Green Impact Zone® Past Events
The Green Impact Zone coordinated and participated in a number of community events over the past four years. Some highlights include:
Convoy of Hope
Thousands of area residents attended the fourth annual Convoy of Hope event on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at Swope Park. Hundreds of volunteers handed out free clothing and food, conducted health screenings, gave haircuts and provided information about job opportunities. For the fourth year, the Green Impact Zone hosted two large tents at the event — one for information about community resources, including child care, housing and mental health; and a job fair tent where volunteers helped residents create resumes and submit online applications for employment.
Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1994 that gathers volunteers to respond to disasters and deliver food and supplies to the those in need in the U.S. and abroad.
Urban Homes Tour
Potential homebuyers boarded a bus for the fourth annual "Discover your Community Homebuyer Tour" presented by the Green Impact Zone on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. Participants got a firsthand look at new and rehabbed affordable homes for sale and learned about the cultural, retail and educational assets available in the zone. The tour began at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center at 4750 Troost, where attendees heard the first of several presentations. Along the tour route, potential homebuyers were able to get an up close and personal look inside renovated homes in the Blue Hills, Town Fork Creek, Ivanhoe and Historic Manheim Park neighborhoods, in addition to the new housing development under construction at the former Bancroft School at 43rd and Tracy and planned developments at the former Horace Mann and Francis Willard school sites. Representatives from community organizations, real estate agents, business owners and neighborhood groups boarded the bus to tout the benefits of living in the central city.
The bus trip included the Meyer Boulevard educational corridor, where Brookside Charter Day School, University Academy, Bishop Hogan High School and the new Kauffman School are located. For the retail portion of the tour, the bus traveled to 39th and Prospect where a new Aldi grocery store is under construction, and the East Plaza/Cleaver Boulevard Shops at 47th and Troost. Participants also saw the new business incubator and training center at 5008 Prospect. Â Following the tour, participants heard from local lenders on programs available for potential homebuyers and received prizes for attending. The tour was sponsored by Arvest Bank and Capitol Federal Savings Bank.
Citizens Police Academy
The second Citizens Police Academy held at the Green Impact Zone office, with 26 participants, wrapped up on Oct. 19. The academy, held on seven consecutive Saturdays, combined hands-on experience with field trips to offer participants valuable insight into the operations of the KCPD and build relationships between officers and residents. Participants received a behind-the-scenes look at accident investigations, the bomb squad, criminal investigations, firearms training, homicide investigations, hostage negotiations, the K-9 unit, narcotics investigations, tactical response teams and vice operations.
Essential Employability Skills Workshops
The Green Impact Zone hosted eight Essential Employability Skills (EES) workshops over the last two years. The free, week-long training for unemployed and underemployed residents provides a refresher on both basic skills and life skills for job seekers, such as a strong resume, a professional appearance, interviewing skills and a good work ethic.
National Night Out Against Crime
The Green Impact Zone helped organize information booths for 28 community agencies at the National Night out Against Crime event at Swope Park on Aug. 7, 2012. Participating organizations included Legal Aid, the AdHoc Group against Crime, YMCA, Aim 4 Peace, KCP&L, Bridging the Gap, KCMO Neighborhood and Community Services and the Southeast Mid-Continent Library. Kansas City’s Animal Control office and Spay and Neuter Kansas City offered $10 pet registration and free dog vaccinations, and gave away scoopers and disposal bags. Approximately 900 people attended the event.
Meet Me at the Bridge
On May 5, 2012, Kansas City celebrated the completion of the Troost Avenue Bridge with a ribbon cutting street festival. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, Mayor Sly James and several members of the city council joined other dignitaries for the ceremonial ribbon cutting, followed by a free concert with some of the city’s best-known jazz musicians. Troost Avenue has long been known as a racial and economic dividing line. The new bridge, located in the Green Impact Zone, symbolizes how communities can come together to transform disinvested neighborhoods into sustainable places. The city of Kansas City funded improvements to the bridge — including a new pedestrian walkway to be completed in 2013 — with federal funds awarded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
Opportunity Road Transportation Fair
On July 16, 2011, the Green Impact Zone hosted a Transportation Fair to help residents explore travel options for accessing jobs in other parts of the metropolitan area. Representatives from MARC’s RideShare program, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and The JO (Johnson County Transit) shared information with 59 residents, many of whom also participated in a bus tour. The JO recently added a connection to KCATA’s Troost MAX bus service that gives zone residents easier access to jobs in Johnson County. The JO’s 575 route (standard service in morning and evening rush hour) and 875 route (flex service during the midday hours) run from 47th and Troost along the Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf corridor — one of the six corridors in the metro slated for transit improvements through the TIGER grant — to the KU Edwards campus at 126th and Quivira. Through the bus tour, residents were able to learn where to catch the bus or make a transfer and experience the ride along part of this route.
NEXUS Summer Youth Programs
The Green Impact Zone held three NEXUS summer youth programs. In 2011, 20 teens participated in the eight-week program, which included exposure to career opportunities, entrepreneurship and environmental protection. In addition to classroom time, the group went on field trips to the Brown Museum in Topeka, KCP&L’s Sibley power plant and Science City at Union Station. The teens received career planning advice from several young professionals at KCP&L, and attended the Metropolitan Community College's police academy. They also worked with four CORO students from Park University on fun and creative energy conservation activities, which included drawing up plans for energy-efficient homes using geothermal, solar, hydroelectric and wind power, and building and racing balloon cars.
In 2010, 16 young people ages 13–18 participated in an intensive, seven-week enrichment program designed to encourage entrepreneurship in the fields of energy and the environment. The young people met at the Pioneer campus of the Metropolitan Community Colleges. MCC donated classroom space and access to a technology lab. In addition to classroom training and presentations, the program included several”exposure” field trips, including visits to local urban farms, power plants, water-treatment facilities, money museums, and an environmental justice program. Several of the older teens also participated in the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Conference in St. Louis, while younger teens visited the Wildwood Outdoor Education Center near La Cygne, Kan. The students put their new knowledge into action by developing business plans for entrepreneurial endeavors. They also earned community service hours toward high school graduation.
- On Dec. 4, 2010, the Green Impact Zone hosted a community-wide event at Paseo High School. With a theme of “It’s a party and it’s all about U-S — You & Sustainability,” the event celebrated the successes of the initiative’s first year and offered residents information about a variety of programs and projects currently underway in the zone. At total of 391 residents and volunteers participated. Attendees visited booths, enjoyed entertainment, and participated in a “Facts About the Zone” game show.
- On Saturday, March 27, the Green Impact Zone hosted its second community-wide event at Paseo High School. More than 550 people attended the event, which focused on “Healthy Homes, Healthy Bodies, and Healthy Communities.” The day began with a pre-event workshop by Atlanta urban gardening expert Rashid Nuri, attended by 60 people. Guests then gathered in the school auditorium, where Kansas City, Mo., Councilmembers Melba Curls, Terry Riley, Cindy Circo and Sharon Sanders-Brooks joined representatives from Paseo High School and KCP&L for a ceremonial ribbon cutting on auditorium lighting improvements facilitated by the Green Impact zone and funded by KCP&L. During the main presentation, zone staff interviewed Nuri and several local experts in a talk-show style format to offer practical tips for residents on ways to make their homes, bodies and communities healthier. U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II also joined the discussion. Guests then visited the expo, which included tasting stations with samples of nutritious foods, 50 informational booths from local agencies, and a “fun zone” for kids. Fifty-eight volunteers helped make the day a success.
- The first of three large-scale community events was held on Dec. 5, 2009, at Paseo High School. More than 500 people attended the event, with 54 booths for area service providers to give participants information about jobs, job training, home ownership, weatherization, energy efficiency, social services, health and nutrition, neighborhood organizations and youth programs. Seventy six volunteers from the community provided support for the event, which also offered several workshops and entertainment.