The next time you and your family head to the park, pick up a few free supplies and help beautify Kansas City, MO Parks and Trails.

Beginning on Earth Day, the KCMO Parks is offering free supplies to residents willing to pick up litter and recyclables in city parks through its Make a Difference While You Distance initiative.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Take a bag or bucket and gloves on your next outing. If you need a supply kit, visit one of the locations below or email parks.volunteer@kcmo.org.
• South District Office, 6901 Elmwood, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., M-F
• Ruby Jean’s Juicery, 3000 Troost Ave., 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., M-F
• KC North Community Center, 1-2 p.m., M-F
• Southeast Community Center, 1-2 p.m., M-F
• Gregg Klice Community Center, 1-2 p.m., M-F

2. Pick up litter following the safety guidelines below. Place bags in the nearest trash can or next to the receptacle closest to the street for KC Parks staff to haul away.

3. Share photos on social media with #KCMOParks and #EarthDayKC50. Then challenge your friends!
Send your photo and location of your trash to: parks.volunteer@kcmo.org.

You can help out in your neighborhood park, or lend an extra hand in one of these parks:

• Blue Valley Park – E. 23rd St. & Topping Ave.
• Swope Park – Swope Pkwy & Meyer Blvd.
• Kessler Park – Chestnut Trfwy. & Cliff Drive
• Chouteau Greenway Park – N.E. 42nd Terr. & Chouteau Pkwy.
• Waterworks Park – N.E. 32nd St. & N. Oak Trfwy.
• Hidden Valley Park – N.E. Russell Road & N. Bennington Ave.
• Pleasant Valley Park – 6401 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road
• Noble Park – E. 75th St. and Cleveland Ave.

In compliance with the city’s COVID-19 distancing orders, the park clean-up initiative is intended for individuals and families, not group activities. The parks staff also encourages volunteers to follow these health and safety guidelines:

• Wear sturdy shoes (no sandals), and gloves. Wash your hands well afterward.
• Wear sunscreen and insect repellent when appropriate.
• Avoid working near roads or parking lots.
• Look out for poison ivy or thorny plants. Don’t eat any berries or mushrooms you find.
• Don’t enter high vegetation areas (home to snakes and other wildlife) or bodies of water.
• Don’t pick up dangerous items such as glass, razor blades, syringes or needles, household hazardous waste, dead animals, weapons and unlabeled chemical containers.
• Do not clean up homeless sites. Report camps by calling 311.

Photo: FunkDooby / CC