2013 Annual Wildflower Weekend (AWW)
Salina, KS; September 13-15, 2013
About the 2013 AWW
Anyone who has been to the AWW in the past knows it is the highlight of the year for those who love native plants and enjoy being around people with the same passion. Our theme this year is: “Landscapes of the Smoky Hills: Then and Now.” On Friday we will tour Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, tour a private prairie, and attend a campfire cookout. On Saturday morning we hold our meeting which includes our Guest Speaker as well as the Awards Presentations, Photo Contest, and Silent Auction; in the afternoon we tour prairies at the Smoky Hills Air National Guard Range and another prairie at The Land Institute. Sunday we visit Coronado Heights, where we will hike and enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon we head to Kanopolis State Park & Mushroom Rock State Park.
Never been to an AWW? See what it's all about by viewing the 2012 AWW Gallery.
Printable Weekend Itinerary
The Itinerary has complete information about the weekend.
The 2013 AWW Itinerary (PDF, 8 pages) contains all information concerning the AWW. It includes tour locations and directions, weekend schedule, and photo contest rules as well as hotel listings and the meal reservations form. KNPS members receive it via USPS about a month before the weekend.
Help publicize the weekend by printing and displaying the 2013 AWW Flyer (PDF, 8 ½ x 11" format) in your community.
Help publicize the weekend by utilizing the 2013 AWW Press Release. Consider sending it to your local news outlets.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to join us for some or all of the events throughout the weekend.
Print the itinerary, make your hotel reservations, and pay your meal reservations (send a check or pay online), and come to the AWW!
If you plan to eat with us on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday you need to pay in advance.
The photo contest is a popular part of the AWW. We encourage all members to enter photos. Due to unforeseen problems in setting up the all digital photo contest, the contest will operate as in years past. Please print your photos and bring them to the Saturday meeting where judging will take place. See the Photo Contest for all rules, categories and past winners.
Friday, September 13
- 12:00 pm Fall Board Meeting at the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center(board members required)
- 2:15 pm Tour prairies in the vicinity of the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center & Viewing Tower
- 3:00 pm Tour Maxwell on trams. Reservations are required
- 4:00 pm Caravan to Buffalo Hill, a private prairie adjacent to Maxwell
- 6:00 pm Campfire Cookout at the McPherson State Fishing Lake, adjacent to Maxwell
Saturday, September 14
- 8:00 am Registration at Room #201 Peters Science Hall, Kansas Wesleyan University. Science Hall is located at the corner of Cloud & 4th, and parking is off Cloud Street. Coffee, juice, and pastries available. Set up Silent Auction, Photo Contest, and Merchandise Displays.
- 9:00 am Annual Business Meeting, Presentation “From KWS to KNPS, a 35 Year Retrospective” by President Mickey Delfelder, Recognition of Charter Members
- 9:45 am Awards & Election
- 10:15 am Refreshment break. Silent Auction continues.
- 10:45 am Presentation: “Soil Erosion: Dust Bowl to Today” by Allen Casey, Biologist/Soil Conservationist, USDA NRCS Plant Resources Center, Elsberry, Missouri
- 11:45 pm Break
- 12:00 pm Catered lunch in the commons area of the Hauptli Student Center, KWU
- 1:00 pm Caravan from Kansas Wesleyan University to Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range
- 4:00 pm Caravan from Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range to The Land Institute
- 6:00 pm Dinner at your choice of local restaurants with other KNPS members
Sunday, September 15
- 9:00 am Caravan from Salina to Coronado Heights Park.
- 9:30 am Tour Coronado Heights Park
- 11:30 pm Box lunch in picnic shelter at Coronado Heights Park
- 12:30 pm Caravan from Coronado Heights to tour Kanopolis State Park, Horse Thief Canyon
- Mushroom Rocks State Park is north of Kanopolis and can be toured on your own.
Friday Afternoon Tour Site #1
Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, 2565 Pueblo Rd, Canton, KS (located 6 miles north of Canton)
The Maxwell Wildlife Refuge & adjacent McPherson State Fishing Lake are owned by KDWPT. Combined, they comprise about 2500 acres of native prairie. The refuge contains about 200 bison and 50 elk. A tram tour gives visitors close-up access to the animals and is the only way to gain access to the interior of the park. Reservations are required to ride the tram - to reserve a spot, call 620-628-4455. Leave your name, phone number, number in your party, and that you are with the KNPS tour on Sept 13. Cost is $8; children under 12 years are $5. You pay at the visitor center on the day of the tour. .
Directions from Canton: Go 6 miles north on 27th Avenue (Main Street in Canton) to Pueblo Road, turn left (west) and go 1.5 miles to the Maxwell Visitor Center.
Directions from Salina: go south on I-135 to exit 72 (Smoky Valley Road), go east to Roxbury (10.5 miles) and turn right (south) onto 27th Avenue, go 5 miles to Pueblo Road and turn right (west), go 1.5 miles to the Maxwell Visitor Center.
Friday Afternoon Tour Site #2
Susan Reimer’s “Buffalo Hill” Prairie, located adjacent to Maxwell Wildlife Refuge
KNPS board member, Susan Reimer, owns 160 acres of high quality Smoky Hills prairie which she named “Buffalo Hill” due to the views of the bison at Maxwell. It is used as a winter pasture, therefore the plants grow all year before being grazed. We should have excellent viewing of prairie plants and panoramic vistas from her prairie. This private prairie is only available to us the day of the tour.
Directions from Maxwell: Go east to 27th Ave. and turn right (south). Go south 1 mile to Pioneer Road and turn right (west). Pioneer Road dead ends at Buffalo Hill Prairie. Visiting this prairie is dependent on Pioneer Road being dry.
Friday Evening Camp Fire Cookout
West Side of McPherson State Fishing Lake, located one mile west of Maxwell Visitor Center
For those wishing to stay in the Maxwell vicinity into the evening, we will have a campfire for roasting hotdogs and making s’mores. We will supply plates, napkins, hotdogs, chips, salad, and water. You should bring your own lawn chair. You must pay in advance with the meal reservation form. Acoustic music will be provided by Krista Dahlinger. There are some nice prairies on the west side of the lake which you can also explore on your own. The best viewing of the elk at Maxwell is in the evening from atop the viewing tower.
Directions from Maxwell: Go one mile west on Pueblo Rd and turn into the west side of the lake.
Saturday Morning Meeting Site
Kansas Wesleyan University, 100 E. Claflin Avenue, Salina, KS
The annual meeting, presentation, silent auction, raffle, photo contest, and lunch will be held in Room 201, Peters Science Hall, Kansas Wesleyan University. Science Hall is located at the corner of Cloud & 4th, and parking is off Cloud Street. A campus map can be found at http://kwu.edu/campus-map.
Saturday Afternoon Tour Site #1
Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range, 8429 West Farrelly Road, Salina, KS
The Range, located west of Salina, encompasses a large and uniquely preserved example of Dakota Sandhills tallgrass prairie with good quality grassland communities. The nearly 34,000 acres is a valuable reservoir of biological diversity for the Great Plains. This is a rare opportunity to visit this site, which is normally not open to the public. While visiting the range, we will stay together as a group as we tour the site. We will not have free range of the facility.
Directions from Kansas Wesleyan: Take Cloud Street west a few blocks to South 9th Street and turn left (south). Go 0.5 miles to Magnolia Road and turn right (west). Go a few blocks and turn left onto the I-135 South ramp. Go 2 miles and exit I-135 at Well Water Road. (exit 88) and turn right (west). Go 8.8 miles to Powers Road and turn left (south). Go 1 mile to Farrelly Road and turn right (west). Go 0.5 miles to the entrance on the left.
Saturday Afternoon Tour Site #2
Wauhob Prairie, The Land Institute, 2440 E. Water Well Road, Salina, KS
The Wauhob prairie was purchased from the Wauhob estate in 1997 by The Land Institute. The public prairie is located on a hill overlooking The Land Institutes crop breeding plots and is used to illustrate to visitors how agriculture can be based on the perennial polyculture of the prairie. Adjacent to the prairie is a 160 acre pasture with a small heard of bison.
Directions from Smoky Hill ANG Range: Turn right (east) onto Farrelly Road. Go east 0.5 miles to Powers Road and turn left (north). Go 1 mile to Water Well Road and turn right (east). Go 11.5 miles to The Land Institute (just after you cross the Smoky Hill River). Parking is at the top of the hill on the north side.
Sunday Morning Tour Site
Coronado Heights Park, Coronado Heights Road, Falun, KS (located 10 miles southwest of Salina)
Coronado Heights is one of a line of buttes topped by Dakota sandstone that rise as much as 300 feet from the Smoky Hill River valley. Surrounded by native prairie pastures, it offers panoramic vistas of the valley. Topped by a sandstone “castle”, the park contains this and other structures constructed from the local sandstone during the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). We will follow the trails in the park in search of plants unique to the bluffs of the area. Vault toilets are located on the site. A box lunch will be provided, but you must pay in advance with the meal reservation form.
Directions from Salina: Meet at 9 am at the SE corner of the Walmart parking lot, 9th and Schilling Road. Take I-35 South to the Exit 82 (Assaria exit). Go west on Falun Road for 3.5 miles, turn left (south) on Burma Road. Go 5 miles to Winchester Road/Coronado Heights Road and and turn right (west) and proceed 1.5 miles to Coronado Heights gate and drive to the top.
Sunday Afternoon Tour Site
Horsethief Canyon, Kanopolis State Park, 200 Horsethief Rd, Marquette, KS
The state park is adjacent to the Kanopolis Reservoir and state wildlife area. We will tour a small part of their combined area of 16,000 acres. The Horsethief Canyon area of the state park will be our tour destination. This canyon is composed of Dakota sandstone cliffs that overlook Bison Creek, which runs through the canyon. Many unique plants are found along the creek, on the canyon walls, and in the mixed grass prairie uplands. The red-orange hues of the sandstone combined with the rugged terrain and prairie flora make this area one of the most scenic in the state.
Directions from Coronado Heights: Take 12th Avenue south 3 miles to Hwy 4. Turn right (west) on Hwy 4, proceed 15 miles to Hwy 141 and turn right (north), go 5 miles to Venango Road (State Park entrance) and turn left (west). Continue on Horsethief Road to the end, which is the parking lot and trail head to Horse Thief Canyon. Car passes cost $5.00 and are needed to enter Kanopolis State Park.
Sunday Afternoon Self Guided Tour Site
Mushroom Rock State Park, Avenue K, Caneiro, KS
Our smallest state park at 5 acres is a must see. Large mushroom shaped rock formations are the draw. Cliff brake ferns can be found growing in the cracks of the rocks.
Directions from Kanopolis State Park: Turn left (north) onto Hwy 141. Go 6 miles to Avenue K and turn left (west). Go 2.5 miles to the park.
Use these maps to help you find the various public locations where we will be meeting & touring. Private sites are not listed..
- Map of Maxwell Wildlife Refuge
- Map of Kansas Wesleyan University
- Map of The Land Institute
- Map of Kanopolis State Park
These lists contain plants we may encounter at some of our tour sites and can be printed.
- John Hancin's Butte Plants (PDF)
- Rare Plants of Saline County & Smoky Hills ANG Range (PDF), page 42-45 extracted from the Kansas Biological Survey: A natural features inventory of the Smoky Hill ANG Range, Kansas
- Ellsworth County Plants (PDF, 8 pages)
Salina Area Chamber of Commerce offers a full list of local attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and events in and around Salina.
Following is a list of motels located at exits 89 and 90 off of I-135. These motels are all within a mile of Kansas Wesleyan University, the site of Saturday’s meeting.
Motels near I-135 Schilling Road Exit
- Best Western Plus • 745 West Schilling Road • 785-493-9800
- Candlewood Suites • 2650 Planet Avenue • 785-823-6929
- Country Inn & Suites By Carlson • 2760 South 9th Street • 785-827-1271
- Courtyard Salina • 3020 Riffel Drive • 785-309-1300
- Hampton Inn Salina • 401 West Schilling Road • 785-823-9800
- Super 8 Salina • 705 West Schilling Road • 785-404-2771
Motels near I-135 Crawford Street Exit
- Quality Inn & Suites • 2110 West Crawford Street • 785-825-2111
- Knights Inn • 636 Westport Blvd • 785-820-8663
- Days Inn Salina South • 632 Westport Blvd • 785-827-9315
- American Hotel & Suites • 1820 West Crawford • 785-826-1711
- Fairfield Inn Salina • 1740 West Crawford Street • 785-823-6900
- Value Inn & Suites Salina • 1640 W Crawford Street • 785-404-3206
- Roadway Inn • 1846 North 9th Street • 785-827-0356
- Ramada Salina Hotel • 1515 West Crawford Street • 785-823-1739
Bed & Breakfasts
- C&W Ranch Bed & Breakfast • 4000 South Halstead Road, Smolan, KS • 785-668-2352