Volunteers Needed, and LawrenceHits Radio Interview

Volunteers Needed!

Eagle Day at Free State High School in Lawrence

Eagle Day at Free State High School in Lawrence

Friends of the Kaw will have a booth at three events in the coming month! The Kaw Valley Eagle Day will be Saturday, January 24 at Free State High School in Lawrence from 9am to 4pm.  The Eagle Day at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, KS takes place Saturday January 31 from 10am to 3pm.  The Topeka Boat Show will be at the Kansas Expocenter on February 6, 7, and 8. We need help manning these booths, particularly at the Topeka Boat Show event. (Bonus – you’ll get a free admission!)

Help is needed for the following shifts:

Eagle Day at Free State High School, 4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049
Saturday, January 24 from 8:45am to 12:30pm and 12:30 to 4:15pm

Eagle Day at Kaw Point Park, 1 Riverside Dr., Kansas City, KS 66101
Saturday, January 31 from 8:45am to 12:30pm and 12:30 to 4:15pm

The Topeka Boat Show at the Kansas Expocentre, on the SW Corner of Topeka Ave. & 17th St.

Friday, February 6 from 12:45 to 4:30pm and 4:30 to 8:15pm

Saturday, February 7 from 9:45am to 3:00pm and 3:00 to 8:15pm

Sunday, February 8 from 10:45am to 3:15pm

If you can help man our booth for any of these events please contact the Kansas Riverkeeper by email or phone (785 312 7200.)

Can’t volunteer this time? You can still stop by to learn about the Kansas River and may other conservation organizations, and take advantage of an opportunity to view the eagles and get ready for spring paddling!

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Friends of the Kaw also needs volunteers to help plan and promote the Wild and Scenic Film Festival scheduled for May 1 at Liberty Hall, as well as volunteers who would like to view and rank the films that are available for this event. Again, if you can help, please contact the Kansas Riverkeeper by email or phone (785 312 7200.)

Radio Interview on LawrenceHits

Kansas Riverkeeper Laura Calwell joined Jay Wachs of LawrenceHits.com  and Cile King from the League of Women Voters of Douglas County for a discussion of the KAW River and water quality in northeast Kansas on Wednesday 13, 2015.  To listen click HERE!


Support FOK in Fighting for Clean Water, and Year-End Review


Support Clean Water with a Gift for the Kaw!

Dear Friends,

In March of 2014, the Corps of Engineers (COE) announced that a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be required to reauthorize dredging permits on the Kaw. The COE “was unable to conclude that there are no potentially significant impacts associated with the activities proposed by dredging companies.” The new EIS is a positive development, but there’s still work to do. Commercial sand and gravel dredging have seriously degraded the Kansas River, and to prevent additional damage all operations should move to appropriately sited pit mines in the Kansas River valley. When it comes time for the public meeting that will be held in the fall of 2015 we’ll need you to submit your comments in support of protecting the Kaw. We’ll keep you updated!

desoto kiosk

DeSoto Kiosk

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, with the assistance of the National Park Service and Friends of the Kaw, has continued to improve the Kansas River Water Trail.  With the participation of Westar’s Green Team informational kiosks have been built at many of the access ramps, including the De Soto ramp.

In June of 2015, our Kansas Riverkeeper, Laura Calwell, was honored by the River Network as a River Hero.  This award is peer-nominated and given yearly to five individuals who have dedicated themselves to protecting our most vital natural resource—water.  After years of service, Laura will be retiring in the near future, so we are actively seeking applications for a new Kansas Riverkeeper.  Visit the job description page for more details.

river hero

River Hero Awards

Finally, as we approach the end of the year, please consider making a tax-deductible gift via PayPal or by sending a check to Friends of the Kaw, P.O. Box 1612, Lawrence, KS 66044.  Your gift will support efforts to protect the river, including getting dredging operations out of the river. Already an FOK member? Consider giving a membership as a holiday gift! Over 800,000 Kansans depend on the Kaw for drinking water, and it is only through working together that we can protect this valuable resource for future generations.

Thank you for your continued support of Friends of the Kaw. From all of us at FOK, have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for the new year!

Warm regards,

Jim Walton, President

Your gift to Friends of the Kaw helps FOK keep dredging out of the river, report and follow up on pollution violations, advocate for reduction of stormwater pollution from both urban and rural areas, and demand enforcement of the Clean Water Act.

2014 FOK Accomplishments


Friends of the Kaw’s first priority is to physically monitor the river, report suspected pollution and mediate a solution.


  • Documentation and monitoring of sand dredging operations by visually monitoring dredge sites and communicating with the Corps of Engineers. Following progress for new Environmental Impact Statement.

Pollution & Policy

  • Responded to eight pollution reports including trash, concrete & asphalt dumping, oil spill in KCK; questionable application of herbicides in Lawrence; questionable waste management practices; and a questionable discharge from a pit mine operation.
  • With assistance from Westar’s Green Team, KDHE, REI and the City of De Soto cleaned up the area just below the De Soto access ramp.  Ww also made arrangements to clean up 500 tires and other debris below a Westar power line just east of Lawrence for March of 2015.
  • Kansas Riverkeeper is a member of the Governor’s River Recreation Committee charged with promoting the Kansas River National Water Trail and the Kansas Lower Republican Basin Advisory Committee representing recreation.
  • Provided input for the Vision for the Future Water Supply in Kansas via the Basin Advisory Committee and a consortium of Kansas environmental organizations.
  • Promoted and made comments on EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule.


Our goal is to increase awareness of the Kaw as a drinking water source for 800,000 Kansans and access to the river.

  • Organized and led twelve educational float trips for over 400 people.
  • Provided five Boys and Girls Club paddling experiences in conjunction with day camps organized by the National Park Service and Freedom’s Frontier.  Thanks to our volunteers who spent the morning paddling with the kids!
  • Worked with the KS Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism and the National Park Service on promotion of the KS River Water Trail, and helped organize a community float attended by over 50 paddlers on October 8, 2014.
  • Presented at over thirty educational outreach events at schools, outdoors shops, churches and community gatherings in the Kansas River valley, reaching over 7,500 people in the community.
  • Received six grants for a total of $33,500 for river cleanups, floats and stormwater education (both urban and rural.)
  • Developed the Kids About Water (KAW) project, a water quality issues and actions curriculum for grades 6 -12.
  • Recruited volunteers for De Soto Rotary’s Winesong event (FOK was one of the beneficiaries!)
  • Fundraising Events: Catfish fry in Lawrence and the Annual Dinner and Silent Auction at Olathe’s Bass Pro Shop.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The Wild and Scenic Film Festival will be held on April 30 at the Glenwood Theater in Overland Park and on May 1 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence.


DeSoto Ramp Cleanup and Support EPA Clean Water Rule

De Soto Ramp Cleanup This Saturday, November 8th Friends of the Kaw is working with the City of De Soto, Westar Green Team, and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Waste Management to clean up an area on the Kaw just below the … [Continue reading]

Annual Dinner RSVP Deadline and DeSoto CleanUp Date

Friends of the Kaw's Annual Dinner & Silent - RSVP Deadline TODAY! Friends of the Kaw is holding its 18th Annual Dinner and Silent Auction on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 6 to 9pm at the Bass Pro Shop in Olathe (just SW of I-35 and 119th … [Continue reading]

DeSoto Cleanup Update and Urgent Message from Sierra Club

Cleanup at the De Soto Ramp - Oct. 18 - Canceled The good news is our reservoirs are full but the bad news is after all the rain we have had in the past month the river is to high to effectively do the cleanup below the De Soto Ramp on this … [Continue reading]

Clean-Up at DeSoto Ramp

Cleanup at the De Soto Ramp - Oct. 18 Friends of the Kaw is working with the City of De Soto and Westar Green Team to clean up an area on the Kaw just below the De Soto access ramp (see photo below) and we need some volunteer assistance. The clean … [Continue reading]

Thursday Night Fish Fry

  Tonight's the night! Please join us for the Catfish Fry fundraiser at Abe & Jakes Landing at 8 E. 6th St. in Lawrence, KS starting at 6pm on Thursday evening, September 25. You will receive a delicious catfish dinner prepared by … [Continue reading]

Catfish Fry and Community Forum

Please join us for the Catfish Fry fundraiser at Abe & Jakes Landing at 8 E. 6th St. in Lawrence, KS starting at 6pm on Thursday evening, September 25. You will receive a delicious catfish dinner prepared by Terrabonne Cafe. The cost is $10 in … [Continue reading]

Fall Floats and Catfish Fry

August has been beautiful, bring on the September floats!! The Friends of the Kaw Dad/Sons float trip on August 9th was enjoyed by all. As shown in the photo above, during the break from floating the boys enjoyed nice swim! Many fish and bald eagles … [Continue reading]

July Friends of the Kaw Float Trips

                  Friends of the Kaw has hosted the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Church, a KU Architecture class, the Konza Rotary Club in Manhattan, Boy Scout Troop 323 and the … [Continue reading]