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Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance
Kansas StreamLink Watershed Stewards Project
Final Report Project Number 2003-0027

The condition of Kansas’ streams has greatly improved since the 1972 passage of the Clean Water
Act (CWA). Through the provisions of the CWA, Kansas has been able to customize programs to
meet local needs. Improved management of point source pollutants has enabled Kansas to
decrease pollution levels while increasing population and industry demands. However, non-point
source pollution continues to impact the usability of water resources throughout the state.
Widespread changes in behavior are critical to reducing the detrimental impacts of non-point
source pollution. Education is central to forging the necessary social values that will facilitate this
behavioral shift.

Using a place-based learning strategy, StreamLink Program specifically addresses water quality
impairments related to non-point source pollution in Kansas. Through this particular grant
agreement, StreamLink set forth and met the following goals:

Goal 1)
Provide training and support, resource and information coordination for formal and i nformal
educators, and technical and lay watershed mentors.
Three main tools were used to achieve this goal.
1. Partner Assistance
2. Newsletters & Printed Materials
3. Presentations

Goal 2) Provide technical and material support for stream study experiences.
Three main tools were used to achieve this goal.
1. Field Support & Supplies
2. Newsletters & Printed Materials
3. Partner Assistance

Goal 3)
Maintain existing web resources, created additional stream study web pages, and built our capacity
to provide high quality educational content.
Three main tools were used to achieve this goal.

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1. Partner Assistance
2. Newsletters & Written Materials
3. Research

Goal 4)
Work to build the water education capacity of five community level networks and established
routine citizen opportunities to assist with the restoration and protection of water resources.
Three main tools were used to achieve this goal.
1. Partner Assistance
2. Direct Mentoring
3. Written Materials

KVHA began this grant with great internal energy focused on achieving a successful staff transition
through side-by-side mentoring, developing professional capacity, and making concerted efforts to
build a social network. Travis Daneke, Christine Boller, and Alison Reber have re-established SL’s
consistency while providing a spring board for new concepts. They’ve been able to strengthen
various SL components, build new partnerships, and strengthen old strategies, while maintaining
existing program partnerships by making invaluable connections and learning from every

Throughout the grant period the Kansas StreamLink program has provided assistance statewide
and created meaningful experiences with our trainings, student gatherings, stream teams,
stewardships and Mudscapes. Additionally, KVHA and StreamLink provide technical support for
WRAPS groups statewide. Partners rely on our expertise in outreach systems development, national
to local level policy planning trends, as well as strategic planning, resource allocation, and outcome

Extensive work was done under this grant to improve these programs and to concentrate on
specific goals, such as:
stream team recruitment
updating the website
committee building
curriculum enhancement endeavors
database maintenance
providing professional training
stewardship project design and implementation

Heavy support emphasis was given to areas with WRAPS endeavors underway. Public and private

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partner assistance, presentations, and printed materials were critical for achieving the goals of this
project. These topics will be discussed more completely in the following report. Partners assisted
with implementing this portion of the project by promoting SL in their area, creating opportunities
for people to take part in SL activities, helping develop supporting materials, and giving time and
resources for direct SL services. Paul Ingle of the Melvern Lake Water Quality Project,
representatives from
KAWS (Jeff Ruckert), K-State (Rhonda Janke), and The Watershed Institute (Chris Mammoliti & Phil
Balch) provided leadership for various SL activities, especially planning the two-day stream
assessment workshops. KVHA’s Board of Directors provided guidance for how SL allocated time,
energy, and resources on a statewide level.

Notification, Outreach & Recruitment

The database of stream study participants, facilitators and interested parties was continuously
updated and expanded. As such, it has become an invaluable tool in organizing outrea ch and
Successful recruitment and event attendance occurs most often through a combination of database
queries, phone calls, brochures, direct mailings, press releases, internet postings, emailed
announcements, newsletters, the SL website, partner assistance, public presentations, trainings,
and meetings with individuals and organizations. E-mails, and press releases were used for broad
promotion. An example of this is that a park trash pick-up and phone calls and maili ngs were used
for targeting specific audiences such as the BSAWs.

The following are examples of each:
Nine hundred StreamLink program brochures were produced and sent to the SCC to be
included in the 2006 State Fair educator packets. The brochures outlined the primary
StreamLink program activities; stewardship, Mudscapes, and stream assessments.
Six newsletters were published, totaling 6,500 copies distributed to partners, educators and
stream teams.
Once the location for the annual student gathering is selected, we focus recruitment on all
counties that surround the location and its county. We send email ‘save the date’
announcements, follow up with electronic and hard-copy invitations to all high schoo ls in area,
and then do phone follow-ups to the invited teachers. This annual event is difficult to fill due
to the curriculum and budgetary restrictions that teachers have. We always have enthusiastic
presenters from many of our affiliates. This year for the stewardship portion of the gathering,
we did our first tree planting at Coon Creek. With limited help we still planted 200 trees.

Attending conferences, meetings, and workshops was another vital component to getting people
involved in the program. The organization attended many meetings during 2005-2006 to discuss
coalition building and raise awareness of organizational goals. Our primary affiliates include:

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The Corps of Engineers
The University of Kansas’ E.A.R.T.H. group
The Watershed Institute
Roger Hill Volunteer Center
Westar’s Green Team
Kansas State University’s WaterLINK program
The City of Lawrence

Many other agencies called upon the SL program for assisting with their water quality education
programs at festivals and other community events. By attending these conferences and meetings,
StreamLink was able to connect with the many agencies working for the common good of water
KVHA staff attended and presented at a number of conferences and meetings throughout the grant
period, making important connections and sharing information with interested citizens, businesses,
other non-profits and various agencies. NRCS, SCCD, KDHE, KAWS, and KACEE meetings and
presentations were attended consistently.

New / Active Affiliates
We have nearly completed a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Five-Star Grant for wetland
restoration at Coon Creek’s convergence with Clinton Lake. Projects with the Corps of Engineers
(COE), Westar’s Green Team, the Watershed Institute and KU’s E.A.R.T.H. volunteers have brought
us visibility and attracted new partners. Much of our elbow grease has come from weekly
announcements published by Roger Hill Volunteer Center on their website and in the weekly
volunteer call in the Lawrence Journal World. John Dewey Learning Academy, which is a
service-learning based alternative high school, has been invaluable in their enthusiasm and hard
work. This project is being used as a stage for WRAPS partner building, framing wetland education
endeavors, and as a rallying point for volunteer recruitment.

The Kansas River Canoe Company has recently become a new StreamLink partner. They donated
services for seasonal excursions on the Kansas River to enrich watershed experience and
awareness of stakeholders. Over 20 professionals, landowners, and media representatives gathered
for the first event float. Coverage of the event was published in the Lawrence Journal World and in
Leavenworth’s County quarterly magazine. StreamLink has been assisting the Kansas River Canoe
Company in strengthening their outreach approach to water quality. In kind, they urg e patrons to
become members of KVHA and distribute our brochures to their customers.

The City of Lawrence, the University of Kansas, KSU’s WaterLINK program and Haskell University
will be implementing the storm water monitoring program that was created during this grant. The
purpose of this project is to evaluate storm water quality that is being discharged by the city of

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Lawrence into the Wakarusa and Kansas Rivers. Further mitigation of water quality will follow in
post-monitoring projects. Another facet to this project could be the testing of runoff in detention
cells that are adjacent to large asphalt parking areas. Not only are we hoping to involve
environmental science disciplines, we are also looking to attract civil & architectural engineering
students as well.

Stream and Wetland Assessments are attractive to a variety of educators. We are able assist them
in teaching environmental education by using program activities that will help individuals
understand the basic elements of the natural environment. State conservation districts, school
districts, the City of Lawrence, Shadow Glen Golf Course, Jayhawk Audubon Society, the University
of Kansas, the Watershed Institute, Kansas State University’s WaterLINK and land owners are some
that repeatedly call upon the StreamLink program to assist in these activities.

A notable partnership has been made with StreamLink and Jayhawk Audubon Society for
development of the wetland assessment activity. We had two major events this spring that
involved over 90 school children. Both events were held at Baker Wetlands Research Area. We
enlisted the knowledge of local wetland education professionals to provide different stations that
allowed the small groups of students to have hands on and one-on-one experiences. After
comprehensive evaluation of the events by students, parents & teachers, it was decided to apply
for a community foundation grant to assist with transportation and facilitator costs. We have been
awarded a portion of our requested funds under the proposal titled, “Wakarusa Wetland Learners”.
Future wetland assessments will commence in spring 2007.

Basic Stream Assessment Workshops (BSAWs)
Basic Stream Assessment Workshops (BSAWs) were provided at the request of WRAPS groups in
the following areas:
Fall River Watershed (Fredonia), July 2005
Smoky Hill Watershed (Russell), August 2005
Upper Wakarusa Watershed (Dover), August 2005
Delaware River Watershed (Meriden), June 2006
Marion Lake Watershed (Florence), August 2006

The first three events were discussed in the final report of a concurrent grant. The workshop
trainings for 2006 were successful and instrumental in gaining new stream teams in the Marion
Lake Watershed, Kansas Lower Republican Watershed and the Delaware River Watershed.

SL worked in cooperation with sponsoring WRAPS area coordinators to plan the two-day
workshops. The planning committee collaborated on curriculum, on site instruction, and
educational material development. Paul Ingle served as the primary advisor for the Stream

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Assessment Workshops. The workshops are framed around the utility of stream assessments as a
part of watershed restoration and protection strategies. Basic program planning tools are
introduced alongside stream ecology topics such as hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, SCC
assessment tools, chemical evaluation tools, aquatic biology, and threatened and endangered
species. Outreach techniques and hot topics of interest are also explored. Participants are
encouraged to connect with people outside their typical professional circle and broaden their
professional network statewide. By offering a more complex curriculum we have attracted people
involved in WRAPS projects, state & federal agencies, landowners, school districts, colleges,
environmental non-profits, and private engineering firms.

Blind assessments using e-learning software are used to evaluate the workshop format,
instructional success, and participant demographics. Participants have a combined average
pre-workshop knowledge assessment score of 70% and combined average post-test scores of
80%. Instructors used the pre-test evaluation as a guide for determining which content needed to
be amplified during the course of the workshop. Following the workshops, the pre to post test
success of each question was evaluated to determine which content was being conveyed well and
which content needed to be strengthened. Recruitment and workshop design have taken into
consideration the demographics of the participants who had the mid-range pre-test score.

The majority of participants indicate they have a moderate level of stream assessment experience
coming into the workshop. There is a loose relationship between the participant’s perceived
experience level and their actual pre-test scores. Typically the highest pre-test scores are from
individuals who indicate they work with agencies or are attending because of a relationship with an
agency. This group makes up about 60% of the attendees. Educators tend to score lowest on the
pre-tests and make the highest post-test jump. They make up about 20% of the attendees.
Landowners and elected officials make up the additional 20% and have scattered scores. 95% of
the attendees would recommend the training to a peer, 90% indicate that the pace and complexity
was comfortably challenging, 97% indicated that the workshop was a good use of their time.

The Stream Assessment Workshops required a notebook outlining presentations, procedures, laws
and history, and program ideologies. There were 105 notebooks assembled during 2005-6 grant
cycle with 95 distributed at the workshops. In 2005, 60 notebooks were issued for the Eureka,
Russell and Dover workshops, and in 2006, 35 notebooks were issued for the Meriden and Florence

Water Festivals

Our water festival participation has provided us partnerships with state-wide conservation districts,
K-State’s E.A.R.T.H. program, KDHE, KACEE, and many of the WRAPS coordinators and watershed
advocates. Recent years have provided additional festival opportunities as communities have

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funding to sponsor these events. The festival schedule primarily bookends the summer season in
April and October. Due to funding constraints, we have focused our resources on WRAPS area
festivals. If the festival does not have set rotations, being that it is open to the general public to
come and go, we tend to do chemical testing at a table top station. If it is organized in the fashion
of 20-30 minute groups we will set up the Mudscapes.

Stewardships and Volunteer Recruitment
One-on-one recruitment has allowed us to build individual projects such as service learning,
mentoring, stewardships, and special activities. We have attracted a great deal of attention by
promoting the program through the media and other agencies. There have typically been three
types of volunteers; one timers, annuals, and most reliable. The “one-timers” have helped test new
program activities, waterway clean-ups, trail maintenance, and tree plantings. “Annual” volunteers
were more beneficial helping with office and equipment maintenance, tree plantings, project
evaluations, and facilitating Mudscapes and stream assessments. The “most reliable” volunteers are
those who have spent 10-40 hours a month helping with more substantial program duties, such as
newsletter articles, facilitating events, database maintenance, notebook production, and file
organization have been extremely helpful for the organization and a great service learning activity
for the volunteers. The service learning aspect of our volunteer program has been the most
attractive component to the volunteers. We attempt to find the projects that best fit the
expectation and experience of the volunteer.

All of these projects have recruited the help from volunteers. The Roger Hill Volunteer Center
(RHVC) for recruited over 150 volunteer to help with various projects. The John Dewey Learning
Academy (JDLA) students have helped with BMP implementations and have hosted events. The
Corps of Engineers have presented at our events, provided over 200 acres of land to use within the
UWW, and have provided technical advice and materials. Thirty KU Summer Institute freshmen
worked on stormwater protection projects at the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp early in the 2006
summer. Chase County Extension, NRCS, KAWS, and the Land Institute were there for the
StreamLink 2005 Student Gathering. WaterLINK, Douglas County Extension and the Corps of
Engineers donated time for the 2006 Student Gathering.

Kansas StreamLink’s stewardship activities have come in many different forms. There have been
volunteers involved in tree plantings in efforts to slow bank erosion, trash pick-ups to clean up
degraded areas, wetland restorations for habitat renewal & recreation, outreach activities, and
in-office projects as well. We have developed stewardship activities tailored to the wants and needs
of volunteers and the community, Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp work day to WaterLink’s service
learning projects that include storm water monitoring and journalism student projects. The idea of
keeping flexible activities available for our volunteers is an important aspect to our stewardship
program. StreamLink is always looking for the service learning component in every stewardship

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activity. It is ideal for both the program as well as the volunteer to get the absolute most out of
each activity.

Recognizing Active Teams
KVHA works to stay in touch with active teams and strongly encouraged continued participation
through contact and by providing successful service. This can mean providing equipment for
sampling outings such as chemistry kits, kick nets, data sheets, field assistance, classroom visits,
curriculum ideas or presenting the interactive Mudscapes. The StreamLink program has been
actively involved in promoting the World Water Monitoring Day. By sending out emails to stream
teams and reminding them of the event, we are encouraging them to participating in the event as
well as promoting the program. Having positive interactions with program participants is important
to keeping retention high, and all efforts are made to ensure that this is achieved. An effort is also
made to follow up on activities. Sending out emails thanking participants after a sampling event
and mailing teacher appreciation awards to educators at the end of the school year are example of
such efforts. Encouraging stream team leaders to send information to update their page on the
StreamLink website helps involvement as well. We also attempt to contact incoming educators
when teachers move on from a school and discontinue participation in StreamLink. There were
over a thousand emails sent and approximately one hundred phone calls made to our participating
members during this grant period. Eighteen new teams were recruited. We have had success in
offering fresh ideas such as storm water monitoring, adjustments to grab the attention of
Conservation Districts across the state, as well as the service learning stewardship activities
incorporated in the WRAPS project. Kansas StreamLink has been involved with over forty
conservation districts in Kansas.

Event Materials
Conferences and workshops attended allowed for displays and presentations, as well as distribution
of program brochures and other information regarding water quality.

StreamLink created a summary version of the training manuals that are distributed to stream team
leaders at training workshops to encourage self-guided stream assessments, which were also given
out at each of the Wabaunsee County Water Festivals.

Data sheets were distributed to all stream assessment participants to help document and facilitate
the activity. Two separate StreamLink brochures were produced and handed out at conferences,
workshops, as well as 900 that were sent to the 2006 State Fair coordinators to be put in their
educator packets. PowerPoint presentations were given at conferences, workshops, and meetings.
The StreamLink web site has been updated with current calendar dates and event news.

Several periodical publications were also mailed and distributed during this grant period. The

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Dragonfly Messenger was mailed to educators throughout the state. The Watershed was made
available and otherwise distributed, primarily in the Kansas Lower Republican Basin.

The training manual used for the Basic Stream Assessment Workshops was reformatted to more
seamlessly incorporate partner materials.

New Projects
Local authors, educators, artists, historians, and other resources have been involved with creating
and conceptually designing what we’ve come to call the “Kaw Valley River Roots” series. Each story
pertains to a specific Kansas water body, and provides information through story telling that is
reinforced by factual information. During this grant period, Catfish Cookies was in the development
phase. This book focuses on the Kansas River at Bowersock Dam in Lawrence. This endeavor has
helped build affiliations with emerging partners, including the Dyche Natural History Museum,
Zephyr Energy, and Crown Toyota Casting Club. We intend to use book promotion as a t ool for
media outreach. Catfish Cookies was featured at the Lawrence Public Library last summer and at
the Lawrence Earth Day Festival in April.

StreamLink and the Jayhawk Audubon Society have piloted the wetland assessment with 2 area
elementary schools involving over 90 students and 10 facilitators. We developed a data sheet that
would act as a guide for the students as they went through the various stations. The initial events
have been shown to be successful by follow up evaluations filled out by students, educators and
parent volunteers. KVHA has applied for a private grant with JAS to help provide transportation and
instructor stipends for future wetland assessments.

Work has been done to prepare for a pilot fish census project. The project will address ongoing
requests for fish identification support. Based on user profile surveys done by KDWP, we’ll also be
evaluating the pilot as a tool for raising WRAPS interest in the fishing community. KSU’s Aquatic
GAP, KU’s Ichthyology Dept., and the Kansas student chapter of the American Fisheries Society
and KDWP have expressed willingness to assist. Well known nature artist Joseph Tomerelli has
allowed StreamLink to use his illustrations to assemble a Wakarusa fish identification sheet.

The preliminary layout and writing has been done for booklet on Mudscapes. We met with
representatives from a curriculum development program at KU called Altec. They have carried
discussions forward with the Kan-Ed network with the hopes for formally developing a training
format. Mudscapes would be part of a set of environmental studies exercises focused on
curriculum developing secondary students ability to analyze and synthesize multi-disciplinary
concepts. During this grant period StreamLink received an award from EPA to help cover the cost
of providing Mudscapes. A sidebar activity was designed for doing 2-dimensional "Mudscapes" sans
mud with classes.

Several interns worked with StreamLink during this grant period. Interns primarily focused on

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providing program support. However, we were able to apply their unique ideas to extend existing
projects and help initiate new projects. For example, we met with the Endowment Association for
Lawrence Memorial Hospital to discuss expansion plans and the potential for incorporating projects
that would build environmental awareness. Students at, and recent graduates of, the University of
Kansas, Haskell Indian Nations University, and the Rhode Island School of Design took part in the
internship program.

During this grant period StreamLink worked with the Corps of Engineers, the Kansas Dept. of
Wildlife and Parks, KAWS, and other Upper Wakarusa WRAPS partners to implement a 5-Star
Project funded by EPA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The groundwork and initial
seeding was completed for restoring several acres of wetland in the Coon Creek watershed. A mix
of saplings were planted to stabilize a portion of streambank/shoreline. A kiosk was put in at the
site along with an observation bench back along a trail. The kiosk display has been focused on lake
water quality protection. Several meetings have been held with the Oregon-Santa Fe Trail
Association regarding building a cross-organizational volunteer group. Haskell Indian Nations
University Ecology Program and the University of Kansas Environmental Studies and Geography
Programs are also being courted to expand on restoration project. The Kansas Trail Association is
working with StreamLink to help create a series of observation points on the bluff above the
wetland. Additional discussions to develop the "eco-recreation" opportunities at Coon Creek have
happened with the Fort Leavenworth environmental program.

Promotional Items
We have distributed over a 1500 SL zipper pulls, 150 SL t-shirts, 300 window decals, 2000 SL
stickers, and 75 SL carrying bags to various StreamLink participants and supporters.

StreamLink has produced and distributed 6 newsletters, totaling over 6,500 copies, during the
duration of this grant.

Overall Event & Program Totals

The StreamLink (SL) program has held or been involved with 107 activities reaching over 12,000
people from across the state. The 23 water festivals (~7,730 people) in 2005-06 mostly consisted
of Mudscapes, but we did do samplings at a few smaller or less structured events. Twenty-one
stream and wetland sampling (~1,229 kids) took place in the 2005-06 period. We completed 13
stewardship/service learning activities (~526 people) installing BMPs such as riparian tree
plantings, trail mulching and maintenance, program building, and stream and lake clean-ups.
KVHA staff members have attend and/or held 40 meetings reaching out to ~1400 people.

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