Events

    1 Apr - 30 Apr 2015 Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Tours

    Just before the sun rises over the vast grasslands each Spring, while most people are still snug in their beds, Prairie-Chickens are busy putting on a show that is critical to their survival.  Male Prairie-Chickens strut around on communal mating grounds known as “leks,” where they fight, call, and dance to win the affection of females.  Only the best males are chosen to mate.  On a still morning on the prairie, their call, called a boom, can be heard over a mile away.  It is one of the most fascinating and unique natural phenomenon people can watch.  Lek tours draw people from around the world each year to the Great Plains. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms, 10 miles northeast of Great Bend on K-156 Highway, invites you to come and witness this wonderful show during a Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Tour.  Staff will drive you to a local Greater Prairie-Chicken lek, where there is a trailer blind sitting.  From the blind, you will be able to observe the Prairie-Chickens on the lek, and the guide will be there to tell you all about these interesting birds and the incredible spectacle.  Fieldtrips will be available to the public on select days from April 1 to April 30 by reservation only.  Tours are not available all days; a schedule of tour dates is listed below.  Reservations must be made at least two days prior to the field trip.  Seating is limited to 7 people and is limited to ages 12 and older.  Participants will meet and leave from the KWEC by 5:30-5:45am depending on the time of sunrise.  Transportation to the lek will be provided.  Participants should plan on being in the blind for at least 3 hours with no facilities available.  Cost is $25 per person.  Please call the KWEC at 877-243-9268 to register and receive more information.

    Lek Tour Dates (Please call to check availability):

    • Wednesday, April 1 (meet at KWEC at 5:45am)
    • Thursday, April 9 (meet at KWEC at 5:45am)
    • Saturday, April 11 (meet at KWEC at 5:30am)
    • Sunday, April 12 (meet at KWEC at 5:30am)
    • Saturday, April 18 (meet at KWEC at 5:30am)
    • Sunday, April 19 (meet at KWEC at 5:30am)
    • Thursday, April 30 (meet at KWEC at 5:20am)

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 5:30 AM


    24 Apr - 25 Apr 2015 Wings 'N' Wetlands Birding Festival

    Check out additional information about the Wings 'N' Wetlands Birding Festival here.

    The Kansas Wetlands Education Center, along with Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, The Nature Conservancy, and the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, hosts this 2-day birding festival every other year on odd numbered years.  The next WNW Festival is scheduled for April 24-25, 2015!   The Wings N Wetlands Festival offers participants a unique opportunity to bird two of the best birding spots in the region, Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other area hot spots. Beyond the great birding, the weekend festivities also include fun workshops, relaxing socials, and opportunities to experience area attractions along the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway. Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge are two Wetlands of International Importance, and provide thousands of birds a stopover along their North and South migration routes. The festival dates coincide with the historical peak of shorebird migration, and is sure to provide some excellent viewing of well over 150 species of birds. Paid registration for the festival includes three or four guided birding fieldtrips with transportation, workshops and seminars, breakfast, 2 dinners, and snacks. Events take place at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at Cheyenne Bottoms and the Best Western Courtyard in Great Bend. For more information and registration details, click here, or contact the Kansas Wetlands Education Center at 1-877-243-9268.

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 12:00 PM


    12 May Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists - Marsh Madness

    You’re invited to join the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists for an exciting opportunity to learn more about the natural world, participate in research opportunities, and enjoy hands on activities! Who can join? Anyone!  Programs will be geared towards adults, but interested teens are welcome to join in the fun as well! What’s going on? Once a month, CBN meets at the KWEC from 6-7 pm.  Each meeting covers a different nature topic, and may feature a guest speaker, a presentation from KWEC staff, or a special short film.  Every meeting will have at least one hands on activity, so don’t worry that you’ll be sitting around like a bump on a log! Alright, how much is it? CBN is FREE!  All you have to do is come to the meetings prepared to enjoy yourself! Marsh Madness Just what lurks out in the wild marshes of Cheyenne Bottoms?  Will you find tadpoles?  Bugs?  Crawfish?  Find out!  We’ll be spending the whole meeting outside, exploring the KWEC pond!  Have your kids told you how much fun they’ve had on their school field trips to the KWEC?  Now is your chance to experience our most popular activity for yourself!  Wear something you don’t mind getting muddy, messy fun is the best fun!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 6:00 PM


    30 May Photography Workshop with Jim Griggs

    Workshop Presenter Jim Griggs. Photo by Linda Hanley

    Saturday May 30, 2015 the Kansas Wetlands Education Center along with the Central Kansas Photography Club will sponsor a day-long photography workshop. The workshop will feature Jim Griggs, photographer and founding father of the Great Plains Nature Photographers. The workshop runs from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Fee for the workshop is $49.00 which includes lunch. Griggs will cover basic photography topics such as: Composition, Rules to Keep, Rules to Break, Basic Principles of Depth, Understanding What Your Meter is Telling You, Lens and Perspective Control, Field Shooting. He will also discuss his specific software choices for editing photographs.  Jim Grigg’s photography has been used by National Geographic, Africa Geographic, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, Wyoming Wildlife, Shutterbug, Footprints, Plastics Engineering, 2Njoy Magazine, National Kart News, Backroads of Colorado, Extreme Golf, newspapers, websites, museum and visitor center displays and others too numerous to mention.  In addition, he leads Photography Trips for Mondo Verde Expeditions to places such as Tanzania and Peru.
    Download the Workshop Registration Form here.

    Photo by Jim Griggs

    Photo by Jim Griggs

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 9:00 AM


    7 Jun Craft Series - Cold Process Soap Making

    Cold process soap making allows you to create your own homemade soap.  Making your own cleaning products lets you control exactly what goes into them!  Perfect for anyone with allergies or sensitivities to commercial soaps, or who is simply concerned about knowing where their products come from.  This workshop is for adults, since all soap making requires some caustic chemicals.   Register quickly, this is one of our most requested workshops! Call us at 1-877-243-9268 to register for this FREE workshop!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 2:00 PM


    9 Jun Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists - Wild for Flowers

    You’re invited to join the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists for an exciting opportunity to learn more about the natural world, participate in research opportunities, and enjoy hands on activities! Who can join? Anyone!  Programs will be geared towards adults, but interested teens are welcome to join in the fun as well! What’s going on? Once a month, CBN meets at the KWEC from 6-7 pm.  Each meeting covers a different nature topic, and may feature a guest speaker, a presentation from KWEC staff, or a special short film.  Every meeting will have at least one hands on activity, so don’t worry that you’ll be sitting around like a bump on a log! Alright, how much is it? CBN is FREE!  All you have to do is come to the meetings prepared to enjoy yourself! Wild for Flowers The prairies of Kansas are full of fascinating plants, and who doesn’t love a beautiful flower?  Head out to the KWEC nature trail to check out what’s in bloom, and then get hands on with preserving flowers for your home decor!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 6:00 PM


    14 Jul Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists - Butterflies are Free

    You’re invited to join the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists for an exciting opportunity to learn more about the natural world, participate in research opportunities, and enjoy hands on activities! Who can join? Anyone!  Programs will be geared towards adults, but interested teens are welcome to join in the fun as well! What’s going on? Once a month, CBN meets at the KWEC from 6-7 pm.  Each meeting covers a different nature topic, and may feature a guest speaker, a presentation from KWEC staff, or a special short film.  Every meeting will have at least one hands on activity, so don’t worry that you’ll be sitting around like a bump on a log! Alright, how much is it? CBN is FREE!  All you have to do is come to the meetings prepared to enjoy yourself! Butterflies are Free What’s better than watching dozens of butterflies frolicking through the prairie?  Getting out there and seeing them up close!  We’ll head out to the KWEC nature trail armed with butterfly nets to get an up close and personal look at our local butterfly species.  Bring your bug spray, as butterflies are not the only hungry insects outdoors at this time of year! You’ll also have the chance to sign up for the KWEC’s annual butterfly count!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 6:00 PM


    11 Aug Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists - Way Up In The Sky!

    You’re invited to join the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists for an exciting opportunity to learn more about the natural world, participate in research opportunities, and enjoy hands on activities! Who can join? Anyone!  Programs will be geared towards adults, but interested teens are welcome to join in the fun as well! What’s going on? Once a month, CBN meets at the KWEC from 6-7 pm.  Each meeting covers a different nature topic, and may feature a guest speaker, a presentation from KWEC staff, or a special short film.  Every meeting will have at least one hands on activity, so don’t worry that you’ll be sitting around like a bump on a log! Alright, how much is it? CBN is FREE!  All you have to do is come to the meetings prepared to enjoy yourself! Way Up In The Sky! We spend an awful lot of time looking at things on the ground or at eye level, but what about that great big Kansas sky above us?  From weather watching to astronomy, there’s a lot going on up there!  Learn about some of the incredible phenomena up above, and enjoy a special presentation in the FHSU Science and Mathematics Education Institute’s inflatable planetarium!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 6:00 PM


    8 Sep Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists - School of Hard Knocks

    You’re invited to join the Cheyenne Bottoms Naturalists for an exciting opportunity to learn more about the natural world, participate in research opportunities, and enjoy hands on activities! Who can join? Anyone!  Programs will be geared towards adults, but interested teens are welcome to join in the fun as well! What’s going on? Once a month, CBN meets at the KWEC from 6-7 pm.  Each meeting covers a different nature topic, and may feature a guest speaker, a presentation from KWEC staff, or a special short film.  Every meeting will have at least one hands on activity, so don’t worry that you’ll be sitting around like a bump on a log! Alright, how much is it? CBN is FREE!  All you have to do is come to the meetings prepared to enjoy yourself! School of Hard Knocks Just in time for human school to start, how do animals manage to learn?  We’ll take a look at some of the most impressive animal learning techniques, then get ready for a challenge as we see if our human learning is up to wild standards!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 6:00 PM


    11 Oct Craft Series - Basket Weaving with Cattails

    Humans have been weaving baskets for as long as we’ve needed to store things—so basically forever.  Using the materials at hand is a longstanding basket weaving tradition!   Cattails are certainly something that is abundant at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Learn how to harvest, prepare, and use cattails to create useful, beautiful baskets! Call us at 1-877-243-9268 to register for this FREE workshop!

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    Location: Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend, KS
    Time: 2:00 PM


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