Posted tagged ‘Kansas Wetlands Education Center’

Winter Programs at KWEC

February 11, 2010

Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004. Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms is offering several kids and adult programs in the coming weeks. If you have any questions about any of them, please contact the KWEC.

Winter Kids Programs

Designed for children ages 5 through 12, one-hour programs will be offered at no charge from 10-11 a.m., Feb. 13, Feb. 20, and 27. Children age 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Registration deadlines are Feb. 12, Feb. 15, and Feb. 22. To register for classes, or for more information, call 620-786-7456 or 1-877-243-9268.

Feb. 13–Let it Snow:  Discover the wonders of snow, including whether each snowflake is different, demonstrations showing how crystals are made, and make your very own unique snowflake.

Feb. 20–Snow Birds:  Learn to identify the hardy birds that stay through the Kansas winter and their songs. In honor of National Bird Feeding Month, you’ll make a bird feeder to attract birds to your backyard.

Feb. 27–Making Tracks:  Often the only sign an animal has visited is their tracks. Find out how to identify animals by their tracks and make a track banner.

Winter Adult/Family Programs

Feb. 28–2:00p.m.

Landscaping for the Birds:  Retired K-State extension horticulturist, and former interim director of the KWEC, Terry Mannell provides information on plantings targeted to attract local bird species to your yard. There is no charge but pre-registration is required by Feb. 24 by calling KWEC at 620-786-7456 or 1-877-243-9268.

Come See The Migration

November 19, 2009
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The Kansas Wetlands Education Center has not had any reports of whooping cranes at Cheyenne Bottoms since Monday.  They believe the migration through the Cheyenne Bottoms to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge has ended.  While the whoopers may be gone, the goose and duck numbers are still very impressive with around 200,000 geese and about 50,000 ducks using the Bottoms.  One of the best times to watching is in the evening as geese return to the Bottoms to roost after feeding in the fields.  So, come, bring your camera and enjoy the show!

Whooping Cranes at Cheyenne Bottoms

November 6, 2009


whooping cranes

Pair of whooping cranes at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Photo credit: USFWS/Joel Trick

According to Curtis J. Wolf, the manager of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, as of yesterday, there are 18 whooping cranes staying at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Whooping cranes are a federally endangered bird species.  They have recovered from a population low of 21 birds in 1947 and today there are approximately 340 birds in the wild.  Cheyenne Bottoms is a common stopover for migrating whooping cranes as they make their Fall journey from Canada to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Corpus Christi, TX.

Also, there are approximately 100,000 geese and approximately 40,000 ducks at the Bottoms.  So, head outside this weekend and check out Cheyenne Bottoms.  The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is a great place to begin your tour and learn about some of the other unique animals you can see at Cheyenne Bottoms.  For directions and other information, please visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center website.


Take Your Budding Wildlife Biologist to the Cheyenne Bottoms!

June 30, 2009

Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004.  Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004. Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

Kansas Wetlands Education Center Children’s summer programs are designed for children ages four through sixth grades. These one-hour programs are offered at no charge with age breakdowns as follows:

*Ages 4-7:  10:30-11:30 a.m.

*Ages 8-12:   2-3 p.m.

Programs include lots of hands-on activities with trips outside if possible. Please dress children in old clothes and shoes and bring sun screen, insect repellent and water. Each program will include activities, games and/or crafts and sometimes a story.

Children age 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Registration deadline is one week before class.

To schedule, register for a program or for more information, call (877) 243-9268. Although there is no program charge, donations for supplies are appreciated.

  • “Creatures of the Night” – July 9 (register by July 2)
    Many wetland inhabitants wait until the sun begins to sink over the horizon before they become active. Learn what lurks in Cheyenne Bottoms after the sun goes down.
  • “Caterpillar Capers” – July 16 (register by July 9)
    Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the children’s book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” participants will learn about the butterfly and moth life-cycle, the importance of caterpillars and make their very own caterpillar.
  • “Protecting the Nest Egg” – July 23 (register by July 16)
    From insects to birds and reptiles, animals have devised interesting ways of protecting their “nest eggs.” Discover the animal world’s master weavers and masons.
  • “Nature’s colors” – July 30 (register by July 23)
    Color is more than just beauty for nature’s creatures. Learn what role color plays in bird courtship and how birds and insects retain their brilliant hues.
  • “Pollinators: Plants’ best friends” – Aug. 6 (register by July 30)
    Many plants have developed interesting ways to attract pollinators. Honey bees are just one of many insects, birds and mammals that fill this vital role in nature
  • “Migration Marvels” Aug. 13 (register by Aug. 6)
    As fall approaches, many birds and some insects begin preparing for their long trip south. investigate what drives animals to migrate and the mechanisms they use to navigate.

Lecture at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center Tomorrow

May 25, 2009
Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004.  Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004. Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

Mr. Curtis J. Wolf, Instructor, Barton County Community College, will present on the topic:  “Freshwater Mussels from Eastern Kansas and other Perspectives from near the Bottom(s).”  The lecture is scheduled for, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 3:30 PM in the Kansas Wetlands Education Center Auditorium (near the Cheyenne Bottoms on K-156 HWY).   You may access the Kansas Wetlands Education Center’s website here

Grand Opening of Kansas Wetlands Education Center on April 24th

April 22, 2009
Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004.  Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

Group of migrating pelicans at Cheyenne Bottoms, 2004. Photo by Kansas Geological Survey.

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center has something to show you. The eagerly anticipated interpretive center at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area will officially open for visitors at its grand opening at 3 p.m. this Friday.

The public is welcome to attend the grand opening and tour the facility following the one-hour dedication program. Because of parking limitations at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Barton County Community College will provide a convenient shuttle bus service for the grand opening. Signs on the campus will direct visitors to the North Kirkman Parking Lot, where there is abundant parking space. Buses will leave at 2:15 p.m. and again at 2:30 p.m. for the short drive to the 3 p.m. event. An additional trip will be added if needed. Buses will also provide return trips to the campus.

The new facility’s opening culminates several years of collaboration among a variety of partners. It also marks an important milestone in the rich history of Cheyenne Bottoms, providing the means to illuminate that history and enlighten visitors about the unique value of Cheyenne Bottoms, nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and all Kansas wetlands.

Located eight miles northeast of Great Bend, on the southeast portion of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center features the expansive Koch Wetlands Exhibit, underwritten by a $500,000 grant from the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, as well as a 75-seat auditorium, a classroom, offices and a gift shop. Affiliated with Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center will be operated by FHSU. In cooperation with a Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks educator stationed there, FHSU staff will conduct on-site and outreach educational programs.

Collaboration, planning and development on the Kansas Wetlands Education Center began in 2003, after KDWP received a $2 million grant for facility construction from the Kansas Department of Transportation, through funds from the federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Under the direction of Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, and Mike Hayden, KDWP secretary, a variety of partners joined forces to begin planning the facility. Representatives from local governments, including Barton County, Barton County Community College, Great Bend, Hoisington, Claflin and Ellinwood participated in early planning and discussion. Kansas Department of Commerce, The Nature Conservancy and the Kansas Wildscape Foundation lent support as well. Representatives from KDWP, FHSU, The Nature Conservancy, Great Bend and Barton County appointed representatives to serve on planning teams to develop building and exhibit design recommendations. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius joined a variety of local and state citizens Oct. 27, 2006, for a groundbreaking ceremony.

Designed by Manhattan architects Bowman Bowman and Novick, the 11,246-square-foot, crescent-shaped Kansas Wetlands Education Center features an expansive wall of glass looking out on the world-famous marsh. Exhibit design and construction was by Chase Studio of Missouri, which has developed nature center exhibits and displays around the world.

The Koch Wetlands Exhibit includes a large wall panel with a map of Cheyenne Bottoms and its features, up-to-date information on seasonal wildlife activity on the marsh, and management activities under way. Other design elements include a topographic depiction of the marsh and its natural communities; welded steel, life-sized sculptures of birds that frequent the area; and a historical interpretation display that illustrates tools, weapons, gear and other accessories used by human visitors to Cheyenne Bottoms throughout history. In addition, three-dimensional, interactive exhibits will illustrate the rich variety of plants and animals common in marshes, along with displays depicting the various types of wetlands found in Kansas, from the playas common in western Kansas to the flooded timber marshes of eastern Kansas.