Funded Projects2022 Funded Project: Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams
Connecting the Waters, Lands, and People of Kansas
The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) has a mission to ensure the future of wetlands, streams, and adjacent riparian habitats as an integral part of our Kansas heritage and landscape. The organization recognizes that if people can have positive and safe experiences on rivers, they are more likely to value and protect those resources. Part of the organization’s recent work involves expanding equitable and safe access to the Arkansas River National Water Trail. By creating a “River Ambassador” position for the newly created Arkansas River National Water Trail, more and more individuals will be able to experience the 192-mile reach of the Arkansas River stretching from Great Bend to the Kansas and Oklahoma border.
Promoting Outdoor Activities and Conservation Efforts
In honor of Chris’ love for the outdoors and people, the Chris Mikesell Foundation assists organizations like the KAWS that create outdoor recreational opportunities while also promoting the conservation of water resources in Kansas. Therefore, the Chris Mikesell Foundation provided a $1,000 grant to the KAWS in 2022 that was to be used to meet a critical need for both physical structures (signage) and the personnel to expand the outreach on the Arkansas River National Water Trail.
Increasing Accessibility and Inclusivity
Last year, the funds from the Chris Mikesell Foundation assisted the Safe and Accessible Rivers Initiative with project management, supplies, installation, and post-project marketing of the new safety features. This year’s contribution will continue to help promote outdoor recreational activities and water conservation efforts associated with the river for all people. One of the major areas of focus is to reduce institutional barriers to access the river in communities along the river. This will help increase accessibility and inclusiveness, establish opportunities for people with limited resources, create transportation options for people with less mobility, increase participation in recreational activities for communities with a history of limited activities, and conduct direct outreach to youth and underserved communities.
To see a comprehensive history of organizations and causes the Chris Mikesell Foundation has supported, view all Funded Projects.