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Brush Creek restoration receives $50,000 grant

Two great blue herons rest on top of a dead tree at the Brush Creek oxbow lake site

Most people don’t think of Brush Creek as a nature hotspot. With a $50,000 grant secured earlier this August, Green Works in Kansas City hopes to change that.

Green Works, a non-profit organization, initiated the Brush Creek project in 2010 to reclaim the waterway for both wildlife and human benefit. Their most recent grant comes from the TogetherGreen Innovation Initiative, a partnership of Toyota and the National Audubon Society. Green Works will use the funds to restore an oxbow lake that has filled with sediment, repair a drainage pipe and install a garden that helps filter runoff.

The filled-in oxbow is in the center of the picture, on the north side of Brush Creek, west of Benton Blvd (Source: Google Earth)

“The long-term idea is to make a place for community members to walk to and visit a natural area,” said Kate Corwin, founder and president of Green Works.

Green Work’s program, Environmental Connection Opportunities for Students (ECOS), involves urban youth with experiential learning projects and helps them develop skills for a variety of green jobs. For the Brush Creek project, students have planted native species, tested water quality and helped with bird counts, which they will continue in fall 2012 and spring 2013 in order to monitor the health of the waterway.

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