When you hear the word “Kansas” what first comes to mind? Flat? Dorothy? What about stone, as in native stone?
Native stone is the essential Kansas. Once an inland ocean, the shallow soils of much of Kansas are underlain with limestone strata. Pioneers soon discovered that while lacking in trees (think lumber) Kansas did not lack building materials. These pioneers soon found ways of using stone in place of lumber, as in native stone fence posts, fences, jails, churches, buildings, and the like.
January is the month for writing. The time is perfect. The holidays are completed, clients lazily make their way back to the office, and I get to avoid the cold north. I try to stay on the road during the warm months, and when Christmas arrives I start the tedious process of collecting and collating all of my thoughts and work in the reports that are required. I have spent most of this month ensconced in my office, failing away at the keyboard while my two cats watched approvingly.
Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you…Satchel Paige
Looking back is a luxury that we can rarely afford. Fermata is a consultancy; we live from contract to contract. The good news is that we stay busy. The bad news is that we rarely get the opportunity to look back over our accomplishments.
With the year’s end approaching, perhaps we should take the time to consider our work. For example, I am currently helping Kansas develop an ecotourism strategy. Governor Brownback and Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) Secretary Robin Jennison brought me into the project to facilitate the development of the strategy. This coincides with our work on interpretive plans for the 11 Kansas byways, as well as the writing of an interpretive plan for the state byways as a whole.
Kansas is Oz. Kansas is flat. Kansas is boring. Not. Kansas’ 11 scenic byways lead visitors to what the state is, not what the state is said to be. These byways wend through the backroads of the Kansas experience. For the curious, for those not willing to limit their knowledge of the world to a television show or a cartoon, travel these byways and get a sense of the real Kansas. Fermata is currently developing interpretive plans for each of the 11 Kansas byways, and one for the state byways as a whole.