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A special edition that highlights Kaw Valley Heritage Association’s many programs and endeavors. We are proud of our accomplishments for 2006. This newsletter is a culmination of The Watershed, The Wakarusa Review & The Dragonfly Messenger newsletters. With one organizational newsletter, all partners will become familiar with our ‘other’ projects. Please enjoy, and we appreciate your feedback! Here’s to 2007!
Funding for KVHA Projects are currently provided by grants from the KS Dept. of Health & Environment and by the contributions of partners and program users. KVHA is a federally recognized 501c(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.
By Alison Reber The Coon Creek Wetland Restoration Project has become an important spring board for additional restoration and education pursuits. The wetland area is part of a larger complex of public land and the project attracted interest in strengthening opportunities for nature-base recreation / education. These concepts are diverse and involve interacting with the environment on a variety of scales. Recreationthemed community events are being considered for short grass prairie and hardwood forest restoration projects. We are especially interested in freestanding “opportunities for observational interactions” as opposed to measures that will increase foot traffic. The project site is along the Oregon Trail corridor. We're now trying to coordinate habitat and viewscape restoration projects based on primary source documentation As part of an initiative to inventory emigrant trail sites in northeastern Kansas, a GIS workshop is being planned for next spring. Volunteers will be trained to use field observations to verify and then map locations described in emigrant journals. StreamLink provides basic stream assessment workshops for interested individuals and groups implementing watershed restoration and protection strategies (WRAPS). We hope to improve our workshop participants’ recognition of potential cultural resources. Severe stream bank degradation is exposing new, deep layers of the archaeological record. At the same time, there are more eyes looking in the right place at the right time. The challenge is making sure they know what they're looking for. Preliminary field assessments can help focus and prioritize the restoration and protection efforts across multiple disciplines.
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Written by KVHA volunteer, Alphild Rees
Also known as “Catdaddy,” R.R. Shumway has been taking people out to rivers and lakes since 1985, showing them the best places to cast a line in Kansas and Missouri. Shumway could most easily be found traversing the local waters throughout the week, but he has also been known to speak at ProBass conventions. “I’m out there preachin’ the “The river will tell you gospel,” he says what you want to know if you with a chuckle, though it quickly know how to read it....but girl,” becomes clear that he says to me, a grin spreading the world of fishing across his face, “you got to go is no joke to him; to hear him talk is to to know. The more you go, the hear to voice of more you know.” someone who has “Catdaddy” Shumway fallen head over heels into the Kansas River for fishing. It is a love that comes honestly. The son of a bait shop owner, his first job was working the store, learning about the connection between fishing and the community, as lesson taught to him by his father. As we sit under an awning in his front yard and sip iced tea, he tells us how his father would extend store credit to locals who were broke. “Dad liked people,” Shumway explained. “He let them charge because they were part of the community.” The small act of extending store credit also demonstrated that his father understood the psychological impact of fishing upon
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Coon Creek Wetland looking east.
Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance 412 E. 9th Street Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 840-0700 Fax: (785) 843-6080 email@example.com KVHA Staff
A Note from the Director...
For nine years I've watched many KVHA projects begin and can happily report that I've seen very few end. It's not that we haven't gotten anything done. Many final project reports have been written. The reports have careful boundaries, dates on a calendar. We have to untangle time to separate the strands of projects from one another. Projects wind around one another, seamless and yet distinct. Like hand spun yarn, continuity is a thing of beauty. I am extremely proud of 2006. People and projects seemed to fit and the days
Alison Reber, Executive Director seemed full of energy. However, I can’t point to a single day on the calendar Christine Boller, Program Director when we were successful. Tyson Combs, Intern Jason Dick, Intern Board of Directors Dale Lambley, President Paul Liechti, Treasurer Will Boyer, Secretary Bob Burkhart, Public Affairs VACANT, At-Large VACANT, At-Large
Success doesn’t come in simple, measurable increments. It’s not just about planning ahead. It’s about anticipation….and it’s about being ready for change. In this newsletter, the projects are interwoven to give readers a sense of the cohesion that hallmarked 2006. The dividends of continuity will play out in 2007. We anticipate success, we have planned for success, and we’re ready for whatever contingencies come our way. Welcome 2007! Alison Reber, Executive Director
KVHA Calendar (in brief…)
6th Annual Kansas Farmer’s Market Conference
Monday, February 5, 2007, 10 am to 4 pm at the public library in Topeka at 1515 SW 10th Ave. Speaker: Larry Johnson, a flower grower and manager of Dane County Farmers’ Market in Madison, Wisconsin. Topics will include marketing tips, chef demonstrations, electronic newsletters, Electronic Benefits Transfer systems & special events.
OSHER Institute for Continuing Education class
Thursdays , February 22, March 1 & March 8 from 7-9 p.m. Taught by Alison Reber, Executive Director of KVHA & Bob Burkhart, KVHA board member. The three-part class will address past, present and future relationships among people and water from the Westport Landing to the Wakarusa Watershed River Crossing. "StoryTech" (1950-2049).
Oregon-California Trail Association(OCTA) workshop
OCTA’s preservation training program covers three aspects of trail preservation: mapping, marking and monitoring (the 3Ms). Two-day( May 5-6) workshop covering the Lawrence area. If interested contact Travis Boley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7th Annual Student Gathering, Friday April 6
High School student event that combines learning, collaboration & stewardship. Hosted by StreamLink. Interested science teachers please call our office, 785-8400700.
StreamLink Mudscapes Events:
April 12, WABCO Wet & Wild, Mission Valley April 13, Hillsdale Watershed Festival April 20, E.A.R.T.H. Watershed Festival, Dickinson Co May 2, Osage City Water Festival
New Beginnings: Wakarusa Wetland Learners
Baker Wetlands provided the optimal teaching habitat for collaborative efforts on behalf of StreamLink, Jayhawk Audubon Society & Kansas Biological Survey. The spring pilot field days included fourth-graders from Cordley and Schwegler Elementary schools. The 90 plus students rotated through several stations, including; water chemistry, macroinvertebrates, flora, fauna, art & journaling. In December, KVHA & JAS were awarded an Elizabeth Schultz environmental grant for their proposal, Wakarusa Wetland Learners, which gives students the opportunity to experience the diversity of the wetland Students and teachers gather on the Baker Wetland boardwalk . habitat. There are going to be 15 field trips planned for spring and fall of this year. Monies from the grant will help fund transportation for the kids and pay KU science student interns a small stipend for teaching. The complexity of a wetland habitat goes through numerous changes seasonally making it a perfect learning environment for exploration and discovery. Our goal is to bring awareness to this invaluable local wildlife landmark. Please watch our website for updates and pictures. Currently this opportunity will be offered to grades 4 and up. Sign up information will be available via the Streamlink website at www.streamlink.org. For more information about the grant award please go to the Jayhawk Audubon Society’s online newsletter at http:// skyways.lib.ks.us/orgs/jayhawkaudubon/December_06% 20newsletter.pdf
StreamLink’s Basic Stream Assessment Workshops
StreamLink’s summer season included two stream assessment workshops at Branded B Ranch near Perry Lake and Morning Star Ranch near Florence in Marion County. Both groups proved to be inquisitive and fun, with a nice balance of agency employees, landowners, and teachers. The two day course is a comprehensive study of stream ecology, hydrology, habitat, restoration and appreciation. Class time is split between classroom presentations and the field. The presenters included; Phil Balch and Chris Mammolitti from the Water Institute, a non-profit organization, located in Topeka. Their expertise in stream bank restoration takes them all over the country. Paul Ingle, from the Melvern Lake Watershed Water Quality Project, spoke on stream hydrology and the basics of a stream assessment. Rebecca Moscou and Rhonda Janke, from Citizen Science, based out of Kansas State University, demonstrated step-by-step testing and analysis of water testing. The June workshop was located at Branded B Ranch, on the western side of Perry Lake. The local streams that were explored and assessed were Slough and Little Slough Creeks. Like the rest of the summer, the temperatures were uncomfortable, but stream exploration provided the perfect respite. The August workshop, at Morning Star Ranch in Marion County was requested and planned with the help and enthusiasm of Peggy Blackman, the coordinator for the Marion Reservoir 319 Water Quality Project. The exploration of Spring Creek and Cedar Creek proved unforgettable. Spring Creek’s water quality was pristine, enough so to house a fresh water sponge, which most of us had never seen. It was a definite “Look, but don’t touch moment”. Cedar Creek was home to a diverse population of mussels. Vaughn Weaver, an Environmental Water Quality Specialist for the City of Wichita, imparted knowledge and enthusiasm of the bivalve
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Lawrence child examines macroinvertebrates during her Baker Wetland field trip. Go Wakarusa Wetland Learners!
Mary Clark, of the Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson, and Sandy Collins, of West Junior High in Lawrence, use a kick net to collect macro invertebrates at Slough Creek.
Welcome to Coon Creek Wetland ! By Alison Reber
The Coon Creek Wildlife Area is a diverse tract of public land on the north side of Clinton Lake. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) awarded KVHA a $7,000 Five Star grant to assist with restoring a portion of the area's wetland. The grant required cooperation among five entities to accomplish a habitat restoration project with a public education component. KVHA's StreamLink and Upper Wakarusa WRAPS Programs coordiView of Coon Creek, looking south toward nated with the Clinton Lake. Corps of Engineers, the Roger Hill Volunteer Center, the Douglas County Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Kansas Trails Council to make this project happen. Coon Creek is part of the Wakarusa River Valley, a geologically unique watershed that was the farthest southern edge of the last glacial intrusion into North America. The area has unusually frequent ecotones which translates to habitat diversity. As the water slowed to juncture with the Wakarusa River, rich glacial till settled along the tributary stream channels and created the perfect hydric conditions for a vast, deep wetland complex. Over the course of the last 150 years, these areas were converted to huge but highly flood prone tracks of extremely productive crop lands. The Coon Creek valley is confined by steep rocky hardwood uplands and shallow sandy ridge lines. Agricultural use in our project area began around 1900. Cropping occurred in the bottomland; the uplands were used for livestock. In the '70s the site was purchased by the federal government as part of the Clinton Reservoir land acquisition. The tributary's juncture with the Wakarusa River was smoothed away to become part of the lake bottom. For some distance upstream the creek was deepened, broadened and contoured to limit the stretch of land permanently inundated.
Invasive plant communities began to slowly cover the cleared wetland when the remaining parcels were taken out of production in the '80s. Nearly 30 years later damage to the native wetland ecosystem is still pronounced. Around 2000, the COE began managing the wetland area for wildlife habitat. Serious habitat restoration takes three layers of conjecture. First, you have to imagine what the microtopography would have been before the area was altered. Second, you have to plan out how to mimic the systems that would have kept the ecosystems stable. And third, you have to step back to the here and now to figure out what will happen if the first two happen. Near its juncture with the Wakarusa, Coon Creek would historically have been bordered by wetlands and intermittent stands of hardwoods. A hawk might have perched high in a hedge tree, scanning the wetland for prey. A raccoon might have eaten a crayfish before retreating to a rotten tree trunk for the day. Most of the trees died from over saturation long ago and many are rapidly decaying. As they break down, the open water broadens and the diversity of animals able to use the area shrinks. Among other things these trees provide perches for birds and turtles. Throughout the spring and fall more than 400 trees were planted by area high school students. Water tolerant species such as sycamore, green ash, and burr oak were planted in low-lying wet areas. Drought resistant hackberry and cottonwoods were planted on higher ground. Seed plantings have been completed upstream where there's less potential for long-term lake water inundation. Layers of native grasses, shrubs, and fescue firebreaks now stretch north in several tiers from the tree planting area. The land has been contoured with several areas that will somewhat retain water. The shrubs will slow storm water as it enters the wetland through the natural stream channel. The grasses will be protected from invading species using prescribed burns every few years. Fescue s t r i ps have been used to create an area of low vegetation that should help keep fire from escaping to the wooded areas. The wetland is becoming re-established and growing stronger. It
Maggie Bixler of Roger Hill Volunteer Center and KVHA volunteer Jason Dick distribute mulch for the Coon Creek trail.
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(Continued from page 4) Welcome to Coon Creek Wetland!
(Continued from page 1) KVHA HAPPENINGS
will take many years for it to be truly healthy and a lot of thoughtful effort to keep it thriving. The Coon Creek Wetland Restoration Project is happening at the Coon Creek Wildlife Area at Clinton Lake. The Wildlife Area is most readily accessible from a gravel parking lot off Douglas County Road 1029 (E 550 Rd). This lot is on the ridge line west of the creek. A trail will lead you east to a new kiosk installed as part of the Five Star grant. Volunteers have worked hard to lay a trail that will take you on east and north. A bench will be installed at an observation point looking over the wetland. Driving directions from Lawrence to Coon Creek Wildlife Area: Take Highway 40 west and continue west on County Road 442 (N 1600 Road). At the intersection of County Roads 442 and 1029 (E 550 Rd) turn south and drive one mile. The parking lot for Coon Creek Wildlife Area will be on the left.
Curriculum partnerships with the Geography, Environmental Studies, and Anthropology Programs at the University of Kansas, and the Ecology Program at Haskell Indian Nations University are emerging. Partnering topics include using GIS for resource protection, wetland assessment and tracking restoration progress over time, evaluating the watershed specific efficacy of conservation/protection measures, and correlating raw water quality data with sub-watershed landuse changes. The local Audubon Chapter has helped piece together a wetland assessment workshop for elementary students. Funding was obtained through a community foundation to hire 10 college students to serve as field interns for the workshops. StreamLink's primary responsibility is to technically and pedagogically train the interns. Finally, an environmental history continuing education class is being offered next spring by the Osher Institute at the University of Kansas. The three-part class will address past, present and future relationships among people and water from the Westport Landing to the Wakarusa Watershed River Crossing. "StoryTech" (1950-2049).
Teachers and students please join us for the 7th Annual StreamLink Student Gathering on Friday April 6, 2007! The event includes speakers, food & stewardship. Meet other stream teams from your area. This year’s location is in the Topeka area. For more information, please call Christine at 785-840-0700.
Alison Reber and Travis Daneke stand in front of the new Coon Creek Wetland kiosk , that was purchased by the 5 Star EPA grant.
Interested in becoming a stream ecology expert with your friends & co-workers? Then…
GET OUT OF THE OFFICE AND GET YOUR FEET WET!
Find out more about upcoming stream assessment workshops by calling KVHA, at 785-840-0700!
Phil Balch, of the Water Institute, speaks with Sherry Davis from P.R.I.D.E. and Jenny Jasper from the Miami County Conservation District while exploring Spring Creek. (Continued from page 3)Basic Stream Assessment Workshops
fauna. At last count we had found evidence of at least ten different species. Not only do the stream assessment workshops impart much practical knowledge, they are also a platform for intra-agency networking and brainstorming for future collaborations. The “water” community in Kansas is not large, but we see each other frequently at festivals and meetings, with little time to visit. If you are interested in knowing more about stream assessment workshops, contact Christine at email@example.com.
BIRDING IN MEXICO
By Gabrielle Iversen, former KVHA Project Assistant
In January I went to Mexico as part of a bird watching tour group. We spent most of the trip in the Sonoran town of Alamos, a historical silver mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Madre with a population of around 6,000. Alamos is surrounded by beautiful tropical deciduous forest where a hiker can find a mix of cacti, ironwood, mesquite and palo verde. which is accessible only by river. Residents still farm and speak their native language of Cahita. When they need to leave the village and visit a nearby town they canoe or swim to the opposite bank. In the historic haciendas of Alamos, many of which have been converted to luxury hotels, large pools glisten, waterfalls run perpetually, and large Jacuzzi tubs abound. As usual wealthy travelers are isolated from shortfalls of local resources. As we drove back across the U.S. border, past shanty towns made of tin and cardboard shacks where clean running water is a fantasy, I thought about how money can secure the illusion of everlasting resources, and I wondered for how long.
With a mandate from the office to keep an eye out for water issues I asked some of the Alamos resident birders who came along on our day trips about water in the community. Mexico, like the U.S., has suffered high temperatures and intermittent draught conditions over the last decade and is plagued by water issues. They told me that water scarcity was an issue, even though the Sonoran desert gets more rainfall A common site, cattle in the Rio Mayo river. than most. Alamos has a dry season from October to June and a wet season from July to Gabrielle Iversen is now attending graduate school at Lewis and December. I noticed that people were using rooftop rainwater Clark College in Portland, Oregon . collection systems to take advantage of those rainy days. I was told that many households get their water from wells fed by ancient aquifers that are pumped at unsustainable rates. There is also city water which is delivered to most townspeople by truck, perhaps from community wells. Apparently the deliveries are unpredictable and meager. Families use large water tanks to hold water until the next delivery, and are careful to conserve, not knowing when the next supply will arrive.
StreamLink Numbers January 2005September 2006
23 27 13 25 10
We took a raft trip down the nearby Rio Mayo, the second largest river in Sonora. It has been tamed by a large earthen dam, which we saw the underside of, and its waters are now primarily used for irrigation. This river provides an amazing wildlife habitat and is rich in history. On the riverbanks we hiked on the ancient El Camino Real, ‘the Royal Road’ that stretches into California from Mexico and visited petroglyphs of indeterminate age. We also stopped and visited the small Mayo village of Santa Barbara,
Type of Event
Festivals Stream Samplings Stewardships Meetings Training Workshops
7,730 1,229 526 500 1,215
Ancient aquaduct along the El Camino Real, or ‘The Royal Road’ 6
(Continued from page 1) Catfish
What happens when thirty adults ride on a yellow school bus? Adventure! StreamLink partnered with the Kansas River Canoe Company for a ten-mile Kansas River canoe tour from the new Rising Sun access point near Lecompton to River Front Park in North Lawrence. This August day didn’t disappoint, there was plenty of sunshine and very little wind. Our guide, Tom Farris, manager of the Kansas River Canoe Company, kindly donated his time, canoes, and transportation for our field trip. The invite list included much appreciated partners and affiliates, such as; Friends of the Kaw, Melvern Lake Watershed, Miami County NRCS, Riverfront Development Foundation, Lawrence Journal World and the Leavenworth County Magazine.
Lon & Nancy Lewis, of the Topeka The biggest surprise was how shallow Chapter of the Sierra Club, take a the river was. Due to the sandbar break along the Kansas drought, it was difficult River. to find areas that were more than three feet deep. Normally, the river is about five feet deep. The sandbars provided an excellent rest and exploration area. They gave us clues as to the wildlife that normally inhabits the area. We found evidence of raccoons, deer, herons and many other familiar species.
The day was a success, with very few mishaps. The journey wasn’t too hard on the body, and ensured a great night’s rest. If you are interested in more information about canoeing or kayaking the Kansas River, please contact Kansas River Canoe Company, located at the Lawrence KOA campgrounds, at 785-842-3877. To read the County Magazine’s article on this event, please go to http://www.mycountymagazine.com/Issues/ County%20Fall%202006.pdf.
a person—how it provided an escape from the stress and rigors of daily life—an understanding that Shumway carries to this day. To R.R. Shumway, fishing is food for the soul, and perhaps this is why he is so keen on introducing fishing to younger generations. Like his father, Shumway often gives back to the community, donating tours to groups of children in the community, such as those from the Shawnee County Mental Health Department. Some of these children have “strong problems,” according to Shumway, many of them having never set out on the river before. Nonetheless, he says, “they have a blast…and I enjoy seeing it, too.” He admits that fewer and fewer kids can be found fishing now in days, but still believes that by introducing kids to the sport of fishing, not only are they more likely to stay away from less wholesome pastimes, but they will also develop an appreciation for the natural world. “Kids are the future of fishing,” he says, leaning back in his chair. And despite the fewer numbers of kids found out on the rivers and lakes of Kansas, Shumway seems to be heartened by those that are. Awareness of the environment is stronger among the current generation of kids, Shumway explains, a fact that he tries to capitalize on. The kids, he says, ask a lot of questions, to which he tells them: “This isn’t just drinkin’ water. You got to keep this water as clean as you can…it is “Catdaddy,” R.R. Shumway , holds up a life water for everything Kansas Flathead, one of many large catches in his career. else in water…animals drink out of it, trees suck water up in their roots. There is poetry in listening to his descriptions of maneuvering down the Kansas River, and it is obvious that the appreciation for the natural world that he wants to impart to the future generations is something that he himself has in abundance. “The river is always changing, always living,” he muses when I ask what appeals to him about the river. “The river will tell you what you want to know if you know how to read it....but girl,” he says to me, a grin spreading across his face, “you got to go to know. The more you go, the more you know.” It makes sense that as we drove to meet R.R. Shumway at his home in north Topeka, we crossed over the Kansas River. It is an odd juxtaposition—the languid and patient curve of the river overlapped by busy cars and surrounded by industrial development. In the hot July morning, the light reflects off the water, shimmering like fish scales. It is framed by old buildings and steel girders, evidence of human development, but you can tell the river holds its very own secrets. As R.R. Shumway puts it, “the Kansas River is No-Man’s Land.”
Photos courtesy of Bob Burkhart, our newest KVHA Boardmember!
Canoers take a break along one of the many sandbars that provided a perfect respite for the 10 mile journey.
Alphild Rees is working towards her English degree at the University of Kansas.
By Evelyn Davis, Shawnee County Conservation District Being a “dare-to-do-dirt” traveler in the true Kansas Explorer fashion, there are few roads in the Wakarusa Valley that I have not traversed at some time in the last 40 years. Every season brings its own set of intriguing vistas; I can get wanderlust at the slightest provocation. I recall an old book, Reading the Landscape by Mary Theilgaard Watts, which has this passage in the introduction, “As we read what is written on the land, finding accounts of the past, predictions of the future, and comments on the present, we discover there are many interwoven strands to each story, offering several interpretations.” With inspiration like that, who could find monotony in even the most mundane landscape? Traveling by foot around my own valley provides the most intimate and revealing landscape stories. Even in the roadside ditches are accounts of past and present influences written for those willing to take the time to “read.” One of the most common and revealing are the “calling cards” left by passersby the previous night. These range from animal scat to fast food cups and wrappers. One a recent walk along my county blacktop, yellows dominated the flowering plant palette with several different sunflowers and goldenrod in bloom. Fall asters provided accents with shades of purple and lavender. The road and ditch were strewn with fragments of corn cobs and shredded corn stalks and leaves landing there from the combine that was moving through the adjacent field. The smell of fall was in the air; the evening sky was awash with clouds tinted brilliant mauves, roses, and soft yellows. A recent car trek uncovered a treasure in the Wakarusa Valley. Clinton Lake Museum in the Bloomington Park area at Clinton Lake is a valley gem. It has poignant stories of changes that came about with the destruction of the homes and farms in the valley to make way for Clinton Reservoir. Set atop a knoll, the old dairy barn turned museum is the only remaining building in what was once the town of Bloomington. There are no high tech interactive elements here, but the stories of the area are clearly stated and augmented by artifacts, original documents, and a plethora of pictures thanks to the forethought, dedication and determination of the museum director, Martha Parker. Martha’s family farm was one of the first to be destroyed to make way for the dam. Martha was forward thinking and saw that the history and culture would slip away unnoted without intervention. She and others worked diligently to get those being displaced to save pictures, letters, deeds and other documents and also worked to get the Corps of Engineers to agree to provide a place to house and display the collection. Continuing her pursuit of preserving and interpreting
the history of Bloomington, money is now being raised to enlarge the physical space of the museum and widen the scope of the collection to include the entire Wakarusa River Valley. The name is changing to Wakarusa River Valley Museum and Cultural Center which reflects the expansion and the content of the collection. The Clinton Lake Museum is not regularly open during the winter, but is available by appointment during the off season. Put this valley jewel on your “must see” list.
The University of Kansas School of Journalism's Environmental Reporting class taught by Rick Musser spent the summer researching and reporting on Clinton Lake, water quality issues, and the interrelationship between this resource and the surrounding communities. Partnering with WaterLINK, The Journal World, and Channel 6 the class covered topics such as nonpoint source pollution, the history of the area and Clinton Lake, and drinking water quality. This was a multimedia effort, meaning that there are print stories, photo essays, and video reports. You can find them at http://www2.ljworld.com/news/out_of_the_tap/. List of complete articles at above web address:
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Bottle or tap? Depends on taste , by Megan Price Sediment growing problem at Clinton, by Liz Horsley Limiting growth leaves some dry, by Fred Davis Expect busy summer when state cuts park fees, by Erin Castaneda Farmer’s friend also enemy to Clinton Lake, by Sally Hardman Herbicide can get into drinking water, by Liz Horsley Flood of ’51 gives rise to engineering project, by Zak Beasley Need for dam still subject to debate, by Zak Beasley
Throughout the years, KVHA has been lucky to have wonderful interns and project assistants. We pride ourselves as being a professional springboard to higher positions. Rachael Sudlow, who worked part-time while in school at the Rhode Island School of Design, and full-time upon graduation in May of 2005, has left to pursue her jewelry making business. Gabrielle Iversen, is currently pursing her M.A. in art education at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Many of you will notice that Gabrielle did the illustrations for Catfish Cookies, our soon to be published children’s picture book. Their office desks have yet to be refilled and we miss them greatly! 8
What is a Watershed?A watershed is an area of land that drains downhill to a body of water, such as a stream, lake, river or
wetland. A watershed includes both the waterway and the land that drains to it. Each watershed is separated topographically by a ridge or hill. A watershed is like a funnel - collecting all the water within the drainage area and channeling it into a waterway. Watersheds are natural bodies that don’t recognize political boundaries.
The Upper Wakarusa Watershed Protection Strategy Map
Shawnee County Conservation District WRAPS
To find out what watershed you live in, log onto the EPA’s website at: http:// cfpub.epa.gov/surf/ locate/index.cfm. Just type in your address, so easy!
Shawnee County Conservation District Receives Grant
Over the last several years, local and state agencies and organizations have been concerned about both water quantity and quality issues in the Upper Wakarusa Watershed (UWW) above Clinton Reservoir. Clinton is the source of drinking water for more than 100,000 people. All the ways we use our land impact water quality and quantity. Yes, that means what you and I do-- in our backyards, on our farms, or in land development (i.e., converting agricultural land to roads, housing, or commercial uses). Shawnee County Conservation District applied for (and received) a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to involve landowners in Lynn Creek and Six Mile Creek subwatersheds at the grassroots level. These grant funds pay for bringing in local landowners to prioritize the UWW WRAPS for their sub-watershed, placing demonstration projects on the ground, and for educational events and activities. A general meeting was held in the Lynn Creek sub-watershed in early August to which about 200 landowners were invited. A general overview of the UWW WRAPS was presented. The greater part of the meeting was devoted to small group discussions in three areas of concern: grassland management, livestock management, and developing land. These groups then prioritized concerns based on their knowledge of the local area. Also from this meeting, a stakeholder group evolved. This stakeholder group has met several times to prioritize targeted demonstration projects and education activities. The Lynn Creek plans include a prescribed burn training (classroom style) and cost-share for terrace restoration. They also came up with an innovative approach to facilitate septic tank pumping. Funds will be available for those who do not have clean out risers to pump their tanks and install the risers, which should encourage landowners to pump tanks regularly since the lid does not have to be dug up each time the tank is pumped. The Six Mile plans are still pending. For more information, please contact the Shawnee County Conservation District at (785) 267-5721 ext 3.
UWW WRAPS Numbers in Action
67 BMP’s implemented (44 in 2005 and 23 between January and June 2006). Impacting more than 28,425 acres. Total cost of $429,521 with $187,729 in Cost share. 3 abandoned well pluggings 1 access road 1 brush mgmt 1 conservation tillage 6 fencing 1 field borders 1 filter strips 7 grass plantings 4 grassed waterway or grassed waterway restorations 2 livestock feeding sites 2 nutrient mgmt facilities 4 onsite wastewater systems (and upgrades) 2 pasture/hay plantings 2 pipelines 5 prescribed burnings 1 pumping plants 2 range plantings 1 seedings of declining habitat 4 soil tests 1 stream bank stabilization 4 terraces (or restorations) 2 trash & area control 1 tree shrub establishment 1 watering facility 1 well 3 wetland construction 1 wetland restoration 1 wildlife-upland area mgmt 1 windbreak establishment
3 Wakarusa Review newsletters - 7134 mailed Educational brochures - 525 distributed
4 Promotional brchures & mailings - 5445 distributed 3 Flyers/fact sheets 400 distributed 1 Website
13 Posters/displays 2420 people cotacted 1 Database of partners and stakeholders - 4787 entries
Calling all streambanks for a “WIN, WIN” opportunity! StreamLink and UWW WRAPS are
joining forces to help landowners within the Upper Wakarusa Watershed who may need assistance with streambank stabilization. StreamLink is looking for volunteers who will help collect and install willow cuttings, and UWW WRAPS are looking for landowners who need assistance with streambank stabilization. Please call KVHA at 785-840-0700, if you are interested.
New & Improved WRAPS Partners
Kansas StreamLink is a statewide watershed education program of the Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance (KVHA). KVHA's dedicated staff and leadership have extensive experience with watershed community development. Watershed restoration and protection of the Wakarusa River Valley is also a major project of the Alliance. StreamLink began working with stream teams in 1998. We have extensive records of Kansas' stream teams including local program details, group activity logs, site records, and observation submissions. StreamLink's watershed-correlated website provides a public interface with local stream teams. The program uses a variety of multidisciplinary and multimedia techniques to provide for Kansas' watershed educational needs. Instructional support is tailored to specific watersheds and designed to fit the needs of program participants. StreamLink is also available for the design and development of community water resource projects. StreamLink can help WRAPS groups: * strengthen stakeholders' working knowledge of watershed ecology, * develop the stream assessment competency of community volunteers, * coordinate and recruit stream teams and student groups, and * creatively engage outreach audiences. Education and outreach is essential for addressing many of the goals identified in WRAPS. A comprehensive plan for education and outreach helps prioritize, focus, and target resources.
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Shawnee County Conservation District Army Corps of Engineers Osage County Conservation District Osage NRCS Wabaunsee Conservation District WaterLINK No-till on the Plains Rural Water Districts Wakarusa Watershed District Grassland Water Quality Project Overbrook Pride Park Bowersock Mills & Power Company Douglas County Farm Bureau Douglas County Livestock Assn. Osage County Farm Bureau Osage County Farm Services Agency Kansas Farm Bureau City of Lawrence ECO2 State Association of Kansas Watersheds
StreamLink can help WRAPS groups: * identify core outreach concerns among diverse stakeholders, * complete educational needs inventory, * map audience and content priorities, * determine best educational practices, and * coordinate stakeholder resources and capabilities.
Please go to www.streamlink.org for more information!
This summer the KVHA office decided to have a BIG clean sweep of the office. It felt awesome to organize and clear out a few odds and ends. The biggest help was calling the City of Lawrence’s Business Hazardous Waste Department. Instead of throwing away old paint, and other potentially noxious chemicals, we called in the professionals. They came and surveyed what needed to go, made an estimate (households are free) and gave us a time to drop off the waste at their facility. The consensus? Very convenient, with no guilt of throwing away hazardous waste. Can’t beat that! Please call the Waste and Recycling Department at (785)-832-3030, if you have waste to dispose of responsibly.
Willow Cuttings Can Halt Stream Washouts
the top (closest to the branch tip) and the bottom (closest to the trunk) of cuttings. They can make each bottom cut at a slant, which will make driving the cutting into the ground easier. They also can dip each cutting top in a 50-50 mix of white latex paint and water.
MANHATTAN, Kan. – If next to a body of water that flows or * To stay viable, cuttings must stay moist during hauling and sometimes floods, bare earth is simply soil loss waiting to hap- storing. On-site, they can even rest in the stream until pen. planted. “Sometimes grazing or even wildlife is at fault. But many eroding stream banks have lost their vegetative cover during floods or as a result of housing or farm expansions. Now the exposed soil is open for scour erosion and bank sloughing,” said Deborah Goard, watershed forester with the Kansas Forest Service. Goard recommends that landowners get site-specific advice by contacting a professional forester while planning a willow planting. The contact information for the Kansas Forest Service’s district foresters is on the Web at http:// www.kansasforests.org/staff//index.shtml.
In the central High Plains, fall or spring rains tend to produce Landowners also can get more information from a “Willow the highest odds for runoff that triggers serious erosion and the Cuttings” fact sheet that Goard has just released as part of resulting water pollution. a riparian management series. The series is available through any district forester or Kansas State University ReFortunately, a relatively low-cost way to reduce those odds is an search and Extension county or district office. The fact sheet activity best done during winter, Goard said, when many other is also on the Web at http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/ landscaping and farming chores are on hold. The process is forst2/samplers/mf2751.asp. basically gathering and planting willow cuttings during the plants’ dormant season. K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Man“Roots of substantial vegetation help bind the soil,” Goard said, hattan. adding that the willow roots will grow once spring weather warms the soil. “They increase soil stability by many thousands By Kathleen Ward, K-State Extension of times. Willows just happen to do that comparatively easily and quickly.” On slightly or moderately eroding banks, willow plantings can be the primary conservation tactic, she said. In severe erosion cases, they can supplement more structural techniques, such as tree revetment, which are cut trees anchored to unstable streambanks. Cuttings from the sandbar and black willow species – both common in Kansas – are effective for streamside plantings, the forester said. But, three other factors also can have a big impact: * Cuttings should range from 1 to 4 inches in diameter and from 2 to 8 feet long. The wider and more forceful the stream, the greater the cuttings’ dimensions should be, to keep them from washing away. In general, cuttings can be shorter next to the water and get longer as they’re planted up the bank, because when they’re driven or augered into the ground, their base must end up at or below the water table. Other than that, they can go 3 to 4 feet apart in staggered rows. * The bottom end of a cutting must be the one buried in the ground. So, from the first, willow recyclers must keep track of
11 Travis Daneke of StreamLink creates a hole for a willow stake in a stream bank for a stabilization project on Lynn Creek in Shawnee County.
412 East 9th Street Lawrence, Kansas 66044
A little science, a little history, and a little fish named Rippler. See the Kansas (Kaw) River through the eyes of a young and timid blue catfish. He dodges Stinky and Slimy, two bullying channel cats and befriends the biggest cat in the Kaw - a flathead known as "King Catfish." Read the story and then learn some more about the real catfish, the places they live, and the people who know them. There's even an authentic Kaw Valley recipe for catfish cookies. "Catfish Cookies" is a great leaping off point for adventures exploring the Kaw by foot, bike, or even a canoe! Grab your fishing poles, pull up a shady streamside spot, and break out the catfish cookies.
THEY ARE IN!
Please call KVHA to get your copy ($12), 840-0700!
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