Discovery Center Gardens

Location: 4750 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110

Cost: Free!

Web site:

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, we headed to the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, only to discover that it was closed that Saturday.  Even though we weren’t able to explore the center, we were delighted with the Discovery Center Gardens right next to it–and the gardens are open daily, sunrise to sunset.

Even though the gardens are in a busy urban area near the Country Club Plaza, it’s really quiet.  We could hear the nature around us even as we were surrounded by the city:  we could hear birds chirping, water tumbling down a waterfall, wind through grass and trees, but not really the cars rushing down Emanuel Cleaver II or Troost nearby.  There are wide-open paved walkways that are easy to navigate, some mulched paths and even a pebbled path or two.  There are flowers to smell and branches to touch, as long as you’re gentle.  Near the parking lot is a picnic area where you can eat as a family, and there are benches here and there along the paths.

There are educational signs throughout the gardens; unfortunately, nothing is brailled.  There are different natural areas that each had their own type of wildlife and native Missouri fauna.  As you walk through the gardens, you’re educated on conservation (as long as there’s someone there to read the signs for you). Peanut’s cane made fun sounds as it ran along different surfaces, and he was able to practice scanning and tracking while watching different wildlife.  It was a really nice area to walk around as a family, and appeared largely undiscovered because there were very few people there.  It also connects to a green space by the Kauffman Center and the Stowers Institute as well as paths that go along Brush Creek.  We were able to explore the Discovery Center Gardens, but then also see geese fly overhead and enormous fish in the pond in the greenspace.

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