Mission Statement:

Our mission is:

• To reawaken the sense of wonder through nature-based experiences.

• To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our programs and trainings.

• To foster and encourage feelings of well being toward nature, fellow human beings and food.

• To enhance a sense of self, sense of community, sense of Earth, and to inspire a positive sense of future.

• To make a difference in the lives of children, parents, therapists and doctors.

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What We Do:

We facilitate experience-based connections to nature for people of all ages from around the world bringing self-empowerment, better outcomes for physical and mental health, awareness of inner humanity and a healthy thriving community and earth.

This is done through mindfulness, awareness, presence, earth-based living skills, indigenous and cultural science and play. Blue River Forest Experience offers various types of nature connection experiences and trainings. This includes Forest Therapy Walks, Nature Camps for kids and adults, training experiences and retreats for therapists, teachers and doctors, plant-based food classes/dinners, horticulture therapy gardening, animal therapy, mentoring, Earth Art camps, earth-based living skill classes such as edible native plant identification and foraging, luminary walks, yoga and various community potluck and campfire gatherings.

Where We Are:

The Blue River Valley

The Blue River Forest Experience is located on the edge of the valley by the headwaters of the Big Blue River where Coffee creek and Wolf creek come together. The area is rich in history and was the main campgrounds of the Black Bob Chief, a Native American Shawnee Chief of the “Skipakakamithagi,” the “blue water people” because they lived along the Big Blue River. The area is considered sacred as the original people believed that where two rivers converge it was a good place to send prayers and good intentions down the river for the healing of the world. The Blue River comprises the largest watershed in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. It goes through the Kansas City Zoo and turns into a large concrete ditch to serve the industrial growth of the city before it flows into the Missouri River. Before industrialization it was a favorite recreation area for families in the Kansas City area. Our Blue River Forest School will be in a film created by the Heartland Conservation Alliance as an example of ways to save the natural wild places surrounding the Blue River. Through education and renewed sense of love for the river, children will more likely become involved with conservation and work to preserve the biodiversity and clean water that remains at the headwaters of the river. Our intention is to help save the Blue River and bring awareness to the importance of rejuvenating rivers that run through urban areas. Through collaboration with the Heartland Conservation Alliance we are connecting with land owners to preserve the southern portion of the river in a natural healthy wild state. Our intention is to preserve the diverse life the river supports through educational experiences we facilitate to bring awareness and deeper connection to the land. We want to do our part here locally to insure that the water is clean to drink and play in for future generations. We understand that without water, we cannot survive.. In the Lakota language this is known as Mni Wiconi - “Water is Life.”

Map of the water Way. Where does the water go? Coffee creek > Blue River > Missouri River > Mississippi River > Gulf of Mexico

“My Kids just love being out in Nature. Since we live in such a busy environment here in KC, this is the perfect place to reconnect to nature as an adult, and teach kids how to respect and connect to nature themselves. I love love love this program.”
— Kezia Shine