Written by our very own, Mr. Dan Maus….
Hello everyone! I’m happy to say that we have made it to the middle of the season here in good ol’ Lawrence, Kansas. A lot has happened in the 2 weeks that have past since our last blog update, in which Alison Cook helped describe our environment and projects in “Discovering Kansas.” The first week held our normal survey week, but was made special by 2 teams coming to join us for a conservation project. The second week was spent in Arkansas where all the teams gathered for an exciting Leave No Trace training!
Our team is still taking surveys from the Army Corps Park visitors, helping the Army Corps better understand how the parks are used and improve them from that knowledge. Everyone has good stories to tell of enthusiastic park goers; from evangelical ministers to dressed to a “t” tandem bikers and our favorites: the ones who drive by just to avoid your cones… it never gets boring out at the survey sites. We still work once a week on a conservation project, in which the team will gather under the prescribed leader to tackle a project that we have agreed, will make this world a little bit better of a place.
Our only project in the past 2 weeks was at the Stockdale Recreation Area at Tuttle Creek Lake, where we undertook the construction of a 7 site primitive camping area in a highly vegetated area. Our diligent leader, Leah Cantor, realized the amount of work needed to be done and called for SCA back-up. Without a moment’s hesitation, the Oklahoma team leader, Josh Kalfass, and Texas team leader, Stacy Stone, decided to dedicate their teams to our campsite cause. With forces united, we were able to knock out all 7 campsites and cleared a road wide enough for campers to drive through the woods to each. It was great to see all three teams working together lopping, chopping, and stomping their way to a cleared trail. All compliments to the project leaders for putting the plan together!
Although it was sad to see the Oklahoma and Texas teams leave us Kansanites after the conservation project, it helped to remember that in just 3 days we were to see them again at our Leave No Trace training! All 6 teams gathered outside of Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the Ouachita National Forest, in order to learn more about the Leave No Trace ideology. Shout out to Sara Kuenzi, Sophie Louis, Stacy Stone, and Clayton Buffer for being such awesome LNT teachers!
Before you start to worry that we aren’t having our share of fun wandering around the dirt roads of Kansas… we are! We still spend our off days, and breaks by hiking around, rock climbing, playing pool, “table tennis”, climbing trees and going for swims on hot days.
That is a basic rundown of the past 2 weeks, thanks for reading! Be sure to tune in a couple weeks from now to catch up with the Kansas team once again!