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Small Kansas Communities are Alive and Well
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One of the hats I wear at Barton County Extension is to work with the Community Development committee to bring ideas to the table that help make our communities a great place to be. As my husband, John, and I returned home from the 2013 Biking Across Kansas event we reflected on the wonderful spirit and friendliness of each of the communities we passed through. From Johnson City to Galena, we enjoyed touring the southern part of Kansas at bicycle speed.
800+ people converged on Johnson City (population 1,495) on June 7th. Nightly stops in Sublette, Dodge City, Coldwater, Anthony, Ark City, Sedan and Oswego were well planned by the BAK committee. The communities went all out to make our caravan of bikers and support vehicles feel welcome. Before 9 o’clock the next morning one could barely tell that just a couple hours earlier tents had covered the school grounds and bikes stood end to end around every inch of school building.
The lunch stops and smaller (many unincorporated) communities along the way offered more adventures than I can report in one short column. Visits to museums in Ulysses, Montezuma, Cedar Vale, and Galena, reinforced our knowledge that the pioneers from a century ago were tough and resilient people. Riding the streets of Greensburg and seeing all of their rebuilding efforts since the tornado was amazing.
As I planned the agenda for the Extension committee meeting held upon my return from BAK I found myself thinking about all of the possibilities for our Barton County communities. Helping to improve the quality of life for all of our residents continues to be a goal for Barton County Extension programming. Feel free to share ideas you may have that can help make our communities great places to live, work and play.
Before I close I want to thank this years’ trail angels: Kristin, Dixie, Father Bob, Linda and Rick, Nita and Dick. We also received lots of encouraging text messages from our kids and granddaughters. Hugs to you all!
Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Agent for K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or