The Downtown Community Improvement District (DCID) Ambassadors have been making Downtown a safer and cleaner place to live, work and visit. When the River Market established its own CID in 2004, the Ambassadors were picking up trash, removing graffiti, patrolling bus stops and parking lots (among many other services) across the 200 blocks in both districts. Then, in 2006, the CIDs expanded their services by establishing a Green Team that maintains landscape beds and mows grass throughout both districts.

In the four years since I have been with the CIDs, I have learned to respect the hard work the Maintenance, Safety and Green Ambassadors do seven days a week through all kinds of weather.  It makes me proud when a downtown resident or employee stops me on the street just to tell me what a great job the Ambassadors do for the city. Often referred to as the “yellow-jackets” or “bumblebees” , I can assure you that they truly are extraordinary people.

Last year brought another change to the CIDs with the implementation of our Public Improvements Program. In cooperation with the City, Ambassadors in the River Market and Downtown repaired over 100 feet of subsided sidewalk pavers, replaced or installed 48 trees in sidewalk tree wells, repaired 52 damaged tree wells and installed 600 feet of landscaping.

The CIDs also installed 20 new planters, 10 new benches and 18 trash receptacles which the Ambassadors maintain on a regular basis. The Ambassadors also are responsible for installing the new District flags and U.S. flag that now fly over the island on Main St. between 7th and 8th Streets.

The Safety Ambassadors in charge of raising and lowering the flag each day, in addition to all their other duties, should be commended for their dedication and respect to this honorable service to the community.

In addition, the Public Improvement Program has been my favorite accomplishment of the CIDs so far. The Ambassadors are literally changing the landscape of Downtown Kansas City and the River Market by making these areas more walkable.

It is my hope that these projects give the Ambassadors a sense of ownership in the tremendous changes happening all over Kansas City. Most importantly, the program is providing a challenging opportunity for the Ambassadors to learn new skills and develop confidence that they can do just about anything.

The Downtown and River Market Community Improvement Districts are definitely among the top CIDs in the nation. Admittedly, I am biased, but I know it is all due to the incredible Ambassadors and the amazing work they do each and every day.

I’m sure I don’t thank them enough and I know the Ambassadors would love to hear it from you even more. So the next time you’re walking down the street and see one of the 50 plus “yellow jacket” or “bumblebee” Ambassadors hard at work in the Districts, be sure to let them how much you appreciate all that they do for Kansas City!

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