Boys and Girls Club Paddling Experiences


Friends of the Kaw hosts Boys & Girls Club Paddling Experiences!



Friends of the Kaw partnered with Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, managed by the National Park Service, and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area to engage 170 at-risk 4th – 5th grade students from area Boys and Girls Clubs in a half-day paddling experience as part of a series of 5 five-day camp programs. The paddling experiences took place at Kill Creek Lake and Lake Lenexa on Wednesdays in June and July and consisted of a stormwater game, macro invertabrate study and paddling a canoe or kayak. An experienced adult paddler accompanied each student or group of students. At the end of the event everyone enjoyed a hot dog cook out in one of the lake’s shelters. Our goal was to connect area youth with America’s Great Outdoors encouraging outdoor fitness and this activity was funded by a Paddle Nation Grant awarded to Friends of the Kaw.

Friends of the Kaw would like to thank the staff of Brown v. Board of Education, Freedom’s Frontier and the attending Boys and Girls Clubs for helping to make the five events very successful. Laura Calwell, Erik Wolf and Dee Wilson, staff of Friends of the Kaw, planned and organized the outings but we could not have been successful with out the assistance of our many volunteers who paddled. A big thank you to: Julia Marsh, Mike Calwell, Jeanne Heitzman, Tom Stull, Kate Delahunt, Susan Kysela, Tam Smith, Jim Jackson, and Jim Walton.

IMG_2822     IMG_2808












Floating the Kaw!

Friends of the Kaw has had a very busy summer, along with the five Boys and Girls Club floats we have hosted the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Church, a KU Architecture class and the Konza Rotary Club in Manhattan. We will host Boy Scout Troop 323 on July 19 and the Kansas Wesleyan University Girls Volleyball Team on July 21.

We have no floats scheduled for August at this time but we’re happy to help any group plan a float even at the last minute.

In September we have floats planned for Saturday 6, 13 and 20. Anyone with their own canoe or kayak are welcome to join any of our floats – be sure to call to let us know you are coming so if we have any last minute changes we can get in touch. Also for any of our floats we rent out the available canoes or kayaks not used by the group.

Draft Kansas Water Vision

Let your voice be heard! Attend one of the meetings on the draft Kansas Water Vision.


From the Kansas Water Office:

Water Vision Team on Statewide Tour July 7-11
Team leaders to share first draft of the 50-year Vision with public

Topeka, KS – Next week the Governor’s Water Vision Team will be visiting 12 locations throughout the state for citizens to provide input on the first draft of the 50-Year Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas.

“The first draft of the Vision has been posted to our website and we encourage the public to look at the preliminary document,” said Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter. “This discussion draft is based on input the Team has been gathering for months from stakeholders representing all water uses. While we know the solution isn’t a one-size fits all, we hope this can address many of Kansas’ water priorities.”

Last fall Governor Sam Brownback issued a call to action for a 50-Year Vision to ensure a reliable water supply for Kansas citizens. The Team will be at the following locations for input from stakeholders and citizens on the first draft:
Monday, July 7
Wichita, KS – 11:30-1 pm, Sedgwick County Extension Center, 4-H Hall, 7001 W 21st St.
St. John, KS – 4:30-6 pm, Stafford County K-State Research & Extension Office, 210 E. 3rd

Tuesday, July 8
Liberal, KS – 7-8:30 am, Seward County Activity Building, 810 Stadium Road
Garden City, KS – 11:30 am -1 pm, Finney County 4-H Building, 209 W. Lake Avenue
Dighton, KS – 4:30-6 pm, Lane County 4-H Building, 755 N. 7th

Wednesday, July 9
Colby, KS – 7-8:30 am Colby Community Building, 285 E. 5th
Stockton, KS – 11:30 am -1 pm, Rooks County Fairgrounds, Harding Hall 4-H Building, 918 S. Elm
Assaria, KS – 4:30-6 pm, Assaria Community Center, 315 E. Main

Thursday, July 10
Manhattan, KS – 7-8:30 am, Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters, 2000 Denison
Washington, KS – 11:30 am – 1 pm, First National Bank, 101 C Street
Kansas City, KS – 4:30-6 pm, Kansas City Community College, Jewel Room 2325, 7250 State Avenue

Friday, July 11
Ft. Scott – 9-10:30 am, Ft. Scott Community College, Ellis Fine Arts Center, 2108 S. Horton

“Kansas and its citizens are continually reminded of the importance of water,” said Secretary Jackie McClaskey. “We look forward to hearing from folks next week because it doesn’t matter what area of Kansas you live in, the entire state is affected by this issue.”

Stakeholders and Kansas citizens are encouraged to attend one of the Vision Tour input sessions. For more information and to view the preliminary discussion draft of the Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas, visit

Friends of the Kaw receives two grants to clean up the Kaw!

REI, Inc awarded Friends of the Kaw $2,000 to assist in river cleanups on the the Kaw.


The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council awarded Friends of the Kaw $10,000 for cleanup of the Kaw between Lawrence and Eudora.

We are in the process of planning our river cleanup events and we are very grateful for the support of these two organizations!

Kansas Riverkeeper Honored as River Hero

RIVER NETWORK ANNOUNCES 2014 RIVER HEROES AWARDS TO CELEBRATE THOSE WHO PROTECT AND CARE FOR WATERWAYS Empowering communities throughout the Tijuana River Watershed, giving back as a tireless volunteer river trail steward in Illinois, developing … [Continue reading]

Volunteers Needed!

So many Events and Festivals coming up and we need your help! Topeka Gives at Fairlawn Plaza Mall on June 3rd, 2014 in Topeka, KS from 7am to 6pm Fairlawn Plaza Mall: 2114 SW Chelsea Dr. Topeka, KS 66614 Topeka Gives is a one-day event, … [Continue reading]

Meet Erik Wolf, FOK Program and Communications Director

Introducing Erik Wolf, Friends of the Kaw's new Program and Communications Director Erik Wolf was hired in March as the new Communication and Program Director for Friends of the Kaw. He grew up in Overland Park, KS and has his degree in … [Continue reading]

Tell the EPA! Protect our Water!

Tell the EPA: Don’t Delay to Protect Clean Water! Show your support for the EPA’s efforts to better manage polluted runoff, a major source of pollution to our rivers and streams across the country! Ask your representatives to tell the EPA not to … [Continue reading]

Good News for the Kansas River

Pick up a Kansas River Trail Access Map at one of Friends of the Kaw's booths on Sat. April 19! Party for the Planet at the Topeka Zoo from 9am to 3pm at Gage Boulevard and 6th Street Lawrence’s Earth Day Celebration from 11:30am to 4pm at … [Continue reading]

New Development in Dredging on the Kaw

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces new development in dredging on the Kaw! After review of a consultant report and completion of an Environmental Assessment (EA), the Corps was unable to conclude that there are no potentially significant … [Continue reading]

Healthy Yards Expo and Other Updates

ALERT - Senate Floor Debate on: Senate Substitute for HB 2118 to repeal the Threatened and Endangered Species Act  in Kansas law, will be heard today or Wednesday on the Senate floor. Information about Kansas Threatened and Endangered Species … [Continue reading]

It’s Almost Time to Paddle!

Time to start planning your Kaw River Float Trip! Friends of the Kaw sponsors both private and public educational float trips from April through October. We are focusing our efforts on scheduling private groups of 16 to 24 people. The advantage of … [Continue reading]