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Give the gift of a more sustainable Kansas City

When you donate or volunteer for a local environmental cause, you can help support organic farming, energy-efficiency programs, electronic recycling, clean water, tree plantings and environmental education.

Here are just a few of the many organizations working for a more sustainable Kansas City.

1. Cultivate Kansas City

Help grow local food in Kansas City by donating farming and gardening supplies to Cultivate Kansas City. The organization’s Gibbs Road Farm encourages healthy eating habits and supplies local, certified organic produce to the public. The organization also offers educational programs like its Growing Growers Training Program to develop future farmers.

Monetary donations go towards needed supplies to grow fruits and vegetables for Cultivate Kansas City’s programs, the Gibbs Road Demonstration Farm and Juniper Gardens Training Farm. For example, a donation of $200 would cover a year’s supply of beet seeds, potentially producing 5,000 pounds of beets. Make checks payable to Cultivate Kansas City, 4223 Gibbs Road, Kansas City, KS 66106.

2. Bridging the Gap

You can help the Heartland Tree Alliance at Bridging the Gap (BTG) plant trees by making a financial donation or volunteering on planting projects within 17 municipalities across the region.

Bridging the Gap is also looking for “cold-hardy” volunteers for its recycling centers between Christmas and New Year’s.

To make a donation to the Heartland Tree Alliance online, visit Checks can be mailed to Bridging the Gap, 1427 W. 9th Street, STE 201, Kansas City, MO 64101. To volunteer, call 816-561-1087 or email Amy Smith, [email protected].

3. Surplus Exchange

Reduce e-waste and help someone in need by donating a used computer to the Surplus Exchange. The Surplus Exchange refurbishes computer equipment in good working condition, including printers, scanners, LCD monitors, laptops and desktop systems. The Surplus Exchange donates many refurbished computers to other nonprofit organizations in need.

For more information on electronics recycling and donations, visit or call 816-472-0444. To make a donation, mail checks to Surplus Exchange, 518 Santa Fe St., Kansas City, MO 64105.

4. The Giving Grove and Kansas City Community Gardens

Help plant edible trees and vegetable gardens for low-income communities by making a financial donation to Kansas City Community Gardens and The Giving Grove. Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) teaches residents how to create edible community gardens in schools, neighborhoods and churches. An affiliate of KCCG, The Giving Grove helps teach people how to grow sustainable orchards of fruit trees and berry bushes.

Donation checks can be made to The Giving Grove or Kansas City Community Gardens and mailed to 6917 Kensington Ave., Kansas City, MO 64132.

5. Green Works in Kansas City

Help urban students and the Earth with Green Works in Kansas City. The organization helps local high school students become environmental stewards through education, workforce development and service project programs. Students have a wide range of opportunities to learn about taking care of the environment, including testing water quality at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and working with the Missouri Department of Conservation to maintain native landscapes.

Financial donations help fund an after-school science program, Environmental Connection Opportunities for Students (ECOS). The curriculum covers ozone levels, solid waste, recycling and energy conservation. Mail checks to Green Works in Kansas City, 4334 McGee St., Kansas City, MO 64111. To host a meeting, call 816-304-8400.

6. Metropolitan Energy Center

Develop Kansas City’s resource efficiency and improve its environmental health with the Metropolitan Energy Center. The organization’s Project Living Proof at 917 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd. demonstrates how to make a 100-old home energy-efficient with modern green technology. Education topics at the house include solar voltaic, solar thermal and geothermal forms of energy.

Monetary donations can be mailed to Metropolitan Energy Center, 3810 Paseo Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64109.

7. Blue River Watershed Association

Give the gift of volunteer work by helping the Blue River Watershed Association teach students about the importance of our local watershed. Volunteers show school children how to test creek water quality and help assemble water quality test kits, schedule programs, collaborate with teachers, fundraise, recruit volunteers and assist the EPA Urban Waters grant project with community presentations.

Financial contributions are used for programs and equipment that help further the Blue River Watershed Association’s mission. To donate online, visit Mail checks to: Blue River Watershed Association, PO Box 7276, Kansas City, MO 64113.

8. Powell Gardens

Preserve Kansas City’s green heritage by donating to Powell Garden’s Legacy Tree Program this holiday season. Many old, proven performers in Kansas City have survived major changes to the environment, but they are now nearing their end. Diseases and pests including the emerald ash borer and thousand cankers disease also contribute to the demise of aging legacy trees. The Legacy Tree Program propagates these selected trees before they disappear and educates people on how to select, care for and maintain a legacy tree.

Powell Gardens also needs volunteer help year-round to maintain its gardens. If you want to donate to the Legacy Tree Program online, visit Mail donation checks to Powell Gardens, Attn: Legacy Tree Program, 1609 NW U.S. Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO 64061. To volunteer, call 816-697-2600 ext. 304.

9. Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition

Spread the importance of taking care of the Earth by helping the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition. An interfaith organization, the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition (SSC) partners with local congregations for environmental advocacy. If you belong to a faith community, you can support the organization’s mission by forming a Green Team, a group at your congregation that leads environmental and sustainable efforts in your community.

SSC is also seeking donations to continue its mission in assisting people of faith groups to teach, model and advocate for sustainable living and ecological justice. Checks can be mailed to Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition, P.O. Box 732, Mission, KS 66201.


Top photo: Katherine Kelly, executive director of Cultivate Kansas City (right), helps an immigrant farmer learn to use the tiller for spring planting at the Juniper Garden’s Training Farm.

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