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Kansas City WildLands

Photo Group

There is little left of the native flora that covered Kansas City 200 years ago. In 2000, Larry Rizzo and Mark McKellar recognized that the city was in danger of losing all remnants of the forests and prairies that had defined Missouri plant life for thousands of years. Along with a small group of volunteers, they identified a few of our most precious and salvageable areas and formed KC WildLands. The goal was to restore and protect these treasurers for all to enjoy.

The areas that fall under KC WildLands care are rich in diversity of species and native flora and fauna. Mead’s Milkweed is a Federally Threatened Species. This tallgrass prairie herb once bloomed across Missouri and Kansas under the hooves of roaming bison. Due to habitat loss and mismanagement, there is very little Mead’s Milkweed left in the wild. Two Kansas City WildLands still host this species- Kill Creek Park and The Prairie Center. In the Northland, Hidden Valley is home to the rare Goldie’s fern, a Missouri species of concern.

KC WildLands relies heavily on the help of local citizens for support, both financial and with restoration and maintenance of the sites. They have scheduled workdays throughout the year. The next work day is May 12. If you would like to help, contact Linda Lehrbaum, at 816-561-1061, ext. 116 or linda@bridgingthegap.org. For a list of all KC WildLand sites or more information go to www.kcwildlands.org.

By Mark McKellar


(Original article from WINTER 2004)

Ever have the urge to get out and get your hands dirty while helping out animals? A few years ago, Larry Rizzo (Missouri Department of Conservation Biologist) and I co-founded a group that provides such opportunities

Kansas City Wildlands is a volunteer-based, nonprofit group that identifies quality remnant native habitat in our area, makes management recommendations and leads restoration efforts to help bring it "back". Their tag line is that they provide CPR (Conserve, Protect and Restore) to quality wild spaces.

Today, the group is housed at Bridging The Gap and can be found on the web atwww.kcwildlands.org. From removing cedar trees from a patch of prairie in Shawnee Mission to cutting out the horrible Amur Honeysuckle from a glade in Swope Park, they conduct many work days each year. Most are geared for the general public but they also work with companies who want to have an employee volunteer work day.

So many of us want to help with conservation more but our budgets don't allow it. This group provides us a chance to use our time and desires to help wildlife. For more information on KC Wildlands, visit their website and/or contact Linda Lehrbaum at (816) 561-1061 ext.116.


By Mark McKellar