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DECEMBER 2004 VOLUME 04/ISSUE Q4
This is the first printed version of an electronic newsletter series KVHA began last spring. The first two electronic issues as well as this volume are available on the KVHA website <www.kvha.org>. From quarter to quarter there will be some standard columns as well as features, factoids, and occasional frivolities. We hope you will find the articles informative and inspiring enough to become a regular reader. Submissions are invited for consideration. Many thanks and enjoy!
A Rachael Sudlow photograph
House and Home
Look, Listen, Learn: Finding the Future
By Alison L. Reber, KVHA Executive Director During the River Festival and the Fall 2003 sampling season we did some casual interviews with small groups of people. We were interested in finding common quality of life themes. After some online reading and pondering we came up with some very simple, thought provoking questions. We asked people what they like about where they live. We asked people what they don't like about where they live. Last we asked them what they hope for the future of their community. Nearly all of the interviews were with junior and senior high school students. Adults seemed mostly preoccupied or stranger-shy but we were able corner a few. The dialogues between people were as interesting as the responses themselves. We were struck by the almost painful differences between groups and discord that even surprised individuals in the same group. The first interview was along the Missouri River. I asked a couple of bored looking teenagers if I could ask them a couple of questions. They were from alternative high school in downtown Kansas City. One of the girls began to tell me how earlier in the year they cleaned up a stream in a park near their school but that within a week it was a mess again. A slender young man with an amazing Afro interrupted, "Man, someone even dumped a broken toilet down there." They were angry. I decided to try to steer in a positive direction by asking them what they liked about where they live. Another girl spoke up, looking into the circle that had formed. "Nothing, I hate everything about where I live. Everything is dirty and falling apart and people don't care." In a last ditch attempt to find the hope all teenagers should imbue, I asked what they hoped for the future. A girl who hadn't even appeared to be listening turned to me and said, "There is no future here. Nothing you do lasts." At the same event, half a dozen giggly teenagers from Blue Springs, Missouri told me that in their community the only things to do are shop and watch movies. Some of them pointed out
Continued pg. 3
By Meg Givens, KVHA Intern Amid the activites at last summer’s Basic Stream Assessment Training in Lyon County, KVHA's very own Rachael Sudlow, a Project Assistant, pointed her lens at the some pure Flint Hills images. House and Home was recently selected to be a part of the exclusive Brown Hillel 2004 Juried Show in Rhode Island. The image was taken at the abandoned Pony Express Station near Overbrook, Kansas. In Rachael’s words….
The print is part of an ongoing series that I've been doing shooting old dilapidated Kansas schoolhouses, churches and historic buildings. I use a large format camera to tweak the focus and create a memory effect and often distort the size of the building to appear fake, like a dollhouse.
A fantastic set of landscape shots captured a sunset storm can be viewed on the Kansas StreamLink website <www.streamlink.org>. Rachael is currently a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit her at <www.rachaelsudlow.com>.
Editor: Meg Givens, Intern A quarterly publication of the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance 412 E. 9th St Lawrence, KS 66044 (785)840-0700 Fax (785)843-6080 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org KVHA Vision
The people of the Kaw Valley will maintain a strong sense of place and community. The valley will be a land of farms and families, of neighborhoods, towns, and cities. It will be a place where industry and business thrive; where natural and historical places are preserved; and where clean, healthy rivers and streams support aquatic life and offer recreational opportunities. People will build consensus for resource conservation and will promote possible use of air, water, and land, while supporting a healthy economy.
The Water Shed
We’ve had a few projects going and A LOT of just plain generous helping hands.
*Thanks to volunteers from University of Kansas Center for Community Outreach EARTH Program, for painting a mural along our expansive front windows of our new office. Come by and see! *Thank you to Tom Meek for representing Kansas StreamLink in Dodge City at the Kansas Conference for Environmental Education. *Thanks to Jeff Severin and KU Environmental Services for donating furniture including the drafting tables we use for planning meetings. *Many Thanks to Richard and Nancy Smith, Alison’s parents, for their time and advice, brute force, and the loan of furnishings for the new office. *Special Thanks to Carol Jacobson for helping us prepare for planning meetings and upcoming events and endeavors. *Thank you to the Deb Baker, Will Boyer, Dennis Brinkman, Vernis Flotman, Lisa Grossman, Carol Jacobson, Paul Liechti, Wayne Lukert, Patty Ogle, Bob Russell, and Gary Satter for being a part of the Steering Committee and helping to frame the organization’s 2005 goals.
Alison Reber, Executive Director Aimee Polson, Program Director Travis Daneke, Project Assistant Rachael Sudlow, Project Asst Meg Givens, Intern Sara Holmberg, Intern
SPRING into action…...
Handyman Special Sunday, January 9th, 1:30 PM, KVHA
Bring your tools, wear your grubbies, and let’s get down to business finishing up rough edges around the office; pizza and cookies?
Board of Directors & Project Committee Chairs
Thank you for your patience, wise counsel, and frequent incidences of rising to the occasion.
Volunteer Rally Sunday, February 6th, 1:30 PM, KVHA
Join us for a planning party & dessert potluck. Bring your favorite treats, ideas, talents, and enthusiasm. This is the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of meetings to showcase volunteer opportunities.
Dale Lambley, President Paul Liechti, Treasurer Jeff Neel, Secretary Will Boyer, At-Large Dave Murphy, At-Large VACANT, At-Large Shari Stamer, Chair UWW WRAPS VACANT, Chair Kansas StreamLink
Funding for KVHA Projects is currently provided by grants from the KS Dept. of Health & Environment and the KS Dept. of Wildlife & Parks and by the contributions of partners and program users.
1. Newsletter Submissions about community interest, water, or 2. Civic Groups interested in learning about creeks and streams 3. “Caring for the Kaw” booklet
distribution sites little known Kaw Valley factoids
KVHA is a federally recognized 501c(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.
4. Board member nominations for 2005 election
We especially need to add individual, non-profit, or private enterprise representatives with current or past (Kaw Valley) art/music/ literature, community history, or nature-based recreation experience.
Arts and Culture
Fireside Novels: Author Napolean Crews
By Meg Givens, KVHA Intern This one's for the Literature fans!
We wanted to inform you historical fiction readers that there's a new author in town. Napoleon Crews is the writer of a monthly series of short stories centered around Lawrence area history. The short stories are published by Fireside Novels. Mr. Crews began writing historical fiction because of his interest in sharing the stories of real people and events that do not get written about in mainstream publications. Mr. Crews has lived in Lawrence for 4 years and was struck by the amount of rich history that Lawrence, and much of Kansas have to offer. He felt a desire to inform his readers of this rich history that exists right under their noses. Many of his stories are set in Lawrence at various famous locations throughout town, such as the Eldridge Hotel and Mount Oread. Even though the novels are fiction, the stories are based on facts and real people. For instance, one reoccurring character in his novels is called Sam Jeans. The real Sam Jeans served on the Lawrence Police Department in the 1890s. He served as assistant police chief and eventually was promoted to police chief in Lawrence. He was well known not only because there were so few people of color in positions of authority at that time but also "was described as one of the best officers the city ever had; fearless in danger, good judgment, and knows how to get along with the public." Mr. Crews does not limit his scope to Lawrence History, but writes stories about any historical events which he stumbles upon that are fascinating but obscure. He found interest in the history of the Kickapoo Indians in Horton Kansas and their struggle to provide funds for their community by opening the first casino in the state of Kansas. He will continue with this theme for six months (until January) and then plans to return to the history of Sam Jeans and then on to the Civil War. Here is a list of some of the titles of Napoleon Crews' books: The Man Who Tamed Lawrence, Last Lynching on Mount Oread, Eldridge House Disappearances, Flight of the Golden Eagle If you would like to learn more about Napoleon Crews and where you can find his books look up his web page at... http://sunflower.com/~firesidenovels/ There you can also subscribe to his monthly series.
Look, Listen, Learn cont. (Continued from pg 1)
the new trail system but were quickly dismissed as being oddballs. The groups prevailing hope for the future was for bigger stores "so you don't have to leave town to shop." Most of these students were college bound juniors who want to go where the world takes them. A sampling event took us to the Republican River in Concordia. On a robust sandbar under the US-81 Bridge, the obviously close-knit Class of 2009 talked about their community. Mostly they can't wait to leave for college and not look back. A good-natured banter began between the city and the rural about leaving town, eating frog legs, and the demise of the local movie theater some years earlier. The city dwelling students were wide-eye shocked to hear that their bus-riding classmates eat squirrels, wild rabbits, and even fish caught from that very sandbar. As the conversation wound down, a quiet freckled boy stepped forward and said with a nervous rush of laughter, "the water has to stay good to keep jobs" there. Then he shyly added, "If we didn't hunt and fish we wouldn't have anything to eat." After school he wants to keep hog farming with his dad. Our big aspiration to find quality of life cohesive in the Kaw Valley ended up being an effort of walking in circles - seamless, endless circles. Numb-minded circles, socioeconomic circles, generational circles, chicken or the egg type circles…. Mostly people mumbled through our questions, as if mortified to even think of such things and anxiously hoping we'd give them the answer. In a riverside grove of cottonwood trees near a chain link fence enclosed vat of brewing wastewater, my questions rendered a great-grandmother from St. George speechless. Her flustered response was,
"Well, I never thought about it. We just make do with what we've got."
Behind her, children's artwork noisily slapped against cattle panel "display boards", threatening to rip free and be carried far away in the fall breeze.
Editors note: Audio excerpts from these interviews are available at www.kvha.org.
Word on the Street: Vision and Voice for a River
Riverkeeper John Cronin Visits with Students about Protecting History and Water
By Travis Daneke, KVHA Project Assistant
John Cronin, founding Director of Riverkeeper Inc, spoke to University of Kansas Environmental Studies students about individual environmental activism. Spinning an intricate story about the transformation of the Hudson River from a recreational outlet for New Yorkers to one of the worlds most polluted water systems, and then to a protected estuary, Cronin impressed upon the audience that “change can happen in your back yard.” For years industries pumped waste away into the Hudson River. Cronin, then a commercial fisherman, together with other members of the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association, began to unravel the trail of pollution. People began to talk about odd occurrences on the river and then began documenting tanker identification numbers. Dramatic improvements have happened over the last two decades – the result of voluntary business compliance and more than 150 point source pollution prosecutions. Mr. Cronin’s passion, the diligence of a community, and the interest of countless students have systematically changed the corporate role in maintaining the river’s health. In 1999, Time.com named Cronin and his frequent collaborator, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Heroes for the Planet. This was the same year Cronin co-founded Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic and the Institute for Environmental and Regional Studies (PACE) and the Governor of New York signed into law the Hudson River Marine Sanitation Act. From Time.com "I was in the first generation that was taught the river was unsafe-not because of tides that might pull you down but because of water quality. As a young adult, I found a legacy I had been kept from inheriting. The lives of my family had swirled around the river; my grandfather was a fisherman; that's where families gathered. I discovered that connection. But then there was a larger connection. It seemed that every community on the river had lost touch with it and with the notion that the river was their home. The greatest single tragedy on the Hudson is that hundreds of years of history are disappearing. It's like burning down a museum or trashing a library. The loss is devastating and profound."
Editors Note: Cronin is the co-author of
The Riverkeepers. He also wrote and produced the 1992 documentary film “The Last Rivermen,” voted an Outstanding Documentary of the Year by the Motion Picture Academy Foundation. <www.riverkeeper.org/ support_store.php>
Known for inspiring others to think proactively about ecological, philosophical, and social challenges, his advice to the audience was "make yourself needed in your career, work hard, and volunteer for what others refuse to do; that is how success is achieved."
For Cronin, the impulse for his lifework came from family history. "I was raised along the river," he says.
Portal Pocket (http://portal.kvha.org)
Meeting reports, resources, and relevant news for KVHA Committees and Program Users.
Recent Resource Additions Crafting Better Urban Watershed Protection Plans, published in “Watershed Protection Techniques” BLUEPRINT: A Blueprint for Saving our Heritage, published by the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board Final Report of the National Watershed Forum, published by the EPA
Request an account by visiting the portal main page. Contact the KVHA office (785-840-0700) for log-on difficulties.
Current Topics: Water Quality Trading
Kansas may soon have a new tool to help improve water quality.
By Meg Givens, KVHA Intern
KVHA website are included with On Thursday, November 4th, the permission. Kansas Department of Health and Talbert writes... Environment hosted a Watershed Management Seminar at the Market-driven approaches University of Kansas. to conservation can The closing presentation “Is Water stimulate new areas of Quality Trading a Policy Option for innovation and flexibility by Kansas” piqued the interest of utilizing market forces to participants and left them with openachieve environmental ended further for discussions about improvements. Trading the future. provides incentives to John Leatherman, Associate sellers to provide more Professor of Agricultural Economics at K-State University, spoke about how environmental protection water quality trading might work in Kansas. The practice gives companies a way to meet point source pollution limits in a cost effective manner. Water quality trading is essentially a conservation strategy that strengthens its effectiveness by using market forces. We decided to look into this concept nation wide and find out how other states are approaching this new idea of using market forces for the benefit of the environment. Currently, Water Quality Trading is being used in Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado, and North Carolina. I have included links at the end of this article to information about Water Quality Trading in each state individually. Numerous articles on the topic are available online. A compilation of resources is available on our website. Amid the various bits of reading, we found a very concise and complete overview of the processes and policies involved in conservation driven market trading programs. Written by Gerald Talbert through funding by the National Association of Conservation Districts, the following summary and graphics, and the link on the
measures than legally required and allows buyers to achieve compliance in a way that is faster and less expensive than the ultimate facility upgrade that might be necessary for a regulated entity. Agriculture and conservation can help provide the solution and benefit in the process.
More at <http://www.nacdnet.org/
special/market.htm> ********************** If you would like to learn how each of the states currently experimenting with this new system is dealing with their Water Quality Trading programs. I have included links below the name of each state. Perhaps this will help guide us in deciding if a program like this is right for Kansas. Idaho www.deq.state.id.us/ water/water1.htm Oregon www.deq.state.or.us/wq/ Minnesota www.pca.state.mn.us/ water/pubs/factsheets.html Michigan www.michigan.gov/ deq/1,1607,7-1353313_3682_3719---,00.html Wisconsin www.fwwa.org/pdf/ WisconsinTradingFinal.pdf Connecticut dep.state.ct.us/ whatshap/press/2003/ cr1024a.htm Maryland www.mde.state.md.us/ Programs/WaterPrograms/TMDL/ home/Nutrient%20Trading% 20Exploration.asp Colorado www.cwqf.org/ Workgroups/ aterQualityTrading/2003April.htm North Carolina h2o.enr.state.nc.us/ nps/tarpam.htm
A Lite Essay: The Big Move
By Alison Reber, Amateur Wall Painter
Late this summer we readied for the big move downstairs but hit a wall – literally. The day we got our keys Rachael Sudlow and I triumphantly opened the heavy glass door and could finally see the space empty and naked. Lawrence’s Habitat for Humanity used the space for a number of years, acquiring an amazing assemblage of odd construction supplies, and repeatedly dividing the area into smaller and smaller parcels. There were two main area—the front “nice” office and the back storage room. The front area felt cold and sterile compared to our snug upstairs space. The carpet was woefully worn through to bare threads in some spots. Ugly, dead fluorescent fixtures zig zagged across the original stamped tin ceiling. The bare walls were a stark white except for a section of blond wood paneling. The storage area in back looked like the old "woodshed" at my family home place. (As a child I learned NOT to go into the woodshed barefoot - the room was too large for the single bulb fixture to completely illuminate and rodents took up residence during the weather extremes.) The wood paneled walls were lined with an assortment of salvaged storage and shelving devices. A huge wooden storage shelf (the size of a boat!) jutted out from the back wall further dividing the area. A few wire shelves hung attached to the wall by bent nails. The floor was mostly unfinished. Here and there fragments of ancient vinyl offset places where the under flooring was rubbed away. One small offset space had intact, gaudy red vinyl and we later dubbed it the "Red Room." I'd been in and out of Habitat repeatedly over the past 4 years and never saw how neglected the space was. I'd finally reached my maximum stress threshold. Rachael and I were the entire KVHA staff and she was due back in Rhode Island in 10 days. We sat down in an enormous square of sunshine and stared at one wall and then another. I called it a day. Rachael’s artist eye was our saving grace. She got things jump started, mapping out the sequence of steps needed to get the space functional and plotting cheap, quick remodeling pick-me-ups. Excitement, fresh ideas, and maybe a little panic fueled a makeover rush. Several seasoned “old home” handymen gave us solid advice and sometimes amazingly fast counsel! Screw driver and hammer in hand (our entire collection of tools), Rachael patiently removed the old kitchen and bathroom cabinets attached to the false wall dividing the office and storage areas. A marriage wall archway was revealed and with the fervent desire to see the space all open, Rachael pried and kicked out the 1/8th inch paneling attached to a scrap-lumber frame. I was very impressed. We hit the scrap paint aisles at local hardware stores and procured 15 gallon bucket of scrap pink paint, a 5 gallon bucket of dark rose and several quarts misc. pastels. It’s frightening how empowering an assortment of paint brushes, a starter set of power tools, and a tool box can be. We painted all hours of the day and night—using KILZ on the dark wood paneling and then coats of pinked white paint. A darker rose pink was used to accent the woodwork, and after lengthy pondering, white scrap vinyl was pieced along part of the back floor. Meanwhile, the fall rush was on for StreamLink and new help had to be found immediately. Rachael overlapped a single day with Meg Givens. We picked her up between loads of donated furniture. Somehow almost all of the big furniture found it’s way the stairs and re-arranged itself 4 or 5 times.
On a Roll: Mindful Mapping
Next Steps for the Organization
By Alison Reber, KVHA Executive Director
For the last year KVHA’s Board of Directors, active supporters, former staff members, and I have been deep in thought. I’ve poured through boxes of archives, legal documents, meeting dialogues, and even scratch papers scribbles. My grand plan was to create a birds-eye (quantitative) view of what’s been accomplished during the relatively short life of this organization—facts and figures tallied, graphed, and carefully analyzed. The weight of the task made it sink to the bottom of my to do list like sand in a low flow stream.
Meanwhile we moved…. The opportunity to move downstairs into a larger, ground level space serendipitously presented itself after an elbow to elbow July Board meeting. Who would have guessed that a simple flight of stairs could make such a big difference? People curiously stop in welcoming us and to ask, “What do you do here?” One sentence leads to another and we find ourselves in an intense conversation . They begin to talk to us and their stories unfold with vivid memories and strong water convictions steeped in the history of family and friends. They want to get involved. It is our challenge to find ways to meet this grassroots interest with opportunity and enthusiasm. Over the next few newsletters, I’ll be “mapping” out more of the organizations progress and aspirations as per our project committees, the steering committee, and the Board of Directors. For eight years we’ve traveled a winding path together. A year ago we stopped to take stock - check our compass, re-tread worn shoes, and prepare for the next leg of our journey. We’ve looked back and we’ve looked forward to the distant horizon. The challenge now is to figure out the best route. Alone we each can only see so far. Together the view is far and wide—enough to steer clear of tar pits and dense fog. We invite you to come along to help us see by sharing your vision. -Alison
The Big Move, cont.
Additional pictures are online for your amusement or applause.
One weekend, Matt Herbert, Rachael’s amiable friend, pitched in to help us stabilize “the boat.” Sara Holmberg helped get our miscellaneous belongings moved downstairs. Travis Daneke started during the floor and door saga...think rotten wood, broken hinges, and lots of heavy duty adhesive paste. We all did the "blood, sweat, and tears" bit to get the office back up and running. But, we also had fun and have a collection of hilarious memories of doorknobs
falling completely out, finding an ancient dead bird behind a heat register, and stenciling a forest of insects in the hallway/closet “library” under the stairs. Somewhere in the process of it all I picked up enough computer skills to wirelessly network the office. I also learned that some things simply cannot be learned by book (like how to use a circular saw), some things break when you apply too much brut force (like giant shelves that look like boats), paint is a wonderful thing (so are hammers), and again, DO NOT GO BAREFOOT.
Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance 412 E. 9th Street Lawrence, KS 66044-2629
New KVHA Program Director Aimee Polson
New to KVHA as Program Director for the Clinton Lake area Watershed Restoration and Preservation Strategy (WRAPS) is Aimee Polson. She has a Masters Degree in Regional and Community Planning with an environmental emphasis. Practical experience includes working with the short-range planner with the City of Manhattan and as Coordinator of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association. Her new responsibilities will include serving as the primary contact, recruiter, organizer, and planner for the Clinton Lake Watershed area. If you have questions or suggestions, she can be reached at 785-840-0700 or email@example.com.
Winter ice skating, c. 1880