Just trashed: People hard on Kansas City parks and trails during pandemic

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Loose Park gate in Kansas City, Missouri

A gated entrance to Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Parks and trails across the metro have seen a huge increase in visitors during the pandemic. They are places people could go to get out of the house and still social distance.

As parks became more popular, Kansas City’s Parks department said people left behind large amounts of litter when they visited.

The KC Parks Ambassadors program helped volunteer groups and spent a collective 4,400 hours picking up trash and cleaning Kansas City, Missouri’s parks and boulevards. KC Parks confirmed the volunteers saved the department more than $120,000 that it hadn’t budgeted for trash pickup in the past year.

Kansas City Parks hopes to see that dedication continue. It’s responsible for more than 220 parks across the city.

This Earth Day, KC Parks kicked off its Partners in Parks program. The program pairs businesses or neighborhood organizations up to adopt a park or boulevard. Each group is responsible for cleaning up the area and monitoring what’s happening in a certain park or boulevard. Additional information about how to get involved can be found on KC Parks website.

You can also help without making a commitment. KC Parks is asking for volunteers to do a little Spring Cleaning through Saturday. Pick up a litter kit at any any community center. Each kit includes gloves, trash bags and other items you’ll need. Then head to a park to help clean it up. Information on the Earth Day Spring Cleaning event is also available online.

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