The Kansas City Area Grotto is the Kansas City chapter of the National Speleological Society (NSS), a nationwide organization of “cavers” – people interested in finding, exploring, documenting, managing and preserving wild caves. (“Spelunker” is today considered to be a derogatory term, applied to ill-equipped or untrained wild cave explorers – leading to the saying, “cavers rescue spelunkers.”)

While a little of our cave exploring is purely recreational in nature, KCAG members are heavily involved with many caving projects, most of them in Missouri, although some of us also work in other parts of the United States and even overseas. Project caving includes discovering new caves and exploring them, surveying caves, monitoring caves on behalf of government agencies, managing caves on behalf of private individuals, conducting scientific research in caves, cave clean-up and restoration, publishing articles on caving, gating caves when necessary, and all kinds of educational outreach.

Besides being an NSS affiliate, KCAG or its members are heavily involved with the Missouri Speleological Survey, the Missouri Cave and Karst Conservancy, the Cave Research Foundation, and the Carroll Cave Conservancy. KCAG cooperates with other NSS grottos in the state of Missouri, Bat Conservation International, and the American Cave Conservation Association, as well as with non-caving conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance and The Nature Conservancy.

KCAG conducts projects on behalf of or cooperate with many governmental agencies, including the Mark Twain National Forest (U.S. Forest Service), the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (state parks), and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

KCAG routinely participates in the instructional programs of Western Missouri and St. Louis Universities. We have provided guides and otherwise cooperated with researchers from Yale University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Maryland, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

In 2019 KCAG celebrated 50 years of Mud In Our Blood!  We were established in 1969 and have been continuously active since then.

Come join us. We have plenty to do!

Grotto Officers

  • President: Bill Gee
  • Vice President: Dustin Schmidt
  • Treasurer: Jim Cooley
  • Secretary: Matthew Hernandez
  • Novice trips – Kristen Vogel
  • President Emeritus: Pic Walenta

Kansas City Area Grotto is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible. You can make donations through Paypal.


A non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the discovery, exploration, and conservation of caves and karst in the midwestern United States.