Archive | May, 2013

Celebrate National Trails Day, Saturday June 1!

National Trails Day art, by Mid-America Regional CouncilCommunities around the Greater Kansas City region will celebrate National Trails Day 2013 on Saturday, June 1, bringing together outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds to celebrate the U. S. trail system.

Traditionally held each year on the first Saturday in June, National Trails Day was established to recognize the value of recreational trails and the people involved in building and maintaining them.

Local cities and municipalities mark National Trails Day by holding public events such as walking and biking activities, trail openings, family entertainment and educational seminars.

To view regional event details, visit the MetroGreen NTD page.

Have photos from your community’s event? Add them to our Flickr MetroGreen pool!

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Ozone Season is Here!

air-qualty-graphNow that we’re well into the 2013 ozone season, you might be wondering how you can be notified if there is an Ozone Alert. Wonder no more — there are many ways to get this information.

      1. Email — You can personalize how you receive forecasts in your inbox with EnviroFlash. Select the “orange” level or higher if you only want to hear about Ozone Alert days, or select a lower level if you’d like to receive forecasts for green or yellow days too.
      2. Text Message — If you’d rather receive notifications via SMS (text message), you can also subscribe using EnviroFlash. Instructions for each cell phone provider are linked next to the Email Address field when you’re filling out your subscriber information. (Normal text message rates apply.)
      3. Social Media — We’re all over social media! Get daily SkyCasts through our Twitter account (@airqkc), Ozone Alerts and other good info on our Facebook page, or check out some of the videos we’ve posted on our YouTube channel.
      4. Traditional Media  We make sure all of the local television and radio stations and newspapers know when high ground-level ozone concentrations are expected so they can pass along the word to you. If your favorite source isn’t letting you know, tell us and we’ll make sure they know how important that information is to their viewers/listeners/readers/you!
      5. Kansas City Scout Message Boards — The lighted message signs along the drive home that alert drivers to accidents, construction and expected travel times also display Ozone Alerts as soon as one is forecast for the next day. The message is also displayed throughout the day of the Ozone Alert.
      6. Public Transportation — The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and Johnson County Transit offer reduced fares on Ozone Alert days, but the buses also flash OZONE ALERT DAY messages on their on-board signs. Even if you’re not riding the bus, you can see the message as the bus passes by.

You might also find Ozone Alert information on message boards at your local health department or widgets on your local government’s website. We are always looking for new ways to reach out and let everyone know about air quality in the Kansas City region. Have a good idea for another place for us to spread the word? Let us know at

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Little Green Steps to waste less!

lgskcpt_FTR-320x180This is one of a series of posts for readers interested in the MARC Solid Waste Management District’s grant program.

In 2011, Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) received grant funding to develop the “Little Green Steps” campaign. The key message of the campaign is to demonstrate how just a few simple actions can help keep waste out of landfills.

The campaign consists of five 30-second vignettes using children to demonstrate how to take positive action through simple, daily choices: Play it Again, Bring Your Own, Get in the Loop, Pack Smart and Sort it Out. In addition to the video campaign, KCPT also developed a companion website where kids can create and submit their own waste reduction videos, learn more about waste reduction, and play waste reduction games.

The project earned KCPT a Mid-America EMMY in 2012 for Public Service Announcements. Visit Little Green Steps to watch the videos, play games and learn easy ways to reduce waste.


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Spring water quality campaign: “If it’s on the ground — it’s in our water”

WQedPrintAd-blogThis month we concluded our spring water quality public education campaign — an effort to increase awareness about proper storm drain use, healthy lawn care and other water quality issues within the region.

Our message, “If it’s on the ground — it’s in our water,” was featured in regional newspapers, on news websites and social media, network TV and two outdoor billboard advertisements targeting the general public in the Kansas City region, with an emphasis on communities that participate in MARC’s regional water quality program.

The commercial that was featured on network TV is also available online. It explains water quality issues and provides tips that everyone can use to help keep our water clean. With nearly 200 ad placements across four types of media, the campaign reached more than 2 million residents across the metro from April 8 to May 5.

Did you see our message in print, online, on TV or on a billboard? What did you think? Take our survey.

WQedBillboardBlogTo stay up to date on MARC news and events, subscribe to this blog, follow @MARCKCMetro on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook. And watch for our next water quality campaign this fall!

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Join us at MARC’s regional assembly

pblock-web-blog“All we have to do to create the future is to change the nature of our conversations, to go from blame to ownership, and from bargaining to commitment, and from problem solving to possibility,” says Peter Block, internationally known author and expert on what it takes to build community.

We invite you to join us for MARC’s 17th Annual Regional Assembly and Regional Leadership awards on Friday, June 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Crown Center. Peter Block will deliver the keynote address during the regional assembly.

We will also recognize four Regional Leadership Award honorees:

  • Todd Ackerson, Rescue Division Chief, Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department. Todd will be honored for his leadership in preparing, equipping and training specialty response teams that stand ready to respond to emergencies across the region and beyond.
  • Mike Burke and Ray Daniels, co-chairs of the Mayors’ Bistate Innovations Team and KC Digital Drive Advisory Council. Mike and Ray have led the way in helping our region determine how to best take advantage unique opportunity brought to Kansas City with Google’s first high-speed fiber network.
  • CASA of Jackson County and CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. These two organizations will be recognized for their innovative collaboration that crosses state lines to improve service to abused and neglected children in the region.
  • Eric Rogers, executive director of BikeWalkKC. Eric will be honored for his leadership in making the Kansas City region more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

To register, visit or call 816/701-8234. The cost is $45 for individual registrations and $425 for a table of 10, including lunch and parking validation.

We hope to see you at the event. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 816/474-4240 or

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Read, reuse and recycle with the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City

Spines removed from books.

Spines removed from books.

This is one of a series of posts for readers interested in the MARC Solid Waste Management District’s grant program.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City (RIKC) received a grant from the MARC Solid Waste Management District to provide recycling services for discarded books. Although they are made mostly of paper, books can be difficult to recycle because of the adhesives used in their bindings. With District grant funds, RIKC was able to purchase a high speed book debinder. The debinder removes the glued spine from both hard and soft cover books, allowing workers to remove the recyclable pages, which are baled and sold to paper brokers.

RIKC collects unwanted books from school districts, colleges, universities and libraries. Since the start of the program, the institute has diverted more than 300 tons of books from landfill disposal. Not all collected books are recycled, however. Popular titles, rare and antique books are separated and resold online or at the RIKC Bookstore. Another benefit to the program is that participants in the sheltered workshop program develop skills in sorting various types of books and learn to use the book debinding and paper baling equipment. To learn more about the book project, please visit RIKC’s website or stop by in person at 3010 Main St. to browse the books offered for resale.

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