Melissa Estelle of Indian Mound and members of Urban Trail Company, a volunteer group that maintains mountain biking trails, met at Cliff Drive’s Gate One.

“We’re going to trim this trail today, try to get back some of the growth so people can enjoy it for walking and riding, mountain biking,” Estelle said.

Kansas Citians will have many opportunities to clean up their neighborhoods and parks and dispose of larger waste at city-organized cleanups throughout the summer.

On Saturday, June 13 there will be a Northeast Cleanup with trash trucks at various sites throughout the area.

Residents can dispose of bulky waste, brush and tires on the west side of The Concourse on Gladstone Boulevard, headed south between St. John and Anderson avenues.

Bulky waste and brush can be brought to the south side of Budd Park Esplanade between Brighton and Hardesty avenues, on the south side of Lykins Square Park on East 8th Street between Myrtle and Jackson avenues, in the parking lot of Advanced Auto Parts at 7806 E. 24 Highway, and at 10th and Newton Avenue, one block from Bennington.

Kansas City, Missouri residents are welcome to bring trash to other areas of the city during cleanups, Special Project Coordinator Robert Woods said.

“[They] give residents an extra opportunity to get rid of things and also to prevent illegal dumping from occurring,” Woods said.

COVID-19 has interrupted everything, including neighborhood cleanups. All of the city-sponsored cleanups in March, April and May were rescheduled to June.

“We try to have spring and fall major cleanups, as well as multi-neighborhood cleanups throughout the city from March through November,” Woods said.

The neighborhood cleanup program is always looking for more volunteers.

On August 29, residents can dispose of bulky waste, brush, tires and electronics at Center Alternative School at 8434 The Paseo.

At Ruskin High School, 7000 E. 111th St., on October 10, a truck will collect documents to be shredded. Residents can also bring bulky waste, brush, tires and electronics.

Each fall, the Hard-to-Recycle Cleanup event at Manual Career and Technical Center, 1215 E. Truman Rd., will allow residents the opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste, electronics, and glass. A shredder will be available and bulky waste, brush and tires will be accepted.

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