KAW VALLEY HERITAGE ALLIANCE JANUARY 2006 VOLUME 06/ISSUE Q1 Join us as we celebrate the passing seasons and the

coming year!

From the Editor: Watery Reading
Kansans have a number difficult non-point source pollution issues to resolve. In the Kansas (Kaw) River Basin high levels of nutrients, bacteri (E. coli) and sediment create the majority of our water quality concerns. But, non-point source pollution is like dryer lint — hard to figure out exactly where it comes from, but reliably there and definitely unpleasant to ingest. Cleaning out your lint trap, like periodically stream sampling, can tell you a lot about what’s been happening in the recent past. However, if you could continuously see inside the dryer, you could figure out how to protect your clothes AND your dryer from wearing out so fast.

The leaves on the trees were starting to turn. A cool wind blew and I drew my scarf tighter around my neck wishing for an extra layer to keep me warm. —-by Alison Reber, Executive Director
The site was a patchy weed-ridden field with freshly bermed ridges, dips, and scoops waiting for fall rains to revive old wetlands. Along one side ran a good-sized stream, along the other, a tree covered ridge. We crunched along the soft ground looking for tree seeds, dodging prickle burrs and cricket frogs. Then, climbing over fallen logs, winding around wild rose and gooseberry bushes we found oak trees with some hickory and elm creeping in. I climbed to the top of the hill and looked down over the floodplain. The wind swept away sound and it seemed so quiet. The next day a tidy rented hall was all set. Twenty teenagers filed while we adults eagerly bustled through greetings and final details. We were excited. Today these kids had left their 4-walled classrooms, textbook knowledge in hand, ready to dig deep into the reality of experience. They’d be protecting a wetland, and developing habitat. They were going to plant TREES! This would be good. The first speaker explained the basics of stream protection and buffer zones. Another speaker discussed the environmental ethics of industry. The final speaker, counting down the days to his retirement, offered them career insights. Life is a rolling blur of ideas and hard work. Repeating generation after generation without pause. Everyone looked hungry.

Last summer USGS released their findings from continuous water quality sampling in the Kansas River from January 2000 to December 2003.

But, don’t expect to discover a simple cure-all pollution solution in this report….or for an end to lint everywhere. There won’t be one and that wasn’t the point anyway…. However, we need to find a way to keep this continuous monitoring going. It gives us the ability to understand the water as an enduring, continuous entity with natural rhythms and predictable response cycles. It also gives us the unprecedented capacity to make conservation and protection decisions in an holistic context. And this is awesome news. -ALR **The single most helpful thing YOU can do is to keep bare ground covered. Next, make a poop plan ( or whatever you want to delicately call it… manure, doggie doodles, goose cookies, etc… you know what I mean); this will pay off in better water quality, especially during rainy seasons and years. Last little thing, ease back on using “happy plant” (i.e. fertilizer). You get what you pay for, fantastic field takings, gorgeous green lawns, tremendous tomato, and accelerated algae growth.

The Water Shed
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: kvha@kvha.org

Alison Reber, Editor Graphics & Layout By Rachael Sudlow KVHA Staff
Alison Reber, Executive Director Aimee Polson, Program Director Travis Daneke, Program Director Rachael Sudlow, Project Assistant Christine Boller, Project Assistant Gabrielle Iversen, Project Assistant

* May your boots stay leak-free and all your mud baths be planned in advance. * May you only herd cows in 40 mph wind for the EXCERCISE :) * May you always have a camera when you see awesome clouds, country cemeteries, and cool animals. * May you be surrounded by friends when you need to test gravity, the thickness of ice, or the red light on your fuel gauge. * May you have an impromptu picnic and know the difference between wild gooseberries, rose hips, grapes, and poison ivy berries. * May you swing from a (secure) grapevine, cross a stream on a (solid) fallen tree and check for ticks when you get home. * May you share a meal with the locals and turn down a dirt road just because it will take you in the general direction you need to go. * May you live a bit of life with dirt under your nails and your shirt soaked in sweat. * May you count ALL your smile lines, calluses, and gray hairs and give yourself credit for the things (big and small) you do that will change the world. * May you go to bed thinking of three things you're glad you did today, and dreaming of three things you'll do tomorrow. * And last but perhaps not least, may you realize you're standing in quicksand before everyone else leaves....

Happy 2006!

2005 was a year of 5’s!.....with a little of literary license
KVHA’s five staff members implemented five grants, worked with somewhere near 5,000 people, sent somewhere near 5,000 newsletters, took part in somewhere near 75 events, attended nearly 105 meetings, held 5 major workshops (including the 5th annual SL student gathering) and replaced 55 gallons of mud 5 times. The five weeks with a 5 foot hole in our floor and the 5 workmen who occasionally worked on finding and fixing a collapsed clay pipe under our 105 year old building is another story. -ALR

Board of Directors & Project Committee Chairs
Thank you for your patience, wise counsel, and frequent incidences of rising to the occasion.

Dale Lambley, President Paul Liechti, Treasurer Will Boyer, At-Large Pending Vote, Secretary Pending Vote, At-Large Pending Vote, At-Large Pending Vote, At-Large

Kansas leads the nation during the 2005 World Water Monitoring Day!
www.worldwatermonitoringday.org —-By Gabrielle Iversen, Project Assistant

Funding for KVHA Projects is currently provided by grants from the KS Dept. of Health & Environment and the US EPA by the contributions of partners and program users.

Kansans registered 184 sampling sites during this years World Water Monitoring Day event, more than any other state!! Sites ranged all over the Kansas map and represented watersheds, from Humboldt to Weskan, Dodge City to Chanute.
This has been an annual event since 2003, when America’s Clean Water Foundation partnered with the International Water Association to make National Water Monitoring Day global. Volunteers around the world were invited to participate and test four key indicators of water quality: temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. We hope for a final count that repeats last years’ international success, which counted 50 participating countries and more than 6,500 monitoring sites worldwide. Bulgaria, India, Singapore and Nigeria are just a few of the countries that posted testing results. The United States had the overwhelming majority of registered sites, 2,095. This event brings together concerned folks from around the globe and reminds everyone that regardless of our political or cultural boundaries, we all share this fluid resource and it requires an international effort to keep it clean! At the same time it also focuses on grassroots participation and raising the awareness that we each have an individual responsibility to take care of our water. What a great reason to go outside and play!

KVHA is a federally recognized 501c(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

Successful Summer Workshops
These 2-day workshops are specifically designed to inspire and enable educators and water resource professionals to do some form of direct, on-the-ground stream surveying. Attendees explored several core stream assessment purposes including: short range TMDL quality planning and implementation, public outreach and education, and long range watershed-scale planning. Hands-on stream assessments gave participants practical experience with a variety of sampling approaches. Facilitated

By Alison Reber Executive Director

This summer roughly 50 people took part in workshops held in Fredonia, Russell, and Dover. We were very excited by the diversity of people who attended – educators, private landowners, environmental group leaders, water consultant, engineers, public works managers, conservation district managers, watershed specialists, agency staff, and decision makers from all levels of government. Clearly there is widespread interest in this kind of professional development. discussions helped build the groups long-term vision of success and frame quantified short-term actions such as stream assessments. Workshops were partially underwritten by a 319 Grand from KDHE and couldn't have happened without additional assistance from the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, KSU Citizen Science, The Watershed Institute and the Flint Hills RC&D

Travis Daneke, Megan Todd, Vaughn Weaver, and Alison Reber at the Fredonia Workshop

Join us August 9th & 10th in Florence, KS for the next SAW

National River Rally Experience
By Travis Daneke, Program Director

The goal of environmental education is to help people connect with their environment, feeling gratitude and appreciation for the natural beauties that surround them. As I drove across the Kansas plains, peering over every bridge crossed, I realized that this is my calling. Being a river worker is as rewarding as any other career out there. The ability to connect with society, sharing a common interest making the best of what our world provides. Unifying people of diverse backgrounds to connect for the greater good of the commons. This is what it is all about, and also the premise for the River Network's 2005 River Rally. This was my first time attending such a conference and I was heading into it alone. Just outside Keystone, Colorado I began to have a little anxiety of the up and coming event. Knowing I would soon be surrounded by zealous professionals from around the country. I would need to be on my top game to tactfully connect with these accomplished river workers. Amid the many interesting seminars two had an incredible impact on my perception of this field. Deb Perryman, Illinois' Teacher of the Year, held a discussion on Service Learning. She shared her stories of her success and failures in connecting with students and politicians. Deb claimed that students need to be given responsibility and ownership of their projects. Teachers are there for guidance and support, but it is when students have an active role in a successful project that they truly buy into the concepts. Her students are the grant writers, researchers, and managers of Elgin High School's Wildlife Refuge. Perryman stated that politicians are much more likely to fund such projects properly presented by students. There are three things that your organization needs to have a successful watershed program: energetic and creative staff, energetic and creative stewards, and achievable goals. The second was the young and entertaining Carlyle Holmes from the South Yuba River Citizen League (SYRCL), aka Detective Drizzle. This colorful inspiring actress gave a very entertaining presentation of The ABC's of Watershed Education. Her hilarious alter ego Detective Drizzle investigates the issues combating a watershed. “It is all about having fun in the classroom” says Holmes. The hardest part of teaching any student is getting their attention. By role playing you can be entertaining while effectively capturing the students within the world you have created with your character. This is not to say that one has to be in character, but more so entertaining. This same theory was true when I met my roommate, Ron. Ron was a very interContinued on page 6

Stories from the Valley
South of Berryton, an old stone bridge crosses the Wakarusa. Near the bridge is a special place — flat enough to be ideal for camping and next to a natural spring of “sweet, beautiful” water. This was not merely a camping spot where one would be leaving in the morning, but a place of conference and consultation on the past and future. In the oral tradition, elder generations shared the wisdom of the ages. Here’s a story we found about imagination and adventure.

Leaf Boy
On a cool, autumn day the mailman struggled to deliver his mail against the blustery wind. With every step challenged, he eventually made his way up to the Crabapple’s residence. Mrs. Crabapple opened the door just as he was about to slip the mail into its slot. “Oh, hello Mr. Fresno,” she said, surprised by her timing. She put her hand out to take the mail and thank him, and as she was doing so, a huge gust of wind blew the mail out of her hand and into the house slamming the door on Mr. Fresno. “PHEW! What a forceful wind!” she exclaimed. Oblivious to what just occurred, Oscar Crabapple sat entranced as he watched the curtains float above his head. “Mommy,” he said in a daze, “may I go play outside?” Mrs. Crabapple was still trying to retrieve the mail, which seemed to be skipping away from her. “Yes dear, but be careful. The wind is very strong and chilly so you need to put on your jacket.” Oscar heard only part of what his mom said, as he was out the back door by the time she said ’dear.’ The fresh air outside carried yellow, gold, and soft red leaves that spun above his head. Many leaves landed on the swing set, slid down the slide, and flipped back up into the air as if they were inviting Oscar to play. Wishing he was a leaf, Oscar stood still, amazed at the performance of the boisterous leaves skyward. “If I was one of those leaves, I would glide across the world, over the seas and volcanoes!” Spreading his fingers like the veins in a leaf, he ran around his yard, pretending to float. Mrs. Crabapple stepped onto the front porch. “Oscar, you forgot your jacket.” She went inside to get his jacket, but when she returned Oscar was not there. “Oscar?” In that moment she turned her back, Oscar’s wish came true. He became a beautiful gold and red leaf dancing in the sky with all the others. The wind carried Oscar along with the other leaves down his block, past his school towards the city. Other leaves flew by him brushing against him and tagging him. One yellow leaf kept close and played with him continuously. The sunlight shone through the yellow leaf as he blew in front of Oscar. Oscar could see the details of the leaf’s veins. The bright sun made the veins glow; they appeared as bolts of sunrays blasting throughout the leaf. “Where is the wind taking us?” Oscar asked the yellow leaf. The leaf replied “Doesn’t matter. Our time is so short.” An older leaf piped up, “I disagree. Our journey is short but when it settles it opens a new beginning.” Ahead of them the wind separated the large group of leaves, some going east and others west. “Which way should we go?” Oscar asked openly. The yellow leaf said, “Follow me west to the city trash site, all my friends are there. It’ll be fun!” That did not appeal to Oscar. The older leaf said, “Going east will take you to places you’ve never seen before.” But the yellow leaf kept saying his way would be loads of fun. “Ok, I will go with you,” Oscar declared, his urge to continue playing overruling other options. The older leaf, already heading west, shouted, “The view from over here is great! I see smoke though. I think it’s a fire!” Oscar and his new friend ignored the old leaf and continued onward. “I don’t see anything. We are almost there!” exclaimed the yellow leaf. They approached the fence surrounding the trash site just as a car pulled up next to the entrance. Mrs. Crabapple jumped out of the car, “Wait a minute, Oscar. There’s smoke coming from there, besides a trash site is not a playground for children.” Just as fast as Oscar turned into a leaf, he turned back into a boy when his mother pulled up. Mrs. Crabapple led him into the car and noticed he kept watching the yellow leaf as it struggled to fly up the fence. Oscar’s mom went over, grabbed it, and brought it back to the car. “I bet this leaf will be much safer in our home,” she said as she handed Oscar the bright yellow leaf. As they drove towards home, Oscar opened the window wondering where the older leaf flew, and hoping that one day, he too would experience the eastward path. Adapted by Patricia Graves, Intern from Mike Krath’s High and Lifted Up.

Marty Olson has been KVHA’s neighbor for several years, owning and operating the hair salon, Do’s Deluxe. This salon is not the typical salon. Because of Marty’s artistic influence, the place has become a gallery for other artist’s work, as well as his own pieces. In eclectic color and style, photographs, paintings and prints are displayed throughout the salon. One major collection of Marty’s work, now on display is the ‘Kansas: History and Politics 2005’ series. Done as a reaction to the 2004 national and state political changes, these paintings take on Marty’s perspective on the wealth of historical and esthetic ideals. Inspired by Kansas icons like limestone, president Eisenhower, turnpikes and local Kansas, Marty abstractly blends them into political statements. At 40x30” each painting is no small statement, large and full of color, texture, line and pattern.

Marty Olson, Kansas Artist

In Marty’s artist statement, he describes how “Kansas was forged out of bloody conflict and remains a sounding board of political evolution.” Kansas obviously provides fuel for the fire with its many historical and current events. As a gay American adult, he found the officials in the 2004 national and state elections as stifling and intolerant of diverse voices such as his. Reflecting on his position in Lawrence, Kansas, a more liberal-leaning county, he brings up the issues and culture of a very diverse state. His work can be seen at

www. sweepinggestures.com
‘Mamie’ Acrylic/Canvas 30x40”

Continued from page 3

esting individual in his sixties from Michigan. He has been working in water conservation for over 30 years. We had several long conversations about life, hobbies, and of course, rivers. One of the first things that I learned form this man was about the word “try”. I told him that I was here to “try” to find direction in my career. He told me “You really need to work on that “try” thing.” I realized then that I had partnered up with a real idealist. Turns out Ron was right, the more I thought about what he had said, the more sense it made. To say one will “try” is like a disclosure for failure. I was raised with the saying “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again”. Ron's point was more valid, “If you are going to do anything in life it needs to be approached as something that will happen, without any doubt”. These are best lessons learned, and by connecting with people, trusting your instinct, and opening yourself to the ideals of others, it allows one to accomplish more in life.
The bottom line is that river people are highly motivated, friendly people. Their hard work is driven by nothing other than protecting our nation's watersheds. It is our duty to work with each other to accomplish these goals and see that society is given the proper knowledge necessary to make rational decisions about everyday conservation issues. For further reading, visit:
www.rivernetwork.org, www.debperryman.com www.syrcl.org

At last, everyone piled into buses and cars, bumped along the tiny gravel roads, and then stepped out to drink in the cool fall air. They walked without a path while we rushed them back together, squeezed by our sense of time. We wanted to solidify their understanding of all this information like bright trinkets in quick-set concrete. Some stood bored and watches grasshoppers from the corners of their eyes. Others drew pictures in the dust. Finally, we sent them out into the wide world to find seeds. They bustled past us, buckets in hand, pleased to be here, to be together, and to NOT be listening. Some bounded through the tall grasses, while others walked cautiously along the cleared berm. They gathered little this and that’s and were thrilled with their findings. I got a bucket and picked up walnuts through the stream-side brush. Then I saw them, giggling at a splash. Like birds on a power line, they were stretched across the stream on an enormous fallen sycamore tree. Lectures are no substitute for life. Later everyone huddled together and sorted nuts into viable and rotten. “Pair up – grab some nuts, dig some holes, and plant ‘em!” Shovels in hand, they sped off to finish the day. They goofed and giggled and planted the to-be trees. We spread out the pile of rotten walnuts on the off chance one might grow. The bus drove off in a cloud of waving arms and dust. The adults milled about chewing on the grit of the day. We felt the happy exhaustion of field work and a day spent preparing for the future. Someday these kids would have to fill our shoes. Then, they all loaded up and drove out, one friendly wave at a time. Falling into the car, I thought about the sycamore tree, and the laughter of youth. They don’t want to fill our shoes—they’ve brought their own. New shoes on old land. This is good.

Take a mini-wetland quiz
1. The presence of crawfish/crab holes in a landscape may suggest, A. Nothing in particular B. It’s time to plan a crab boil/steam C. Presence of wetland hydrology 2. Vernal ponds 3. Wetlands must be wet a majority of A. the year. Are always found near swamps A. Are B. Trueonly found in cold climates B. C. False 3. Vernal ponds A. Are always found near swamps B. Are only found in cold climates C. Are seasonal wetlands that usually occur in the spring 4. Which of the following food crops are grown in wetland areas? A. Legumes B. Cranberries C. Rice D. A & C E. B & C F. All of the above 5. What percent of the earth’s land surface is classified as wetland? A. 10% B. 50% C. 6% D. 23% 6. How have plants adapted for wetland life? A. Buttressed trunks B. Prop roots C. Floating D. Hollow stems E. All of the above 7. Wetlands play an important role in A. Controlling flood waters B. Filtering pollutants out of the water C. Increasing local economies D. All of the above 8. Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. A. True B. False

Answers: 1-C, 2-B, 3-C, 4-E, 5-C, 6-E, 7-D, 8-A

The next National River Rally will be May 5-9 2006 in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Serious Stream Bank Restoration by Alison Reber, Executive Director
Rivers and streams naturally change over time, gently cycling through a predictable process of deepening then widening. The character of the land sets the rhythm of the cycle so that the rivers and streams continually adjust to land changes. The system is self-correcting on any scale. If the physical properties of the land change, the rivers and streams change to keep the system in balance. The faster or more dramatic a land change, the greater the response of a stream. Falling streambanks are a sign that the system is in flux. Unfortunately many Kansas streams are rapidly cycling to match changing land conditions. On a system-wide scale, self-correcting simplicity is enforced with the strength of fast moving water and creates alarming property damage and hazards and is a critical water quality concern. Rivers and streams can carry away 50,000 tons of sediment from a stretch of deeply eroding streambanks. Effectively controlling extreme streambank erosion depends on the dynamics at a site. Rock bendway weirs were used to stabilize this site. Bendway weirs are low rock structures designed to work under water. The weirs are constructed with an upstream angle to redirect water away from the stream bank as it flows over the weir. Reduced water velocities on the downstream side of bendway weirs results in sediment deposition near the bank. During high flow, additional sediment will be deposited in the near bank region where vegetation will become established naturally. A buffer of grasses and trees along the top of the bank is planted to control future floodwater damage. Slowing the erosion rates on these fast moving sites is absolutely critical for repairing and protecting water resources. If you have an extreme stream site stop losing solid ground. Your county conservation district can connect you with the resources to help.

• • • • © RES •

Bendway Weirs reduce erosion by moving the current away from the outer bank. With the weirs angled upstream, flow is directed away from the outer bank and towards the point bar. Bendway weirs improve aquatic and stream corridor habitats. Work best under high-flow, high-energy conditions Weirs can be altered to improve effectiveness and costs can be lower than traditional methods

Kaw Valley Heritage Alliance 412 E. 9th Street Lawrence, KS 66044-2629

Address Service Requested


Kansas River, December 2005 In this Issue find out about: USGS’ 2005 Report on Kansas River Quality How Bendway Weirs Work-And How to Use Them! National River Happenings