Missouri Master Naturalists- Kansas City

Osage Trails Trails Chapter (KC Metro Region)

Chapter News

  • Capstone Project: The History Writers of the Forest presentation at the Urban Woods event
    Families enjoy tree ring activities at Urban woods

    By Darla Burns

    The annual Urban Woods event, which celebrates trees as one of our most valuable natural resources, was held on Saturday, February 24 at the Anita B Gorman Center. Lisa Gann and Darla Burns contributed to the event by sharing their capstone project on Dendrochronology, which is the study of tree rings, also known as the “History Writers of the Forest”. By studying tree rings, we can learn about past weather trends, date archaeological sites, and find clues about what happened in a particular area such as forest fires, drought, and so on. It’s a great way to show that we can learn a lot from nature and our surroundings if we know what to look for. The activity involved investigating tree rings and creating individual tree cookies based on the age of the participant.

    Learning to determine the age of the trees.
  • Chapter Stream Team Conducts Winter Water Monitoring

    Story by Jim Hinds
    Photos by
    Arienne Barnes and Everett Koehn


    On February 10, five Osage Trails chapter members and one guest conducted chemical and visual monitoring at our two stream sites.

    Geoff Wise, Monica Schroer, Jim Hinds, and Dustin Schroer set up to do chemical testing at Brush Creek

    Besides stream veterans Arienne Barnes, Jim Hinds, and Everett Koehn, we were joined by 2023 interns Monica Schroer and Dustin Schroer (no relation!) We also had the assistance of Geoff Wise, a Stream Team volunteer that wanted more practice. 

    Brush Creek, upstream of the plaza

    Our tests on our Brush Creek, upstream of the Plaza showed plenty of dissolved oxygen, and low nitrates, but the stream bed was coated with silt, although the water itself was clear.

    Indian Creek, upstream of 103rd Street

    At Indian Creek, upstream from 103rd Street, the site is beautiful and the water crystal clear. However, the east bank of the creek had been cleared of vegetation last year. Also, nitrate levels here were high.

    Everett Koehn supervises while Jim Hinds takes water temperature and Dustin Schroer checks water clarity.
  • Three new Master Naturalists complete Capstone project

    Three members of the 2023 class have completed their Capstone project! Cheryl Bolton, Ann Greene and Janet Blauvelt removed invasive bush honeysuckle from the old growth area at Hidden Valley Park, working with Linda Lehrbaum of KC Wildlands right before her retirement and resignation on December 31. (KC Wildlands is our partner under Bridging the Gap.)

    Greene said of the project, “I have learned so much from this experience!  I had never removed invasives before this project, and I admit, I am now hooked!”

    Bolton added, “While we may not have addressed all the invasives in the designated area, we are now attached to this park.  Our goal is to host a workday for other volunteers next fall to get even farther!” The group learned that spring invasive removal was discouraged because of potential damage to Spring Ephemerals, so further work on the area will have to be postponed.

    The area addressed by the group began at the second intersection of two trails and included all the area between the two.

    Expressing her agreement with the benefits of the project, both individually and for the park, Blauvelt stated that the hours they all spent were inspirational. “I never knew this Park even existed.  You can be sure I will be back many times, both to visit and to work!‚” she gushed.

    It was agreed by all that the experience was a great introduction to the joy of volunteering in the outdoors.

    Story by Janet Blauvelt

  • Winter Seed Cleaning Was Completed in December at Dunn Ranch Prairie

    By Barb VanVleck Prairie heroes at work! In mid-December, Gail Goeke, Mel Haney, and Janie Borchart had a very dusty yet satisfying day sorting and cleaning the seeds from pods and removing stems to process the valuable seeds we collected at Dunn Ranch this summer.  One mishap turned out alright.  Janie’s cellphone slipped unnoticed into a deep bucket of fluffy liatris. When she dumped it into the hammermill, she noticed an odd sound.  The cell phone was pulverized into thousands of pieces.  She remained in good spirits as she was going to get a phone replacement the next week anyway, and everything had recently been automatically backed up to “the cloud”.  A catastrophe turned out fine.

  • 38 Trainees become Osage Trails Interns

    By Jim Hinds

    A graduation ceremony was held for the 38 members of the class of 2023 on
    November 7.
    After the students shared their “Ah-ha” moments from the training or what
    they plan to do now that they have graduated, a potluck dinner for the new
    students and their families was held.
    The new Master Naturalist Interns are:
    Ann Greene, Brooke Fisher, Carla Dobbins, Cheryl Bolton, Chloe Thomas,
    Chris Brown, Connie Campbell, Dan Conge, Darla Burns, David Gardener,
    Debbie Coble, Destiny Costley, Dustin Schroer, Elena Payne, Janae Hlavacek,
    Janet Blauvelt, John Whiteman, Julie Koppen, Karen Highfill, Kelly Hall,
    Kim Lee, Kristy Solocinski, Kristin List, Laura Heinz, Linda Morgan, Lisa Gann,
    Lucy Fletcher, Mark Townsend, Melanie Meyers, Moira Waldron, Molly Dillon,
    Monica Schroer, Natalie Ison, Sally Urdang, Scott Hatcher, Sherry Pilsl,
    Susan Walsh,
    and Zach Adams.

    Please join me in welcoming these great naturalists into the Osage Trails chapter!
    Photo by Ed Beijen