Discovering Kansas…


Written by our very own, Alison Cook….



Heading into a typical workweek, I vouch for my team, that one can experience much as a surveyor to the public. We come across unique people, determined-to-get-across-the-road turtles, friendly dogs, and human eating flies. We all have had some interesting stories and have explored the best tree’s to climb at our sites. Brittany even had two families that were driving to the nearest hospital because their spouses were in labor! 

A normal day varies but there is usually always something interesting around the corner. Take it from me, if you ever find yourself at Milford Lake; west of Topeka, check out the Milford Nature Center and Fisheries. It’s fascinating; this facility has a wildlife rehabilitation program that features a number of exhibits of native wildlife. And for the fisheries that is adjacent to the nature center, don’t forget to check out the gigantic carp they have jumping around in aisle eleven.

So far we have completed four conservation projects, ranging from constructing a nice, livable yard for one of Curtis’s work acquaintances that is confined to a wheelchair. We have helped clean and socialize with cats and dogs at the Prairie Paws Animal shelter in Ottawa, Kansas. Dan led a project where we helped one of our Army Corps Lakes maintain a mountain bike/ATV trail. What is in store for us in the future is building a primitive campground, also at Tuttle Creek with the assistance of Teams Oklahoma and Texas.

We had a unique two weeks here in Kansas, but have had the pleasure to realize that good people in this world exist, and their simple acts of kindness deserve some attention. We wanted to give a big thank you to our neighbor who just moved out of apartment 1504. She was leaving town, and was going to take furniture to the dump, and instead she gave us two tables, a couch, a recliner and a desk chair! Thank you so much Jocelyn!! Our apartments look fantastic now, and when our friends come visit, they even have places to put their plates for dinner! We appreciate your help.

 Another experience our team came across is what Team Kansas’ fearless project leader, Leah described as, “a selfless and kind-hearted individual”.  When we returned to our friendly neighbors house to finish bagging up and bundling the wood we removed from her yard, the chainsaw we rented for the day would not run. As Leah walked it to the street to go back to the store, there was a car accident on the street with a police officer on site. Two cars were in a fender-bender, and a third car stopped to wait for his friend. Leah asked if any of them had ever run a chainsaw before, and we watched as they all tried to give it a pull- with all unsuccessful attempts. The friend who was waiting happened to have a fully functioning chainsaw, placed naturally in the back of his vehicle. He asked if we wanted to use it, and we all waited patiently as Leah worked her chainsaw magic- bucking up logs- chaps and all! This was to ensure that the city-wide pick up would come by and remove everything. We hauled it off, and thanked this wonderful stranger- Brian McKiddy and his patience as we completed our project. It was much appreciated during the last segment of Curtis’s lawn project. There are some wonderful people in this world, and we want to thank them for helping our time here in Kansas run smoothly!


Check back in with us in two weeks as Mr. Dan Maus tells you what Kansas is like from his perspective!

-Ms. Alison Cook; Kansan Native