By Jim Misunas
LARNED — The Kansas Health Foundation is boosting Pawnee County’s collective effort to improve Camp Pawnee into a tourist attraction.
Pawnee County Commissioners collaborating with the Larned Pride Committee for Camp Pawnee have been awarded an $11,000 grant through the Kansas Health Foundation’s recognition grants program.
This money will be used for a playground at Camp Pawnee. This will incorporate more activities that the children can do while camping or enjoying a field trip. Camp Pawnee will also be used by the Larned school district as an outdoor classroom.
Pride member Jenny Manry, other Pride members and Donna Preisner helped work on the grant application.
“We’re very excited about the potential at Camp Pawnee,” said Donna Preisner, Pawnee County Extension family and consumer sciences agent. “We’re making Camp Pawnee more usable and suitable for tourists. Anything who can do for Camp Pawnee brings about economic development.”
Camp Pawnee is owned by Pawnee County on a 32.5 acre tract of grassland four miles west of Larned. The camp is located along the Pawnee River which was once frequented by both the Native Americans as well as the Cavalry Soldiers of Fort Larned as they traveled across the new territory known as “Kansas.”
“This is an exciting time for Pawnee County and Camp Pawnee,” said Kathy Bowman, Pawnee County commissioner chair. “Receiving the Kansas Health Foundation Recognition Grant will allow us to acquire nice playground equipment. Campers from near and far and those who rent the lodge will enjoy our playland for kids and families thanks to the Kansas Health Foundation.”
For more information about this project or to learn how you can make a donation or volunteer, contact Preisner, Pawnee County Extension at (620) 285-6901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recognition Grants expand the Kansas Health Foundation’s support to a broad range of health-related organizations throughout the state. The program is targeted for organizations and agencies proposing meaningful and charitable projects that fit within the Foundation’s mission of improving the health of all Kansans.
“We truly appreciate the work that our Recognition Grantees do to serve Kansans,” said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “We’re hopeful that more Kansans will become aware of these grants and how this funding can improve the health of communities all across our state.”
This fall, the Kansas Health Foundation provided nearly $1 million through this program to help organizations accomplish more than 50 different projects intended to improve the health and wellness of Kansans. Using a competitive application process, the Foundation allocates up to $2 million each year for the Recognition Grants program. Application deadlines for the two cycles are March 15 and Sept. 15 each year. Any tax-exempt, nonprofit organization using the money for charitable purposes and proposing a project meeting the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of all Kansans is eligible.
The vision of Larned PRIDE is to motivate volunteerism within our community by identifying and implementing programs and projects which will enhance the quality of life for our current residents and the future of our community.
Some of the programs Larned PRIDE has helped implementing: Wii systems & TVs at the Welcome Inn Senior Center, Doerr-Vernon Park Renovation and Splash Pad, Skates for Family Skate Night at the Larned Recreation Center and the school children to use for class, Community Garden, Community Orchard, Pumpkin Hollow at Camp Pawnee, Fruity Fridays at Pawnee Heights School and Larned School districts, and butterfly/lady bug/school classroom at the Community Garden and Farmer’s Market at the Community Garden.
The Kansas Health Foundation is a private philanthropy based in Wichita, but operates with a statewide focus. Its mission is to improve the health of all Kansans. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.kansashealth.org.