Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Santa Fe Trail Days - Overbrook

From the Emporia Gazette:

The Second Annual Overbrook Santa Fe Trail Days will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct 3 & 4, in Overbrook, in nearby Osage County. Features of the event are scheduled to include a spinner, quilter, Indian customs and dress, mountain man encampment, horseshoeing and old time tools and barbed wire.

A history of the Santa Fe Trail will be given; a cannon will be shot; the history of 1860s Kansas and other re-enactments will be provided, among other evens. There is an admission charge, see the article in the Emporia Gazette for more information.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friends of the Flint Hills Fund

The Friends of the Flint Hills Fund is now officially affiliated with the Kansas Rural Communities Foundation. Click on Affiliates, left navigation bar; click on Friends of the Flint Hills; and click on to donate to the Fund. I used option 3, to download a printable pdf donation form, added my check for $100, and sent it off to Wamego by mail (this saves $5 for use of a credit card). However, if making an online contribution using a credit card works better for you, please do so!

This blog typically has 25 readers a day. If you enjoy this blog, and the effort I put into providing this service to the Kansas Flint Hills, I urge you to consider a contribution to the Friends of the Flint Hills Fund to further the educational opportunities that can be provided. These donations are tax deductible to you personally. If each of my 25 readers, today, made a contribution of $100 - the fund would grow by $2500! We are working with several other foundations to obtain a matching grant of $1 grant for each $1 donation - so, that would cause your donation to grow to $5,000! That is helping a lot of school-age youngsters, perhaps, be able to visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve for a day, for example, that might never see it and take part in the educational programming there, otherwise.

A portion of the funds may be used for programming of a Heritage Area. Another portion may be dedicated to assisting senior citizens to partner with the youth in better understanding of the importance of preserving and maintaining the Kansas Flint Hills for future generations. Do you have other ideas for the Committee overseeing the Fund? Let me know, and I'll be happy to share them with the committee.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Conservation Easement announced

I am pleased to bring to your attention another critical Conservation Easement announcement in the Kansas Flint Hills. These agreements assure the preservation and integrity of pasture lands in the region, and, in this case, provide an additional buffer for the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, as well.

Conservation Easements are vital to preserving and maintaining the Kansas Flint Hills ecosystem for future generations. If you own property in the region, and have not yet considered an easement, please give it some serious study and thought.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Annual BroomWeed Festival - Cottonwood Falls

The annual BroomWeed Festival takes place in Cottonwood Falls on Saturday, Sept 27. The festival is named for the broom weed that grows this time of year. The festival includes live music and a car show. All activities are in Cottonwood Falls.

For more information, contact 620.273.6020 or prairie-maid@sbcglobal.net.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Elk River Festival - Howard

The 2008 Elk River Festival will be held Saturday, Sept 27, at the Elk County Courthouse Square in Howard, sponsored by the Howard Chamber of Commerce.

This year's festival will celebrate the completion of the Jackson Park Memorial Walking Trail.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rails n Trails Festival - Herington

The Rails n Trails Festival will be held in Herington on September 27, 2008.

In addition to the many activities listed on the website, I'm told by organizers that the evening will include Cowboy Entertainer, Jeff Davidson, one of our favorites, in the Community Building at 7 p.m.
This is a photo of Jeff I took last Spring at our 2008 Flint Hills Heritage Conference at the Rock Springs 4-H Camp. Jeff provided a fine musical program on Kansas Flint Hills and USA heritage themes.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hollenberg Pony Express Station

I strongly recommend a visit to the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, in northeast Washington County, if you have not been there. It is a State Historic Site of the Kansas State Historical Society. I enjoyed my visit on Friday as part of our monthly meeting of the Flint Hills Toursim Coalition, Inc. where we visit a different community and destination site each month.

Gerat H. and Sophia Hollenberg ran both a stop on the California and Oregon Trail AND a Pony Express Station. The visitor center sits on a ridge to the west of the Trails (see photo above) and the Station sat on the ridge to the east (see photos below); part of our group walking to the station (wagon is at far right, ahead, below).
This is the original station, sitting on a restored foundation. Note: you can drive from the visitor's center to the Station.
Duane Durst, site administrator, served as guide and educator to our group. Here he explains how the special saddles were used by the Pony Express riders. There are numerous exhibits in the Station, including clothes the "kids" can try on to simulate being a traveler, or Mr. or Mrs. Hollenberg. Dr. Bill could not resist the opportunity - he should probably "get in shape" before starting on the walk to Oregon...
Duane also showed us the beautiful mural in the visitor's center. This is just a piece of it.

The Flint Hills Tourism Coalition was there for our monthly meeting. Here Carole Jordan, new Director of the Kansas Rural Opportunity office at the Department of Commerce, speaks tothe group.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, September 19, 2008

8th Annual "Autumn Wonders" Mountain Bike Tour

The 8th Annual "Autumn Wonders" Mountain Bike Tour will be held in Alta Vista on Saturday, October 18th, 2008; registration at 8 am in City Park. Download the detailed brochure at the website.

Put away your road bike, get down the mountain bike and join the Autumn Wonders Mountain Bike Tour for 30 miles of beautiful prairie in the Flint Hills around Alta Vista, Kansas.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Weaver Preservation Society Fall Festival

The Weaver Preservation Society Fall Festival will be held on Sunday, September 21 at the Waterville Opera House in Waterville, Marshall County, Kansas.

The Dinner Theater Event "South of the Border with the M & M Sisters" will begin at 3 pm. For more information, call 785-363-2343.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Art in the Park and Craft Show - Marion

Art in the Park and Craft Show in Marion completes the trio of Sept 20 activities in Marion County. Artists from several states will be displaying their wares, including limestone and metal art, food products, soaps, candles, baskets, clothing, jewelry, baby items, furniture and photography.

Call the Marion Chamber of Commerce at 620-382-3425 for more information.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair - Sept 20

The Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair is celebrating 39 years of supporting hand made arts and crafts on Saturday, Sept 20, 2008, in downtown Hillsboro, Marion County, Kansas.

About 400 artists and craftsmen selected by a committee of judges come from all over the country to display and sell their one of a kind creations. The fair is rated among the top 100 arts and crafts shows in the country in several categories. Local food and hometown hospitality add flavor to this already spectacular event.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fall River Barbeque

Come one, come all, to the Fall River Barbeque in Downtown Fall River in the southeast corner of Greenwood County, on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20, 2008.

For two exciting days you can enjoy a free barbeque and many activities including: rodeo performances, a parade, the church arts and crafts fair, pony-pulls, kid's games, a dance, and the Miss Fall River contest. Call 620-658-4841 for more information.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Views of the Flint Hills - Art Show

Lindsborg Town Talk 13 September 2008 reports:

The Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg is hosting a new show, Views of the Flint Hills, featuring oils and acrylics by Mary Binford Miller. The show runs through October 26th.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prairie Talk: Ecology

I'd like to share the following press release of interest:

We hope you will join us Saturday, Sept 20, 2 pm at Pioneer Bluffs for our
next Prairie Talk: Ecological Site Restoration.

Jonathan Todd, president of Todd Ecological Design, will lead this
discussion on ecological technologies for environmental restoration. This
community event will explore ecological design, a science based on applying
the principles that govern the natural world to human systems. It promises
to be fascinating!

Todd Ecological Design of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is an award-winning
water and natural resources planning firm. More details on the talk
published in the Emporia Gazette at:

Pioneer Bluffs is located one mile north of Matfield Green or fifteen miles
south of Cottonwood Falls on Flint Hills National Scenic Byway K177. It
lies on the east side of K177 and has a distinctive limestone fence.

Lynn Smith, Executive Director, Pioneer Bluffs Foundation, 620.753.3484 office,
785.393.1569 cell

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum Pioneer Festival

The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum Pioneer Festival takes place on Sunday, Sept 14, at the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum in Arkansas City.

The Pioneer Festival is a celebration of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush, pioneer and western heritage of the area.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Antique and Arts Fair - Florence

The second Saturday in September means it is time for the Florence Antique and Arts Fair (Sept 13th). This is a Free Fair for shoppers with free parking close to downtown and no admission.

There are plenty of local food vendors - Call 620-878-4296 for more information.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heritage Rendezvous Weekend - Council Grove

The Heritage Rendezvous Weekend, Sept 11, 12, 13, in Morris County kicks off on Thurs, Sept 11th, with the arrival of the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race Endurance Ride participants.

Among other weekend highlights, the Voices of the Wind People Pageant begins at 8 pm on Fri, Sept 12th. Other activities include the "Prairie Art Walk" and a free concert with Johnny Western and the Diamond W Wranglers (formerly the Prairie Rose Wranglers).

On Sat, Sept 13th, the Horse Race riders begin their final let of the race from the Kansa View Area of the Council Grove Federal Reservoir.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In one week - Walnut Valley Festival begins

Wednesday, September 17, through Sunday, September 21, is the Walnut Valley Festival and National Flatpicking Championships in Winfield. For details, see their website.

This 37th annual world famous bluegrass and acoustic music festival also includes contests, concerts, workshops, arts and crafts, camping, kid's events, food and family fun.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Post Office Oak - Update - Santa Fe Trail

Press release of great interest in the Kansas Flint Hills:

The Post Office Oak stump on the Santa Fe Trail in Council Grove, Kansas, a National Historic Landmark, is to be cut down on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 9 am, because it is rotten in the center and in danger of falling. This is one of the most historic trees in Council Grove. The stump is 20 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter. The Post Office Oak, about 270 years old when it died in 1999, had a cache (hole) near the base where travelers going west or east on the Santa Fe Trail left messages for other travelers. This was a common practice for 20 years. The messages might be about water, dangers or opportunities.
One of the earliest settlers in the grove of trees, later named Council Grove, was Frances Xavier Hebrank, a German immigrant who built his home with his brewing business in the cellar a few feet from the oak. Business was brisk and the cache in the tree handy. Hebrank's daughter lived in the home after her father died and added a wooden front porch. The porch was later removed and a cement and stone porch put onto the side of the house. The Post Office Oak is in the southwest corner where the steps come down from the porch.
Almost by accident the rotten condition was discovered when weeding and trimming nearby plants. What at first appeared to be a small area, when rotten wood was taken out, was a cavity large enough to put one's arm into up to the elbow. The Kansas Forestry department was contacted and arborist Kim Bomberger of Dwight, KS examined the tree. She confirmed the rotten interior and sounded the need for care because it is in grave danger of falling. It is leaning against the bottom stone hand railing of the steps with two thirds above the post. Others who work with trees either as vocation or hobby have looked at the stump and offered suggestions.
At an open community meeting, it was decided that the stump should be cut before it falls, the wood treated with a preservative, and placed at or near its present site with protection such as a roof over it. Special equipment will be used to lift sections off the tree.
Preservation of the pieces of the stump will be expensive. No decision has been made about how much of the stump can be treated until it is cut and examined but the Morris County Historical Society is aware that this historic tree warrants the best efforts that can be mustered.
Submitted by:
TinaRae (TR) Scott
Executive Director
Council Grove/Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
" Thank you for your interest in Council Grove, Morris County, and the Flint Hills!"

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Kansas Flint Hills Traveling Exhibit Update

The Traveling Exhibit of the Jim Richardson photographs of the Kansas Flint Hills that appeared in the National Geographic's April 2007 issue moves to Ottawa on Sept 8 through the 14th.

If you haven't reviewed the National Geographic article for a while (or ever), I certainly encourage you to take a few minutes to review it!

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Native Plant Weekend

The Kansas Native Plant Society is reminding us Native Plant Weekend at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve on Sep 13 and 14. Society members will partner with with preserve personnel to present a wide variety of programs, hikes and activities showcasing the fall plants and wildflowers of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

On Saturday, Mike Haddock, editor of Kansas Wildflower and Grasses, will lead a presentation on photographing tallgrass prairie wildflowers and grasses at 10 am and 11 am to get the day started.

For more information, call the preserve at 620-273-8494.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Celebrate Zeb Pike Month

Let's each join Flint Hill, Tall Grass in celebrating Zebulon Pike Month and using the opportunity to read and learn from the words of the early explorers of the Kansas Flint Hills region. They provide unique insights, especially as shared with us through the interpretation of our friend, Dennis Toll.

His quote from Sibley applies to the Flint Hills as well today as it did in the early 1800s. Would Pike and Sibley and others really recognize the Kansas Flint Hills, today? I think they would, if they stood in quite a number of selected spots that they described. This is a key aspect of the distinctiveness of the Kansas Flint Hills that is so important to preserve as a National Heritage Area. I hope each of you will join us in this effort.

Stop by the Heritage Tab at kansasflinthills.travel and participate! Enter a comment, below, to let us know you concur with our efforts to preserve the Heritage and the landscape of the Kansas Flint Hills so our grandchildren and their grandchildren will be able to enjoy the beauty and serenity just as Zeb Pike did, and we do today.

See you in the Kansas Flint Hills! ;-)