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Support local environmental causes

By Douglas Peel

Give the gift of green this year by donating supplies, money and volunteer time to local environmental organizations that help create a more sustainable Kansas City.

Each group has its own wish list. Check with the organization for information on the tax deductions available for financial and product donations.


1. Bridging the GapHSBC-Volunteer-Tree-Planting-at-MAWSC-9-14-2007-003_web

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].


2. Cultivate Kansas City6389604005_c4f2b1ba65_o

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.


3. Green Works in Kansas CityGreen-Works-KC_web

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.

“Every city can benefit in a big way from educating young people about the environment,” said Kate Corwin, founder of Green Works. “After all, we’re educating the next generation of voters and taxpayers on the serious environmental decisions we will have to make.”

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. To donate online, visit Mail checks to Green Works in Kansas City, 4334 McGee St., Kansas City, MO 64111. To host a meeting, call 816-304-8400.


4. Metropolitan Energy CenterProject-Living-Proof_web

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.


5. Heartland Habitat for HumanityReStore Volunteers-1

Support the building of affordable homes and communities for families in need by donating office furniture and items to Heartland Habitat for Humanity. For a greener gift, donate gently used furniture to reduce waste.

Financial donations support new home construction, general operations, veterans’ projects and the program A Brush With Kindness. To help Heartland Habitat for Humanity, visit Checks can be sent to Heartland Habitat for Humanity, 155 S. 18th St., Suite 120, Kansas City, KS 66102. For more donation information, call 913-342-3047 or 816-468-7190.


6. Blue River Watershed AssociationIMG_2773

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.

“For many of our urban kids, this is their first opportunity to be near a river,” said Lynn Youngblood, executive director of the Blue River Watershed Association. “Many report this being a life-changing event and want to know what they need to do to study water quality as a field of study in college — even fourth- and fifth-graders.”

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.


7. Missouri Prairie FoundationGolden Prairie

Protect and restore our native grasslands and prairies by donating needed wish list items to the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) this holiday season. This organization is the only conservation group in Missouri devoted entirely to prairies and native grasslands. MPF currently owns and manages more than 3,000 acres of prairie and helps manage both public and privately owned prairie. MPF’s Grow Native! program promotes using native plants in landscapes through education and marketing.

Financial donations will help the organization raise funds for native grassland and prairie conservation, including the acquisition of prairies and long-term stewardship of the lands.

To donate online, visit, or mail a check to Missouri Prairie Foundation, P.O. Box 200, Columbia, MO 65205.



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 wishes for 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. Surplus Exchange0S4A3686_web

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, such as the Urban Ranger Corps and the Joseph Foundation.

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 Street, Kansas City, MO 64105.


10. Sustainable Sanctuary CoalitionRecycing-2

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 preach, teach, model, and advocate for sustainable living and ecological justice for all creation. Checks can be mailed to Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition, P.O. Box 732, Mission, KS 66201, or you can donate online at


IMG_3858_weekly211. The Giving Grove

Help plant edible trees for low-income communities by donating needed tools and supplies to The Giving Grove. An affiliate of the Kansas City Community Garden, The Giving Grove helps teach people how to grow sustainable food, primarily fruit trees and berry bushes.

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


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12. Historic Green

Transform under-resourced communities by volunteering with Historic Green this holiday season. Historic Green restores and preserves communities through sustainable design and development education emphasizing affordability and simplicity that many people can replicate in their own homes. The organization needs volunteers to participate in the home restoration workshops. Volunteer duties also include videography and photography services during workshops.

“We want volunteers to learn affordable home restoration practices while serving a community in need,” said Jeremy Knoll, founder and chairman.

For donations and volunteering, email Knoll at [email protected].

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