To prevent pollution of Blue River, boxes placed on Old Red Bridge for couples to place key after locking in their love

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Every Valentine's Day, hundreds of couples lock up their love on the Old Red Bridge in south Kansas City, but there are growing concerns the tradition could be polluting the Blue River.

Recently, city workers installed two boxes along the bridge for couples can donate the keys instead of tossing them into the water. The keys will eventually be melted into a monarch butterfly sculpture.

The organization Monarchs on the Move and Heartland Conservation Alliance both worked with Kansas City Parks and Recreation to come up with a solution. They say the Blue River crosses through all of Kansas City before flowing into the Missouri River. They worry the pollution from the 2,000 to 5,000 keys already in the Blue River could cause a problem for the fish and aquatic life.

"We have a lot of Kansas Citians not taking care of the Blue River," Monarchs on the Move founder April Heim said. "So we want to work together to address those issues and help people understand that we don't want to throw anything into the Blue River."

The tradition started in 2013 when couples started attaching locks to the old red bridge. The plan is to work on the sculpture over time as continue to collect keys.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.