Kansas Riverbank Project – Volunteer Work Days Announced

Kansas Riverbank Project – Volunteer Work Days Announced


Sign Up for Volunteer Work Days for our Kansas Riverbank Restoration Project!

Sign up for volunteer work days here:  Volunteer Work Days Fall 2018

Contact us at riverbank@kansasriver.org for questions or to bring a group!

Location for work days:  https://goo.gl/maps/wJDT8dfyQd62

September 15, 2018 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am

October 4, 2018 from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

October 21, 2018 from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

October 27, 2018 from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

November 1, 2018 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

November 10, 2018 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am

November 18, 2018 from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Learn more Here!  Sign up for our volunteer event email!


2018 Douglas County Natural & Cultural Heritage Grant




LAWRENCE, KS (June 27, 2018) – Friends of the Kaw is pleased to announce it has been awarded the 2018 Douglas County Natural & Cultural Heritage Grant for its project “Protecting the Watershed of Douglas County through History, Education and Action”.

“Despite many successes in restoring the Kaw, the most neglected piece of the Kansas River’s ecosystem is the connection between the riparian buffer and the water quality of the river”, said Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper with Friends of the Kaw.  “The riparian buffer is the last line of defense to filter out pollutants.”

Along with our partners, including local ecologist Courtney Masterson, the work will include removing invasive plants and then planting natives using history as a guide on Kansas Riverfront property owned by the City of Lawrence and managed by Lawrence Parks & Recreation and the Lawrence Mountain Biking Club. Tree saplings will be provided by Kansas Forest Service and the project will include a kiosk to be designed by Westar Energy’s Green Team to educate about the effectiveness of native plants and their benefit to water quality in the Kansas River.

In combination with this project, the team will involve the residents of Douglas County by hosting community educational paddle trips on the Kansas River to discuss the importance of riparian buffers to water quality, as well as bring Friends of the Kaw’s program Kids About Water (KAW) to schools in the county.  The KAW Project is a five-lesson water quality issues and actions curriculum that targets students in grades 6-12. Each lesson is aligned with the Kansas Next Generation Science Standards.  The community has the opportunity to be engaged and involved in the restoration process through hands-on volunteer opportunities. The work days will be educational and open to the public, allowing for transparency and communication throughout the project.

Project Partners:  Courtney Masterson, Botanist and Ecologist with Native Lands, LLC, City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation, Lawrence Mountain Bike Club, Westar Energy’s Green Team, and the Kansas Forest Service.

Thank you to the Heritage Conservation Council of Douglas County for the funding and support for this important project to restore the riparian and protect the Kansas River.


For over 27 years, Friends of the Kaw has been the only non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Kansas River.  Our mission is to advocate, promote, educate and engage the Kansas River.

Protect. Advocate. Discover.  #Kansas River.

For Media Inquiries Please Contact:
Dawn Buehler
Kansas Riverkeeper
Friends of the Kaw

KANSAS RIVERKEEPER LOGO    Waterkeeper Alliance

DeSoto Boat Ramp – 4th of July Closure

DeSoto Boat Ramp – 4th of July Closure

Please make note the DeSoto boat ramp at Riverfest will close on Tuesday evening, July 3rd, at 9:00 p.m. for Wald Fireworks to begin their display set up for the City’s annual 4th of July at Riverfest. The boat ramp will reopen on Thursday, July 5th, at 8:00 a.m. Please share this with your family and friends who use the boat ramp.

FOK Cleanup Begins with Manhattan Battery Casings

FOK Cleanup begins in Manhattan with Battery Cases scatter on the sandbars from Manhattan to St. George on the Kansas River

1000 lbs. of battery cases made from rubber…scattered on sandbars from Manhattan to St. George…picked up via canoe and hauled them out….we started the cleanup that will take more trips, but Saturday, June 2, 2018 we put a dent in it with 12 of our Kaw River Guides and volunteers! Please join me us thanking these folks for giving up their Saturday to cleanup our Kansas River!  Stay tuned as we schedule more of these cleanups!

Manhattan Battery Cleanup4 Manhattan Battery Cleanup20 Manhattan Battery Cleanup17 Manhattan Battery Cleanup13 Manhattan Battery Cleanup18

9th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival


Join us for the 9th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival!  Check out here for details:  Wild & Scenic Film Festival



FOK 3rd Annual Paddle Assistant Workshop


FOK 3rd Annual Paddle Assistant Workshop

You are invited!

Welcome to our 3rd Annual Paddle Assistant Workshop!

Sunday, March 25, 2018
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Eudora Community Center
1630 Elm Street
Eudora, KS

Please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/dN9GNJHEOBpMa9L03

This workshop is held each year for our volunteers to learn about:

* Our educational paddle trip program
* How you can volunteer
* How to help others learn about the Kansas River
* The work we do
* How to read the river

New this year…..let’s talk water quality in the Kansas River! We will also practice rope throwing again, talk about how to help others, take your suggestions, and tell you about the changes we are making to our program.

If you paddled with us as a volunteer at least once in 2017, you will get our new volunteer t-shirt just for coming! We look forward to having you back in 2018 and hope you will come and help others learn about our program.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Come join us a volunteer with our Kids About Water (KAWS) Program!

Come join us a volunteer with our Kids About Water (KAWS) Program!

Date:  Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Time:  4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Adult Volunteer Training by Interns on water tests that we use in Kids About Water Classes from 4 to 5:30 at 21 N 12th St. Kansas City, KS at the Bethany Medical Building 2nd floor conference room.
RSVP and Questions to: Laura Calwell, Email: friendsofthekaw@gmail.com

Litter Pickup – Lawrence Earth Day!


Bring the family to this Lawrence Earth Day Service Project!

When:  Saturday, April 21, 2018

Time:  8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Location:  Lower parking lot of Spring Hill Suites Marriott on New York Street across the tracks

Come join us before the Lawrence Earth Day festivities begin with a LITTER PICKUP! Join Friends of the Kaw and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association to pick up trash along the Kansas River. Cleanup is from 8:00 am to 10:00 am – be done in time for the Lawrence Parade at 11:00 am and then come see us at South Park from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm!

Meet at the end of New York Street, across the tracks, in the lower parking lot of Springhill Suites Marriott.

We will provide bagels, coffee, water as well as gloves, trash and recycle bags.

Wear sturdy shoes, long pants and long sleeves. Children must be accompanied by a parent. There will be “kid friendly” areas for trash pickup. Bring the family to the Earth Day Service Project!Earth Day

Legislative Updates

Come to the Capitol Tomorrow – Thursday February 1, 2018 in show of support:

Press Conference with Senator Holland and Rep. Karleskint:

Kansas State Capitol
300 SW 10th Ave Room 212 N
Topeka, KS 66612
Thursday Feburary 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Thursday’s press conference will be about the legislation Senator Holland and Representative Karleskint are working on. This would place chicken processing factories and chicken CAFOs under rules requiring public notification and mandating a time frame for community and neighbor input. The purpose is so that something like Tyson could not be snuck into town in the dark of night like what happened inTonganoxie.

We need a grassroots effort of support. Please come to Topeka in a show of support. As we found out this summer, there is power in numbers.

Follow this bill introduced by KDHE SB 337, nicknamed the “Tyson Bill”

Last week the Kansas Department of Health & Environment requested legislation to change animal conversion units so that clusters of chicken houses with over 100,000 birds can be sited much closer to neighboring properties (4,000 feet down to 1,360 feet).

As state law is currently written, the number of birds is restricted by set back distances from neighbors. This is a move in opening the state up to contract poultry production and processing.

Read the full bill here:

Protecting Water in Kansas – A Panel Discussion
Sponsored by the Sustainable Action Network

Date: Friday, February 2, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Locatoin: 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, KS

The panel will consist of water activists who are leaders in their own organizations, and who draw upon varying perspectives for protecting our valuable waters. Our intent is to educate, inspire, bring additional people into the movement, collaborate, and mobilize to action. The following representatives from these groups will be the panelists:

Dawn Buehler – Friends of the Kaw: Kansas Riverkeeper
Craig Volland- Kansas Sierra Club
Thad Holcombe – Water Advocacy Team
Rachel Jefferson – Historic Northeast Midtown Association
Karin Pagel-Meiners – Wakarusa Group – Kansas Sierra Club
Jessica Skyfield – Kansas Water
Eric Kirkendall, moderator – Sustainability Action Network

The evening will begin with a pot luck dinner at 6:00pm.
7:00pm we will welcome everyone and give an overview of water issues concerning our local communities.

After introductions, each of the panelists will describe the state of water as they see it, and how their organization is working to protect our waters for the common good.

In the second hour, we want to explore how all of us can best work together as a team to define and spark action that will lead to substantive change. Each of the panelists and their organizations have distinctive approaches to these issues, and any potential actions will be more effective if we combine our efforts. We hope you will join us.

Events in January 2018


Water Advocacy Team Meeting
Lawrence, Kansas

 Join us…to learn and to discuss.  All are welcome!

Feature No. 1: THE KANSAS RIVER: HOW BAD IS IT REALLY AND HOW MUCH BETTER CAN WE MAKE IT? Presented by Tom Stiles, Assistant Director of Bureau of Water, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Feature No. 2:  ORGANIZING FOR PLANNING AND ADVOCACY with Focus Groups on Water Quality of the Kansas River and Clinton Lake; Depletion of Aquifers; Kansas Corporation Commission; Douglas County Horizon 20/20; 2018 Farm Bill

When: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time:  6:45 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Central United Methodist Church (Fellowship Hall, Second Floor, 1501 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas
RSVP:  Thad Holcombe @ tjholcombe@gmail.com and/or 785-843-2574

January Meeting/Seminar
of the
Douglas County Democrats

When:  Saturday, January 20, 2018

Time:  9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Where:  Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS

Kansas Environmental Issues Panel: Come hear from statewide environmental organizations about key issues and what you can do to get involved!

Invited panelists include:

Zack Pistora- Sierra Club
Kris Knight- The Nature Conservancy
Dorothy Barnett- The Climate and Energy Project
Dawn Buehler – Friends of the Kaw

Thank you to Rep. Eileen Horn for organizing and moderating this informative event!

In Honor of our Future we will be providing Free Daycare at Laugh Out Loud (ages 2 and up). Please RSVP by messaging Douglas County Democrats on Facebook or emailing dcdksit@gmail.com.

Kaw Valley Eagles Day
Saturday, January 20, 2018
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Lawrence Free State High School
4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence, KS

The 22nd Annual Kaw Valley Eagles Day is a free event for the whole family! There will be arts and crafts, informational booths, presentations, live critters on display, owl pellet dissection, and eagle-viewing field trips. Come for an hour or the whole day: you won’t be disappointed!

Kaw Point Park Eagles Day
Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27, 2018
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Kaw Point Park
1403 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City, KS 

Kaw Point Park Eagles Day is a free event for the whole family! There will be a program on eagles from Prairie Park Nature Center featuring an eagle and other birds of prey.  Many things for the kids and located on the beautiful Kansas River!