Celebrate Earth Day with these green options in OP

Stream Clean + Community Cleanups

Help restore the natural beauty of Overland Park streams by removing trash and debris from the City’s streams and creeks.

Sign up to donate two or more hours during the month of April. City staff will provide supplies and a location in need of cleanup.

Or, organize a community cleanup event through the Earth Day collective. There are options for individual and community cleanup events, and plogging events.

Plant a tree

Thinking about planting a tree near your home? Take a look at the City forester’s approved street tree list before you pick out a tree.

A diversity of tree species in the urban forest reduces the risk of widespread tree disease and makes our tree canopy more resilient to climate change. Many of the trees on the approved street tree list are regional varieties that will not only diversify Overland Park’s tree canopy, but are better suited to grow in our climate than other, non-native trees. Native trees are noted on the list.

Plant a native plant

Did you know Overland Park will split the cost of some of your landscaping projects?

Overland Park’s stormwater cost share program encourages residents and business owners to incorporate stormwater management strategies on their properties. These tactics reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality.

Overland Park budgets funds for a cost share program to offset the costs of stormwater management projects that capture, slow down, or soak up stormwater close to its source. At home, these projects can be as simple as installing rain barrels or planting pollinator gardens and native trees.

Applications for this program are currently open. Visit the stormwater cost share webpage to see the types of projects that qualify.

Green yardwork

While you’re tackling the landscaping, consider taking steps to get your yardwork to-do list done more sustainably.

Over-fertilizing your lawn and dumping yard waste contributes to harmful algal blooms. This causes unsightly algae in local park lakes and kills fish in our streams.

Consider composting or using a composted fertilizer. This fertilizes your lawn more effectively by adding organic matter, and reduces yard waste.

When it’s time to replace your equipment, consider buying electric mowers, weed whackers and other appliances. Switching to a battery or plug-in option allows you to use more cleanly-generated, renewable power.
Take a look at more tips on our website for sustainable yardwork.

Home improvement projects

Spring is the season for do-ers, right?

If you’re taking on a home improvement project this season, there are probably simple steps you can add to make the project more sustainable.

Consider energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, low-flow plumbing options that save water, insulation and air sealing and other options to save not only energy, but utility expenses later on.

Once your project is complete, consider taking reusable building materials to Habitat for Humanity ReStore to be resold or repurposed. There are two locations near Overland Park, and they’ll even come pick up some items.

Don’t forget, if you hire home improvement projects out, make sure your contractor is licensed with Johnson County.

Ride your bike

Need to get somewhere this week? Consider riding your bicycle, instead of driving.

Overland Park has dozens of miles of bike/hike trails and more than 120 miles of bike lanes. The City’s bicycle master plan guides the next iterations of bike lanes in the community.

If you don’t have a bike, no sweat. Ride KC has a bikeshare program with locations throughout Johnson County. You can borrow a traditional bicycle or an e-bike.

Get involved

Want to know more about the City’s sustainability efforts? Most environmentally-focused City business goes through the Environmental Advisory Council before moving on to the City Council. Watch a virtual Environmental Advisory Council meeting. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.

For another look at sustainable initiatives in the metropolitan area, read up on the Kansas City metropolitan area’s new Climate Action KC plan.