Friday, November 02, 2007

Kansas Flint Hills Monument Dedication

The four Kansas Flint Hills Monuments on I-70 (Junc City and West of Topeka) and I-35 (S. of Emporia and Cassoday) were dedicated this morning at a ceremony at the Konza Prairie Overlook Park on K 177 north of I-70 (where there was safe parking for all participants!).

[Sept 21 photo of monument southbound I-35, marker 119]

The Mill Creek Middle School singers opened the program:

Kansas Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller opened the program by discussing the partnerships behind the Kansas Flint Hills Monuments project and a little history. Carried out by Scott Shields and his team at the DOT, input was critical from the Kansas Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Division and the Kansas Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc., a 22-county coalition stretching from the Nebraska border in the north to the Oklahoma border in the south. A mock-up of the monuments fit the program perfectly, representing each of the 30 ton monuments strategically placed on the Interstate Highways to remind tourists that they are in the Kansas Flint Hills - a premier tourism destination in America.

Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Kerr summarized the history of the Travel and Tourism Division, Becky Blake, Director, partnership with the Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. and the joint accomplishments to date, including the distinctive logo and the Traveling Exhibit based on the National Geographic magazine 22-page spread of Jim Richardson photographs of the Kansas Flint Hills.

Linda Craghead, Executive Director, Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc., spoke of the history of the coalition, including the Fermata, Inc. strategic plan that has guided priorities the past couple of years. Looking to the future, the strategic plan urges the Coalition to continue to pursue National Heritage Area designation while building recognition of the Kansas Flint Hills as a tourism destination as part of the the overall Kansas Tourism Initiative.

Mill Creek singers closed the program with a fine rendition of "Home on the Range" - the state song.

Members of Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. were among those in attendance at the dedication.

See news coverage:
Topeka NBC


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is really awesome! Thanks for your visit and I am going to put a link on my blog!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...


After you left your comment, I added a photo of one of the actual monuments - had "mis-placed" it, from last month. Neat stuff!!


Rosemary said...

Hi Bill!
Just wanted to let you know I added a link to the official site for the Flint Hills and this blog as well on ours. Thanks for writing and commenting. Good luck with promoting this precious piece of America!

Here's our blog:

I'd like to invite you and your readers to read about our 2-year Italian adventure at: