Little Blue River Watershed Coalition


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Wildflower Storm:










Wildflower Storm


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How can I  protect the watershed?

The Wildflower Storm project is an on the ground demonstration project to assist in mitigating stormwater runoff through stream restoration.   The project includes planting of a stream buffer, prairie filter strip, a vegetated swale, and a constructed wet prairie/emergent wetland.   A multi-dimensional educational outreach program was produced to facilitate educating the public as to cause, effect, and natural (green infrastructure) solutions to stormwater issues.

Wildflower Storm Photos


The project is located at the confluence of the East Fork and Little Blue Rivers at the existing trailhead to Little Blue Trace Trail; at the southeast corner of Little Blue Parkway and Pink Hill Road (E 39th St) in Independence, MO.  (See Map)


Project Specifics:

The demonstration project is located within the I-70 corridor, at the south end of what is planned as a major development corridor that will run north to the Missouri River.  There is rapid and extensive commercial development currently underway in the immediate area.  The site reaches along 1,500 feet of a traditional flood control project consisting of stream channelization and banks armoring.  The demonstration project will treat stormwater runoff from Pink Hill Rd using a vegetated swale and constructed wet prairie/emergent wetland.  These features will mitigate current and future erosion within the traditional flood control project.

  • The west side of the 1,500 ft of the Little Blue River from Little Blue Parkway to Pink Hill Rd is planted with native prairie wildflowers and grasses that creates a 5 acre buffer between the trail and the river.

  • Stormwater runoff from Pink Hill Rd runs south along the trail for 300 ft, turns east through a culvert under the trail and then empties directly into the river.  The 300 ft along the trail was becoming an eroded ditch due to high water volumes and flows.  The 300 ft of ditch has been converted to a  vegetated swale with shallow banks and native plants of appropriate root mass to retard erosion.

  • A small (0.3 acre) wet prairie/emergent wetland has been constructed between the trail and the river to assist with filtering pollutants from the stormwater runoff.   

  • There will be extended implementation in cooperation with the landowner to insure healthy establishment and function of the plantings.  This will include strategic mowing, removal of invasive species, and burning.  Long term maintenance will occur under the Jackson County Parks and Recreation natural areas management plan.


EPA Regional Administrator Visits Wildflower Storm!  

On May 10, 2005, EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford recognized the restoration work of the Little Blue River Watershed Coalition as part of EPA's 'American Wetlands Month' celebration.   Mr. Gulliford presented a plaque to the Coalition for Wildflower Storm, and then joined with about 30 students from the Center School District Environmental Club to work on the restoration efforts.

Wildflower Storm Project Partners: 

Project partners include Jackson County Parks and Recreation, Mid-America Regional Council, US Environmental Protection Agency, Adaptive Ecosystems, Inc, Missouri Department of Conservation, Kansas City Wildlands, Arrow Printing, and Shrout Honda.

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