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Region 7 EJ Showcase Community: Kansas City Metropolitan Area

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EJ Showcase Communities by Region


EPA Region 7 has identified 11 neighborhoods in the metropolitan area that have many risk factors including poor housing conditions and increased exposure to environmental hazards. EPA is conducting an assessment to identify specific sources of pollution and will work with neighborhood leaders to prioritize community concerns. Strategies to address these concerns will be developed through these partnerships.


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Map showing Kansas City

EPA Region 7 identified economically-distressed neighborhoods in the Kansas City metropolitan area for its Showcase Community. Risk factors in these neighborhoods include increased exposure to environmental hazards and poor housing conditions. Participating neighborhoods have identified the following environmental concerns:

Region 7 hosted a community dialogue focusing on project planning for the Showcase. Community participants encouraged EPA to emphasize environmental education and awareness, and youth engagement throughout the Showcase efforts. As a result of the meeting, three project areas are being addressed through the Showcase Community Project:

  1. Urban Water:
    • Water Monitoring/Fish Consumption - Kansas City urban lakes and streams which are common fishing locations are included in the Region 7 monitoring activities. Monitoring kits have been given to the Blue River Watershed Association for youth water monitoring activities. Fish consumption education will be provided to locals involved in subsistence fishing.
    • Intergenerational Video Project - Youth will interview local elders regarding the historical interaction with water and how it played an integral part in their life. This is in hopes to encourage youth to reconnect with local water bodies.

  2. Healthy Communities:
    • Healthy Homes Training - A train-the-trainer approach will be used in Healthy Homes training. The target audience for this training is neighborhood leaders and staff from local community service organizations who support and engage with individuals and households who may face healthy homes challenges and who may be impacted by the associated health concerns.
    • Community Emergency Preparedness Training - Neighborhood leaders and local community service staff will receive information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), and EPA with regards to metro-area emergency plans, household emergency preparedness, and chemical risks within the community.
    • Youth Environmental Awareness and Involvement - In partnership with the Greater Kansas City Boys and Girls Club Region 7 is helping to integrate environmental education into the curriculum presented to middle school and high school aged youth.

  3. Urban Agriculture - Re-use of Vacant and Abandoned Property Through:
    • Neighborhoods within the Showcase Community area have identified spaces that are proposed agriculture sites. Region 7 will provide soil sampling and technical assistance to interpret sampling results.
    • Region 7 and Showcase partners will provide technical assistance workshops to assist with site design, plant selection, and business planning. The soil sampling and technical assistance listed above are being provided through EJ Showcase resources and support from local partners.

For more information or to become involved, please contact Althea Moses (moses.althea@epa.gov) at 913-551-7649.

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