A lady called me this morning and then brought some paperwork over to me so that I could post this information on my blog. It involves the Kansas Sampler Foundation's 8 Wonders of Kansas GEOGRAPHY.
The 8 Wonders of Kansas is a series of contests to help the public learn about the eight elements of rural culture: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people. To learn about these 8 Wonders winners go to www.wonders.org . The goal of the contests is to educate people about Kansas and to inspire exploring in the state. If you've not seen all of these finalists, take a road trip!
If you can, please vote online at www.8wonders.org . If for some reason, you cannot vote online, please come by my house at 703 N. Second Street and I will give you a paper ballot. After you vote on the paper ballot, you can FAX or email it to the following address and FAX NUMBER:
FAX number: 620.585.2217
The Kansas Sampler Foundation
978 Arapahoe Road
Inman, Kansas 67546
Don't forget that you MUST vote in favor of eight (8) locations or else your vote will be thrown away.
You MUST write or type your full name, City and State and phone number. (This information will not be used for any other purpose.) If you do not include your name, your vote will not count. Each person can only vote ONE time. DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 17TH, MIDNIGHT, 2010. Winners will be announced by February 23rd, 2010.
Anyone and everyone can vote irregardless of age. Because of that, this would be a great school project so that children can be included in the voting process.
Here are your choices:
1. ALCOVE SPRINGS NEAR BLUE RAPIDS is a finalist because of its historical significance as a stop for Indians, fur traders and emigrants on the Oregon Trail, with wagon ruts, an intermittent waterfall and a long-flowing spring as the main features.
2. ARIKAREE BREAKS, Cheyenne County is a finalist because the steep-sided rugged canyons and short-grass prairie make this a distinct and scenically-dramatic part of Kansas.
3. BARTLETT ARBORETUM, Belle Plain is a finalist because it is the oldest arboretum between the Mississippi River and the Rockies with hundreds of species of native and exotic trees framing a profusion of gardens both formal and naturalistic.
4. BIG BASIN PRAIRIE PRESERVE, Clark County is a finalist because it includes a milewide sinkhole, bison herd and a smaller sinkhole that is home to the legendary St. Jacob's Well, a deep, funnel-shaped spring said never to have gone dry.
5. BRENHAM METEORITES, near Haviland are a finalist because they are a rare, stony-iron type and formed the world's largest strewnfield of its kind and are one of only three U.S. craters authenticated by the presence of meteorites.
6. (Western Kansas) CIMARRON NATIONAL GRASSLANDS, Morton County is a finalist because of its early pioneering advancements in conservation, because it contains the longest publicly-owned section of the historic ecosystems and has the only known outcrop of Jurrasic-age rocks (150 million years old) in Kansas.
7. CORONADO HEIGHTS, near Lindsborg is a finalist because it is an inspiring historic landmark and natural platform of Dakota Formation sandstone from which to observe the Smoky Hills and Smoky Hill River Valley below.
8. CROSS TIMBERS STATE PARK near Toronto is a finalist because it contains one of the northern most extensions of the Cross Timbers ecosysten, including oaks that date back to 1730 and rugged sandstone-capped hills.
9. ELK RIVER HIKING TRAIL, Montgomery County is a finalist because the 15-mile National Recreation Trail, on the edge of the Chatauqua Hills region, threads through boulders and up rocky bluffs and has been rated the best hike in the state.
10. FOUR-STATE LOOKOUT, White Cloud, is a finalist because of the spectacular view of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa from a platform atop the rolling loess hills of the glacial hills region with the Missouri River rolling through the foreground.
11. GEOGRAPHIC CENTER OF THE CONTIGUOUS UNITED STATES, near Lebanon is a finalist because this small park is one place that represents the center of the 48 contiguous states.
12. GYP HILLS SCENIC DRIVE AND GYPSUM HILLS SCENIC BYWAY, Barber and Comanche Counties are a finalist because of the rust-red buttes and mesa capped by layers of sparkling white gypsum.
13. KAW POINT PARK, Kansas City, is a finalist because the area, recently developed as a public park, commemorates the Lewis and Clark Expedition that stopped here in 1804, and because it provides a mesmerizing view of the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers and the Kansas City skyline.
14. KONZA PRAIRIE, Manhattan, is a finalist because it is an internationally recognized research site for tallgrass prairie ecology and because the trails offer the public an excellent way to experience this spectacular example of the Flint Hills.
15.(Western Kansas) LAKE SCOTT STATE PARK, Scott County is a finalist because of its history, its role as an oasis in an otherwise semi-arid land, and its craggy canyons that provide sudden and surprising relief on the High Plains of Western Kansas.
16. MAXWELL WILDLIFE REFUGE, near Canton is a finalist because its midgrass prairie provides the only place in Kansas where both buffalo and elk can be viewed in their natural habitat by the public.
17. MINED LAND WILDLIFE AREA, Cherokee and Labette Counties, is a finalist because this land once stripped of overburden has been reclaimed and now features scenic woodlands, grasslands and lakes that wind around the strip pits.
18. (Western Kansas) MOUNT SUNFLOWER, Wallace County is a finalist because the U.S. Geological Survey recognized it as the spot with the highest elevation in Kansas (4,039 feet above sea level), providing vistas of the High Plains and the short-grass prairie, and because the Harold Family has so effectively commemorated this site.
19. MUSHROOM ROCK STATE PARK, Ellsworth County and Rock City, near Minneapolis are a duo finalist because both sites showcase rare Dakota sandstone concretions, up to 27 feet in diameter, deposited 100 million years ago and since exposed by the relentless forces of erosion.
20. NATIVE STONE SCENIC BYWAY, Wabaunsee and Shawnee Counties, is a finalist because it showcases an area in Kansas that is well known for its native limestone, featuring dry stacked stone fences and stone out-croppings among the rolling Flint Hills.
21. PILLSBURY CROSSING, Riley County, is a finalist because of the flat, stone creek bottom forms a natural ford, followed by a long, broad waterfall that has been a landmark for generations.
22. POST ROCK SCENIC BYWAY, Ellsworth, Lincoln and Russell Counties, is a finalist because of the dramatic limestone outcroppings along K-232, the rugged Dakota sandstone bluffs at Lake Wilson, and the long post rock fence rows in this Smoky Hill region, anchored between Wilson and Lucas.
23. SCHERMERHORN PARK, near Galena is a finalist because it represents the small part of the Ozarks that extends into Kansas, including steep bluffs of Mississippian-age limestone, a 2,500-foot-long cave, endangered species, clear-running Shoal Creek, WPA-era stone terraces, hiking trails and a nature center.
24. STERNBERG MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Hays, is a finalist because its exhibits include the fossilized remains of giant fishes and marine reptiles-some of the best, most scientifically important evidence that Kansas was under water during the last half of the Cretaceous Period (from 108-66 million years ago).
There is a total of 24 locations that can be voted on. Out of those, only THREE are located west of Great Bend and Hays. So...if you want Western Kansas sites to be winners, you MUST vote. Remember, you must vote for no less and no more than eight (8) sites for your votes to count!