Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: October 15, 2012

Kansas Trail News for October 15, 2012 from Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Kanza Receives Tourism Award

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy is to receive the Governor’s Tourism Award at the annual Kansas Tourism Conference held October 16 in Dodge City. Kansas Tourism along with the Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK) and tourism industry partners across the state will gather in Dodge City, KS for the annual Kansas Tourism Conference. Each year they present a person or organization who has made a significant impact on the tourism industry with the Kansas Governor’s Tourism Award. This year the award will be given to the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy for their efforts on the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The award will be accepted by Vice President Scott Allen, Treasurer Shirley Meyer and director Frank Meyer.

Kanza To Hold Annual Meeting On November 10

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its annual meeting at on Saturday Nov. 10 at the Osage City Community Center (517 South First Street). All trails enthusiasts are invited to attend. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. with break-out sessions to learn more about Kanza’s two trails. Lunch will be available for a $10.00 donation. RSVP at fsmeyer@tctelco.net. Following the meeting there will be a field trip to the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Sunflower To Hold Annual Meeting October 27 In Manhattan

Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its annual meeting at the Manhattan library on Saturday October 27. All trails enthusiasts are invited to attend. The meeting begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Following the meeting there will be a field trip to the Manhattan Linear Park Trail, two miles of which are a rails-to-trails project. Also, available are the trails at the Kanza Prairie and a visit to the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Union Pacific Railroad Turns 150

The Union Pacific Railroad is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. The UP and railroads it later acquired (such as the Missouri Pacific) facilitated the settlement of the Sunflower State. Today, two MP corridors are used for the Flint Hills and Landon Nature Trails. Below is an UP news release:

Abraham Lincoln’s vision to create a transcontinental railroad took shape when he signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating Union Pacific. One of America’s iconic companies, Union Pacific celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2012.

“Abraham Lincoln’s expectations were high. What he thought would be a means to settle the West and build commerce has become the infrastructure that moves the American economy and virtually everything that touches us in our daily lives. Not even Lincoln could have envisioned the railroad we have today, but he would be proud.”

~ Jim Young, Union Pacific Chairman

Governor Ends Main Street Program

The State of Kansas has ended the successful Main Street Program which has revitalized over 50 downtowns. Below are excerpts from the Topeka Capital-Journal (9-22-11):

The Kansas Main Street program, established in 1985, provided funds, organization and support for local partners throughout the state looking to grow and maintain small businesses downtown. As of this week, there were 25 Kansas communities involved.

Bob Carlson, executive director of Holton Main Street, called the state program “one of the most effective programs in the Department of Commerce” and said its investments kept some small towns from drying up commercially.

But Carlson said he wanted to emphasize to stakeholders that Holton is still tied to the National Main Street Center and in the long-term will build on the foundation already established.

“It hurts, not only that they chose to shut down the Kansas Main Street program, but the way in which they did it,” Carlson said. “I think all of our Kansas Main Street communities will continue to function as they always have — as they did two days ago — we will just lose some of the services the state provided.”
Carlson said those services included three main things: quarterly training sessions, technical assistance and no-interest loans through a program called Incentive Without Walls.

The IWW program required entrepreneurs to match every dollar of loan money with three of their own. Over 26 years, Carlson said $556,856,397 in public and private reinvestment went to 50 Kansas communities. He said that helped open or expand 3,678 businesses which created 8,518 new jobs.

“Kansas Main Street is one of the few state agencies that I am aware of that really focuses on small businesses,” Carlson said. “That’s a good thing. Small businesses create the vast majority of jobs.”

In the early 2000s, a Kansas State professor estimated that 400 Kansas towns were dying. Obviously, the Main Street Program is one way to counter this trend.

Luxembourg Has New Trails Network

The following is excerpted from the New York Times (9-23-12):

“Luxembourg is laced with a national network of cycling paths — known as PCs, for the French term pistescyclables — which perambulate through a pretty, undulating landscape with only the occasional, briefly daunting incline. The project was set in motion in 1999 and is about two-thirds finished. Right now 23 separate paths — about 600 miles in total — crisscross the nation.”

Blue Cross Features Flint Hills Trail In Ad

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas have been featuring a photo of the Flint Hills Nature Trail in newspaper advertisements placed in Kansas newspapers. The ad links health with recreation. Although the ad calls the 117-mile trail the “Kanza Rail-Trail”, the extra publicity is still appreciated by Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy.

Sunflower Challenge Grantmakers Quoted In New York Times

Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy director Richard Stein and his wife Peggy (ex officio director) were recently quoted in a front page article in the New York Times (10-05-12) describing the importance of The Land Institute’s work. They attended the institute’s popular Prairie Festival in late September near Salina. Here’s what was reported:

The festival’s ability to connect the dots between the local and the global has lured Dr. Richard Stein, a dentist, and his wife, Peggy, a teacher, from Dodge City, Kan., for the last two gatherings.

“I felt like last year, after hearing the speakers, I really understood what’s happening in the world in a whole different way,” said Ms. Stein, who admitted to finding few liked-minded people in the state’s southwestern quadrant, now decimated by drought. “The big picture was even more clear. And it really helped us see where we needed to go in making some decisions with our lives.”

“I was always wondering if we would like it because we are not farmers,” she added.

“But we’re all eaters,” her husband interjected.

Earlier in the year, the couple issued a $1,000 challenge grant to rails-to-trails supporters. Every dollar donated (up to $1,000) by the end of the year will be matched. In essence it doubles the value of your contribution. To donate, send a check to SRTC, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc., P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

One response to “Kansas Trail News: October 15, 2012”

  1. charlie says:

    After being in Utah for so long I get overcrowded by Californians, Arizonans, Idahoans, and Utahns. It is just nice to see my home state of Kansas demonstrating its worth. There is no beauty like the fields of Kansas.