The Blue River is a wonderful
little steam located on the south side of the Kansas City metro area.
The headwaters for the river is in Johnson County, Kansas, south
of Olathe. The Blue starts out as two different streams, Coffee
Creek and Wolf Creek. These 2 combine, south of Stanley, to form the
Blue. From that point, the river heads north-east, combines with
another stream, called the Camp Branch and then flows into the state of
Missouri. It passes through Martin City and then heads north, skirting
the east side of Kansas City. Major tributaries in Kansas City
include Indian Creek and Brush Creek. The Blue continues
north and then flows into the Missouri river.
The purpose of this homepage is to provide a common community for the
different groups and individuals who are interested in the welfare of
Several organizations support activities that benefit the Blue
River Watershed Association - seeks to improve the quality of the
Blue River, its tributaries, and nearby streams through education and
the development of comunity partnerships. BRWA sponsors several
events and programs in the local area.
KC Wildlands restores and manages the remnants of Kansas City’s original landscapeworks. They promote native plants and remove agressive invasive species.
Friends of Lakeside Nature Center (FOLNC) Lakeside Nature
Center, located in Swope park, rehabilitates injured wildlife.
The FOLNC has adopted 7 miles of the Blue River from Indian Creek
(near Bannister) to 63rd Street, as part of the MO Stream Team Program.
They sponser the Blue River Rescue, an event held every April,
of people clean up tons of trash, plant trees, and monitor water
along the River. You can read about their progress in the spring 2002
issue of the MO Stream Team newsletter: April/May
2002 Channels (It's a very large file, in PDF format)
Heart of America Fly
Fishers (HOAFF). The Fly Fishers are one of the local
affiliates of the Federation of Flyfishers, an organization that
promotes conservation and education
through fly fishing. HOAFF has adopted 2 miles of the
Blue River, from Indian Creek to Red Bridge Road, as part of the
MO Stream Team Program. They sponsor river clean-ups
every spring. The HOAFF is affiliated with the Southern Council Federation
of Flyfishers , who have provided financial support for
environmental causes on the Blue.
Earth Riders Trails Association. This group develops and maintains trails for mountain
biking and hiking in the parkland along the river, in Swope Park and along the Blue River Parkway in south Kansas City south of Red BridgeThey are also working on conector trails between Swope and BRP. Their web site contains maps
and other general information about the trails. A special shout out to Rob Stitt and Zac Loehr for their efforts.
Healthy Rivers Partnership is a general watershed conservation group that gets involved in many of the local waterways.
County Parks and Recreation . The parks deparment purchased
most of the land along the Blue River, from Swope Park to the Kansas
state line, in the 1950s and 1960s. Most of this land is maintained as an
undeveloped park. They have their own programs to support the
Blue. They also freely support many
of the volunteer organizations listed on this page.
Steams in Kansas are looked after by members of the Kansas StreamLink . This is a
conservation project developed by the
Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance . Several StreamLink groups are
involved in the headwaters of the Blue:
Science Center is an educational facility created with the primary
goal of providing authentic learning opportunities for the students of
Blue Valley Schools.
Missouri Department of Conservation is very involved in the care
and feeding of the Blue River:
The city of
Overland Park has become very proactive in moderating the negative
consequences of land development within it's borders.
Park - Indian Creek Trail
Park - Arboretum
Waterways Club OWWC has adopted several miles of the Blue
River,from the KS/MO border to Red Bridge Road, as part of the MO
Stream Team Program.
The park land along Blue River and it's tributaries is undeveloped.
There are plants that sting, critters that bite, and places where
you can fall off
The parks are next to populated areas, and not everyone has your best
interest at heart.
River levels can raise rapidly after a storm.
Both Kansas City MO and Johnson County KS maintain buried sanitary sewers along the river. They do occasionally leak and sometimes a sewer gets plugged, and sewage
overflows out of the nearest manhole upstream of the plug.
The further downsteam the more likely their is a problem.
The sewers do overflow during large storms when infiltration caused by the storm runoff exceeds the capacity of the sewer. It is best to stay out of the water for a few days after a big storm.
If you see a problem with one of the sewers, call the local sewer
department. In Kansas City, MO contact the Action cenetr ny calling 311 or 816.513.1313 or go to the Action Center website for more options. In Johnson County, call JOCO Wasterwater at 913.715.8600 or go to their website.
Use the following Googlemaps links to view aerial photographs for different
locations along the Bue River, or it's tributaries:
Confluence of Wolf Creek and Coffee Creek, near the OP Arboretum, where the Blue starts
End of the Blue, where it flows into the Missouri River, near I-435 and Front Street.
The United States Geological Survey maintains stream gages at several
locations along the Blue River and its tributaries.
Road in Kansas City
Ridge Blvd Extension north of Martin City
Creek at 103rd, west of Metcalf Blvd, in Overland Park
Creek at Rockhurst, east of
Feel free to send comments or website updates to Bill Brant at