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Karin Jacoby will present an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) lecture, titled “Regreening the Blue: A 100-year Tale of an Urban Waterway in the Kansas City Region” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, via Zoom. The password is ASCE.
She will discuss how the Blue River — a 39.8-mile-long stream near the border of Kansas and Missouri — scarcely resembles what it did 100 years ago. In an effort to re-engineer the stream and preserve some of its natural aspects, the Blue River has gone “green.” Volunteers have worked to create trails, restore native natural areas and revitalize urban neighborhoods and brownfields in the middle Blue River corridor.
Jacoby, a 1985 S&T civil engineering graduate and a member of S&T’s Academy of Civil Engineers, is a water resources engineer and environmental lawyer, and a partner with Husch Blackwell in Kansas City. She has spent most of her 35-year career working in the areas of water resources, waterways, flooding and levees. She has been involved in planning, designing, delivery and oversight of water resource projects alongside the Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She became a lawyer to overcome policy and legal challenges her community faced and has served in leadership roles involving many water resources topics.
Jacoby received the Commander’s Award for Public Service from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Kansas City Industrial Council’s Progress Award for Improving Waterways, and in 2005 the Kansas City Star named her “One of Five People to Watch.”
Jill Erickson, co-founder and current executive director of the Heartland Conservation Alliance, will join Jacoby in the presentation. Erickson has co-led the Middle Blue River Urban Waters Federal Partnership since 2013 and has served as the ambassador since 2016.