River Protector Endowment Campaign

River Protector Endowment Campaign

Choose your favorite section, become a River Protector!
173 Miles from Junction City to Kansas City

Friends of the Kaw along with our Board of Directors and Staff, are proud to announce our RIVER PROTECTOR CAMPAIGN! 

The Friends of the Kaw Endowment Fund was created in 2003 by the Board of Directors with generous donations from our members and supporters and we’ve already raised almost a third of our goal. 

Friends of the Kaw’s goal for the Endowment Fund is to provide long term sustainability of the organization and use the interest from it to provide for the KANSAS RIVERKEEPER position forever, for the Kansas River. 

Join our RIVER PROTECTOR PROGRAM to protect and preserve the Kansas River forever by “adopting” your favorite stretch of the river.  Give anonymously or be recognized on our donor roll as a River Protector.

A one-time $1,000 per-mile donation to the Endowment Fund allows you to “adopt” a one-mile stretch of the Kansas River. 

You can learn more today at BEERS OF THE KAW, or contact our Development Director, Mike Norris, or our Executive Director, Dawn Buehler, to learn more. 

Mike Norris, Development Director

Friends of the Kaw

P.O. Box 1612, Lawrence, KS 66044

PH: 785.917.3869 or michael.norris@kansasriver.org

It’s time to make a difference.

Join us to protect the Kansas River–Forever.


https://bit.ly/31NUx3G:  Online Tickets

 Join us for our 4th Annual


Sunday, November 3, 2019

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Abe & Jake’s Landing

Lawrence, KS

Supporting Friends of the Kaw, our Riverkeeper Program and our work for the Kansas River! 

Tickets are on sale NOW! 

You can purchase your tickets ONLINE,  or from our friends at Sunflower Outdoor & Bike in downtown Lawrence or at Compass Point, home of the Dirty Girl Adventures in NOTO in Topeka

Tickets have sold out the last 3 years, thanks to our supportive friends!  Get your tickets today….and join us to toast the Kansas River!   

4th of July – De Soto Ramp Closed on Kansas River

Our Team


Team Meeting as we kick off our 2019 crazy and fun-filled schedule!

Here’s a glimpse of what’s ahead this year…..

19 Educational River Trips 
7 River Cleanups
16 Kids About Water Education Classes
7 Boys & Girls Club Paddle Experiences
12 Riverbank Restoration Work Days…..
and much more!

We have a full program and a great TEAM to lead our journey for the Kansas River!

(Pictured L-R) Back Row: Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper & Executive Director; Laura. Calwell, Education Director,; Mike Norris, Development Director; Front row: Brian Schath, Intern Programs; and Denise Kidder, Education Specialist.

Come join us.
Protect. Advocate. Discover.



Kansas River Cleanup



Celebrate Earth Month by giving back to the Kansas River! Join The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Kaw and the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association on Saturday April 27 to pick up litter along the river in Lawrence.

We’ll meet at the 8th Street boat ramp in north Lawrence and spread out from there.

Let us know you’re coming! RSVP at bit.ly/kawcleanup



LAWRENCE, KS (March 19, 2019) – Friends of the Kaw is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the MDRT Foundation through their Worldwide Grant Program.  This grant is awarded to assist Friends of the Kaw with the project “The Great River Cleanup:  Recover & Restore the Kaw”.

“We have worked for over 20 years to cleanup the Kaw and some of our biggest challenges lie ahead”, said Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper and Executive Director with Friends of the Kaw.  “We continue to cleanup tires, old boats and battery cases all along the Kansas River”.

The cleanup projects will be started in 2019 and we plan to engage our robust volunteer force to assist with the projects.  Local communities, volunteers, fisherfolk, kayakers, and river enthusiasts all come together to keep our river clean.  We appreciate the assistance from the MDRT Foundation to fund this important work for the health of the Kansas River.

Kansas businessman, Duayne Madl, a member of the Million Dollar Round Table organization, sponsored the grant application and award.

About MRDT Foundation:

The MDRT Foundation is the charitable arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals. The MDRT Foundation helps MDRT members maximize their philanthropic efforts in their own communities and worldwide. The mission of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation is to increase member and industry participation and to give funds to worthwhile charitable organizations throughout the world.


Friends of the Kaw is 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. 

Comment Now on the proposed WOTUS Rule of the Clean Water Act

Comment Now on the proposed WOTUS Rule of the Clean Water Act

How to Comment:

Thank You Wild & Scenic

 A big heartfelt THANK YOU for supporting the 10th Anniversary of the


Thank you Manhattan, Overland Park & Lawrence….you overwhelm us with your support!

2019 Volunteer Days Announced for Kansas Riverbank Restoration Project

2019 Volunteer Days Announced for Kansas Riverbank Restoration Project

“Protecting the Watershed of Douglas County through History, Education and Action”

2018 Douglas County Natural & Cultural Heritage Grant


Sign up for volunteer work days here:  Volunteer Work Days Spring 2019

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

Thursday, March 21, 2019 – 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 30, 2019 – 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Thursday, April 11, 2019 – 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 20, 2019 – Special Earth Day Service Project – 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

Saturday, May 11, 2019 – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Learn more here!

2019 Initiatives




LAWRENCE, KS (January 31, 2019) – Friends of the Kaw prepares for the growth and sustainable future of our organization.

2019 Initiatives include:

  • 2019 Big River Cleanup in Partnership with The Nature Conservancy
  • Eudora Tire Cleanup in Partnership with Westar Energy’s Green Team
  • Manhattan Battery Case Cleanup
  • Kayak Storage Locker Pilot at Lawrence Burcham Park in Partnership with Kansas Dept. of Wildlife Parks & Tourism
  • Kayak/Canoe Access that allows for shorter river trips
  • Kansas Riverkeeper will paddle the 173-mile long river to bring awareness to the beauty of and threats to the Kansas River
  • Participating in conversations with Manhattan, Topeka, Lawrence & Kansas City about smart riverfront development that provides access to the people of Kansas while protecting water quality

In order to support all of these initiatives in 2019 and beyond, this highlights our need to add updates to our staff that will support these goals. Our long-term overarching goal is to protect and preserve the Kansas River for present and future generations. This is only truly attainable by planning for the smart growth of the organization and sustaining our endowment to protect the future of Friends of the Kaw. We hope that you will join us in this important journey!

Friends of the Kaw is pleased to announce staff additions as we grow!

Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper with Friends of the Kaw, has been named as the Executive Director of the non-profit organization.  Dawn is starting her fifth year as the Kansas Riverkeeper and will lead the organization on its next journey to protect, advocate, and discover the Kansas River.  Dawn has a Bachelors in Business Administration from Baker University and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources – Fish & Wildlife Conservation from Oregon State University.  “I am honored to lead Friends of the Kaw as we create more opportunities to protect and preserve the Kansas River and provide for the sustainable future of the organization.”

Mike Norris has been selected as the Development Director for Friends of the Kaw.  Mike comes to us with a strong development background including a decade’s worth of work for university foundations and hospitals, especially, building programs for sustainability.  Mike is a proud graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.  He believes that building strong relationships is the key to not only career success, but in life as well.  “I am pleased to have joined such a great organization that has proudly worked for years to protect the Kansas River with limited resources and I look forward to being a part of the team that works towards sustainability and the future.”

Brian Schath has joined Friends of the Kaw as an Intern.  Brian joins Friends of the Kaw as a senior at the University of Kansas majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in communications and he is also active with the Clean Air Now Coalition.  Brian will be working on communications for Friends of the Kaw until the winter thaws and then you will find him on the river assisting with paddle trips.


For over 28 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 Kansas River communities with their river.

Protect. Advocate. Discover. 

#Kansas River

For Media Inquiries Please Contact:
Dawn Buehler
Kansas Riverkeeper® & Executive Director
Friends of the Kaw

KANSAS RIVERKEEPER LOGO    Waterkeeper Alliance