The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation will recognize Kansas State University as the 2014 Friend of the Flint Hills on May 4 for its multi-dimensional contributions to the conservation of the Flint Hills and the mission of the Discovery Center through research, education and engagement activities.
KSU President Kirk Schulz and first lady Noel Schulz will accept the award at a private banquet set for 6 p.m. May 4 at the Discovery Center to be attended by university administration, staff and faculty from departments that directly contributed to the development of the regional attraction.
“Kansas State University serves as a key academic institution and partner for the Flint Hills Discovery Center as well as the entire ecoregion. We fully support the Foundation’s recognition of Kansas State University as the 2014 Friend of the Flint Hills,” said Fred Goss, FHDC director.
Every year the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation Board selects an individual, non-governmental organization or public institution for recognition as a Friend of the Flint Hills for the time, effort and resources devoted to conserving the Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma and being an important informational resource.
“There is no doubt that K-State and those affiliated with it have performed many services for the FHDC, and have been a significant resource on the importance of the ecology, history and culture of the Flint Hills,” said Bruce Snead, FHDC Foundation board president.
Previously, Flint Hills rancher Jane Koger and Brian Obermeyer, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Flint Hills Initiative, were recognized by the Foundation.
The university’s many contributions will be highlighted at the Foundation’s annual Friend of the Flint Hills event, such as the ongoing research at Konza Prairie Biological Station, the work of review committees for the FHDC’s permanent exhibitions, collaborative exhibitions such as the Flint Hills Forces series and other scholarly activities.
“Kansas State University was instrumental in the development of the Flint Hills Discovery Center in 2012. Since then, the two organizations have worked together in partnership and will continue to do so in the years to come,” said Goss.
The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, serves as an active local, regional and national advocate by creating opportunities to give to the Foundation and provide for the long-term financial success of the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
The FHDC Foundation advances the mission of the center by providing support for its programs and initiatives, ensuring stewardship of the region’s tallgrass prairie.
Visit www.flinthillsdiscoverycenterfoundation.org to learn more about the Foundation.
Morris County Housing Meeting
March 6th, 2014
Council Grove City Hall
The Flint Hills Regional Council held its initial housing meeting for the Fair Housing and Equity Analysis work
All meeting attendees were given a Housing Survey, which can be found online, at www.flinthillsfrontiers.org. All survey respondents were Morris County residents and 85% worked in Morris County. Most survey respondents owned their single-family detached homes. Only 23% felt there was an adequate mix of housing in their community and most felt the community was in need of a range of housing, specifically duplex, townhomes, condominiums and senior housing. There is quite a spread amongst respondents on how aware they feel they are of the fair housing laws, with the average falling just above 3 on a 1-to-5 scale. Yet, when we dig into the details of who might be having difficulty, 70% of respondents felt Families with children have the most difficulty finding housing in the community. Many also identified the Disabled and Elderly as groups that are challenged to find adequate housing.
Low income or lack of adequate income of the workforce was by far the leading barrier to home ownership. Many mentioned some relationship between low income and the costs of purchasing, improving and maintaining the current state of Morris County housing. There were also concerns around commitment of investors, or “how long” people were expecting to stay in the community and the type of housing stock that is currently available, with too many “fixer-uppers” and not enough “updated homes” on the market. This theme continued when respondents were asked about their view or experience of rental housing. Almost all respondents spoke of poor quality and inadequate conditions and standards in rental units. There was also concern over the difficulty of locating and finding rentals and the safety of units. When respondents were asked if they felt Morris County housing was a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat, virtually all saw it as a Weakness or spoke about the challenges the area faces in attracting and maintaining new-comers to the area.
These are some things that were said in the first Community Toolbox Meeting.
March 25, 2014
Thoughts expressed during Breakout conversation on how to make the tools more useful and focused:
Do you want to know what is the difference between property maintenance and building codes? Do you want to learn "how not to" discriminate in housing? Well then go on down to Manhattan City Hall on Thursday, April 24th! The city is hosting it's 2014 Fair Housing Seminar from 8:30 am to noon. Registration is free.
For more information see the Manhattan website.
Keep up to date on the Manhattan Area 2035 project! Manhattan is undergoing the process of updating their comprehensive plan. They have created a website specifically for the project, allowing for people to be engaged through the internet! The project will take place over a 14 month period so don't miss out!