The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation is honoring Kansas State University for its contributions to the last remaining tallgrass prairie in North America by naming it this year's Friend of the Flint Hills winner.
Every year the foundation recognizes an individual, nongovernmental organization or public institution for the time, effort and resources devoted to conserving the Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma and to the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
Kansas State University is receiving the award for its multidimensional contributions to the Flint Hills through research, education and engagement activities, said Bruce Snead, director of engineering extension at Kansas State University and president of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.
"There is no doubt that K-State and those affiliated with it have performed many services for the Flint Hills Discovery Center and have been a significant resource on the importance of the ecology, history and culture of the Flint Hills," Snead said.
Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz and first lady Noel Schulz will accept the award at a reception and recognition dinner on May 4 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
"As part of Kansas State University's land-grant heritage, we are dedicated to engaging with our region, state and surroundings," Kirk Schulz said. "This kind of research and scholarly activity is crucial to our goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025. We are honored that the Flint Hills Discovery Center is recognizing our contributions to the land and culture around us."
Numerous Flint Hills-related topics
More than 31 researchers connected with Kansas State University are studying Flint Hills-related topics, such as grassland ecology, cattle drive folklore and the history of the prairie. From the Konza Prairie Biological Station, to the Chapman Center for Rural Studies and a K-State Research and Extension presence in each Kansas county, the university has committed numerous resources to understanding and appreciating the Flint Hills.
The university recently co-hosted the biennial America's Grasslands Conference, which brought more than 200 biologists, policy experts, ranchers, researchers and conservationists to Manhattan.
The university also has launched the Prairie Studies Initiative that bring disciplines in the arts and sciences together to explore cultural and ecological dimensions of the prairie, understand challenges to sustaining grassland ecosystems, and envision the future of these important landscapes.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center explores the geology, biology and cultural history of the Flint Hills. For more information visit the center's website. The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation advances the mission of the center by providing support for its programs and initiatives, ensuring stewardship of the region's tallgrass prairie. More information is available at the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation website.