Michael Bushnell

Volunteers with Friends of KCMO’s Riverfront Park gathered Saturday morning to empty trash and pick up litter in the old Riverfront Park off Front Street and Chouteau Trafficway.

Organizer Roger MacBride has been leading clean ups at the park for over two decades, working with minimal resources, taking on the Herculean task of cleaning over four miles of timbered Missouri River frontage.

“Welcome to Kansas City’s least known park, Riverfront Park with 4.3 miles of riverfront,” MacBride said as the small cadre of volunteers began the often gut-churning job of emptying the trash barrels that line the parking lot.

“We’ve been the forgotten children for a very long time,” MacBride added. “And what we’re doing now is we’re again bringing long overdue attention to one of the jewels of our riverfront, if not the jewel. I think this is more important than even the stadiums or the development, because this is that common area that everybody can come to now and forever.”

The group has been meeting and cleaning the park regularly, and work on changing park patrons’ bad habits is starting to pay off.

“At least now they’re using the trash cans,” said Allen Cessna, a longtime riverfront advocate.
“You don’t have to go to Swope Park, you don’t have to go all the way out to Ernie Miller or to Burr Oak, you’ve got a pristine environment right here close to downtown,” MacBride added. “Bring the family and just engage with the park.”

To get involved in the group’s activities, visit the Stream Team 2560 Facebook page.