Outdoors – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Category Archives: Outdoors

Grace Community Church hosts Freedom Festival Sunday at Overbrook

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Freedom Festival 2022 will be this Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Grace Community Church, 810 E. Eighth St., Overbrook. The event is open to the public, and all free. Activities begin at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for patriotic Americans to have fellowship in a fun, family-friendly environment,” said Brian Spencer, Freedom Festival chairman.

New this year is a “Most Patriotic Look” contest. The contest is open to all ages. Gift cards of $25 each will be awarded for most festive, most historic and most creative winners. Participants should be in front of the stage by 7:15 p.m. There is no fee to enter the contest.

A car show kicks off the event, with participants requested to show up at 4:30 p.m. There is no entry fee. This car show is all for fun.

Free food, drink, and a dessert will be available while they last, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Serving will take place just inside the west entrance. Live music featuring local talent will begin at 7:30 p.m., and at 8 p.m. will be featured performer Alan Cunningham. A special ceremony will honor veterans and our flag. Balloon Animal Ministry will be donating balloon animals to event goers.

The grand finale will be a spectacular fireworks show set to music at dark. Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.

This is an alcohol and tobacco free event, and is presented by the Men’s Ministry of Grace Community Church, in Overbrook. For more information, see www.gccinoverbrook.com.

Osage City puts on blue jeans for annual Osage County Fair Parade

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Osage County Fair Parade, at Osage City. All floats or other entries are welcomed in the parade, which travels from west to east on Market Street, ending downtown. The 2022 parade will be 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, with lineup on West Market Street. In conjunction with the fair parade this year, there will also be a parade for kids with decorated bicycles, wagons, scooters, and is open to children up to age 12.

The theme for the fair and the parade is “”Blue Jeans and Country Dreams”, and Adam Burnett, parade chairman, is creating some new and innovative concepts for the parade for this year.

Prize money for float entries will be 1st-$125,  2nd-$100,  3rd-$75, 4th-$50.  Prize money for golf carts and ATVs will be 1st-$30,  2nd-$20,  3rd-$10. Person must be 17 years old to drive either golf carts or ATVs. No water balloons will be allowed in the parade.

Judging for floats, golf carts and ATVs will begin at 5:15 and will end at 5:45 p.m. To have an entry judged, stop by the Flint Hills Beverage drive and wait to be judged. Once you have been judged, proceed to getting in line for the parade. Line up starts at the west end of Market Street.  There will be parade personnel there with clip boards and a line up sheet.

The kids parade will begin at 6:15 p.m., with line up at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Park. The kids parade will travel from Lincoln Park to Seventh and Market streets. Participants must wear a helmet, and children under 6 years must be accompanied by an adult. Prizes will be given to participants. For more information or to pre-register, call Becky Siljenberg at 785-217-7342 or email [email protected], or Jeanette Swarts at 785-249-5451 or email [email protected].

A parade entry form can be found on the Osage City Chamber of Commerce website at www.osagecitychamber.com, under the Happenings link. Submit the form to Burnett at [email protected] or call him at 785-760-0621 for more information.

Overbrook invites all to Fourth of July celebration

Fireworks at Overbrook Lake. File photo.

The annual City of Overbrook Independence Day Celebration will be Monday, July 4, 2022. Overbrook Pride hosts the community celebration, which starts off with the bike parade at 11:30 a.m. Riders share free hot dogs and root beer floats after the parade. The city opens up its swimming pool for a free swim, 1-5 p.m. A farmers market will be open at the fairgrounds, 4-6 p.m. Evening fun gets underway about 6 p.m., at Overbrook Lake. The event includes food and activities for the evening, with the finale fireworks display around 10 p.m.

Overbrook Pride is sponsoring a free inflatable water slide for kids, and Overbrook Bible Church is serving free watermelon. Food trucks and food vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of choices for evening refreshments.

Lyndon celebrates Independence Day Saturday

Fireworks at a past Lyndon Independence Day celebration. File photo.

The Lyndon community will celebrate Independence Day this Saturday, July 2, 2022, with a day full of fun and activities at City Park, followed by a parade, then fireworks at nearby Lamont Hill and Vassar.

The fun begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the park with kids’ races and activities. Free watermelon will be offered at 10 a.m., and the Lyndon United Methodist Church will host a barbecue meal fundraiser.  Food trucks and vendors will also be available for lunch and refreshments. A cornhole tournament starts up at 11 a.m., which is also the pie baking contest deadline. Activities lead up to the 4 p.m. parade on Topeka Avenue from 10th Street to Fifth Street. This year’s parade theme is “Red, White and BOOM!”

Lyndon’s celebration concludes at the Vassar community, with Sharp’s annual firework show at Lamont Hill Golf Course. Everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the show. There will be live music and more. Food and ice cream will be available at Lamont Hill Restaurant.

See the 2022 schedule below:

Kansas Forest Service: Community should ready defenses against emerald ash borer

Osage County, prepare for emerald ash borer

Emerald ash borer was confirmed in Osage County in 2022, presenting new challenges for communities and residents as they care for their community forest resources.

The Kansas Forest Service is presenting a seminar 12:30-4 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Carbondale City Building, 234 W. Main St., Carbondale, Kan., focusing on the identification of emerald ash borer and how to prepare for its arrival in the area. An open forum for participant networking will follow the program.

Registration for the free seminar is requested; registration is available through this link: Prepare for EAB.

Farmers market to open for growing season at Carbondale

Carbondale Farmers Market will open for the spring growing season Wednesday, May 25, 2022. The market is located at City Park 4-6 p.m. every Wednesday, running through
August or September depending on the growing season, and vendors’ and shoppers’ interest.

Along with locally produced crafts, produce, and homemade foods, The Feed Bunk is the featured food truck on May 25. They will have their meal and a la carte menu available.

Everyone is invited to visit, chat, eat, and shop the local homegrown and home-produced food and craft items.

Motorists cruise into downtown Osage City for 2022 “cook’n”

Approximately 275 cars, trucks and motorcycles converged on downtown Osage City, Saturday, April 9, 2022, for the Twin Lakes Cruisers’ 18th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show. The show included entries from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas. The show lined Market Street from Fourth to Seventh streets and two blocks of Sixth Street, which were filled with an estimated 1,000 people during the day.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers presented the following awards during the show:

NWS forecasts extreme fire danger Thursday for Osage County

Osage County is one of six Kansas counties in a red flag warning in effect from noon today to 9 p.m. this evening due to forecast low humidity, gusty westerly winds, and dry fuels. The National Weather Service in Topeka issued the red flag warning that covers Osage, Morris, Lyon, Franklin, Coffey, and Anderson counties.

West winds are expected to be sustained at 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph this afternoon; relative humidity is forecast to range from 17 to 21 percent. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, and outdoor burning is not recommended.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

BBQ Celebration: Spring winds blow clouds of smoke into Osage City

Last Call Heroes BBQ, Travis Duffy, Emily Wickstrom and their dog, Bernie, accept this year’s grand champion award at Smoke in the Spring, Osage City. Courtesy photo.

A strong Kansas wind blew more than 94 barbecue teams into Osage City last weekend. Only one team headed home as Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion. Claiming this year’s title in the April 9, 2022, contest was Last Call Heroes BBQ, with head cook Travis Duffy, of Pierre, S.D.

Duffy described winning Smoke in the Spring as a “bucket list” contest.

“It only takes one look at the past winners of this contest, the caliber of cooks it draws to the event, the community impact the event has, the size of the check you get for winning, it makes this one of the biggest KCBS contests of the year,” Duffy said. “We’ve struggled a bit here in the past, but it takes a very technical cook and some luck to have a chance in a field of both teams and judges that are tough. But we just keep diggin’!”

The South Dakota team competed against 93 other teams from 11 states in the Osage City contest, which celebrated its 19th year this year.

Last Call Heroes BBQ won the grand champion designation with 700.0228 points, taking first place in ribs, fourth place in chicken, 28th in pork, and 37th in brisket. With the win, the team also won recognition for placing in the “700 Club”, which means they earned over 700 points in the competition.

Taking the reserve grand champion spot was a team from Gardner, Kan., High i Que BBQ, with Randy Vanslyke as head cook. The reserve champ team won by placing 43rd in chicken, fifth in ribs, fourth in pork, and 15th in brisket, totaling 699.9772 points.

Winning third place was another team from Gardner, Fergolicious BBQ, with head cook Richard Fergola, a veteran Smoke in the Spring competitor. Fegrolicious took 40th in chicken, seventh in ribs, 20th in pork, and secured their third place spot with second in brisket, totaling 699.3600 points.

Governor issues state of disaster emergency due to wildfire potential

Weather conditions for the coming six-day period indicate a significant threat for wildland fires in Kansas. Due to this potential, Gov. Laura Kelly has issued a state of disaster emergency for the state.

“This declaration will allow our state agencies to pre-position firefighting equipment and extra manpower in areas considered to be at the greatest risk,” said Kelly. “I urge all Kansans to be aware of the potential for wildland fires and to use caution when using campfires, grills and other open fires. A single spark may touch off a fire that can have devastating effects. Please keep yourself and your community safe and use extra precautions anytime you are doing any burning.”

Kansas County Wildland Fire Task Forces and Kansas Forest Service staff and resources will be pre-positioned throughout the state for a more rapid response.

Significant northern/northwesterly winds are expected Tuesday through Friday. Gusts will likely exceed 60 mph on Wednesday and Thursday in the northwest, 50 mph elsewhere. Very dry conditions are also forecast with minimum humidity in the teens each day for all but far eastern Kansas. Extreme to critical fire conditions are expected for much of Kansas.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka activated today to an enhanced monitoring status to keep in contact with county emergency managers.

“With critical to extreme fire conditions, we must consider the safety of all Kansans and be extra cautious with any ignition sources,” said Jason Hartman, Kansas state forester. “To keep everyone safe in these conditions, it will take awareness, planning, coordination, and preparation at the local, county and state levels.

“State resources will be ready to respond, if requested. However, those first few hours will be critical in stopping a catastrophic wildfire. Please, report fires immediately.”

Governor issues declaration of disaster emergency due to threat of wildland fires

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of disaster emergency yesterday, March 3, 2022, due to the potential for wildland fires in the state on Friday and Saturday. The declaration will allow the state to preposition aerial firefighting assets from the Kansas Forest Service for a quicker response to any fires that may begin.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will activate the State Emergency Operations Center, Topeka, to a partial level Friday morning to keep in contact with county emergency offices and monitor weather conditions. According to the National Weather Service Office, Topeka, strong winds and low relative humidity with an abundance of dry vegetation will once again cause extreme fire danger across central Kansas Saturday afternoon.

“I urge all Kansans to be vigilant,” Kelly said. “Even a single spark is enough to touch off a fire that can spread rapidly and destroy farmland, homes and public infrastructure.”

“Conditions for significant wildfires are at an historic high across Kansas,” said Mark Neely, Kansas Forest Service fire management officer. “Any ignition source could cause a wildfire that will grow rapidly and burn aggressively. Help your local firefighters by checking and rechecking previously completed brush piles to make sure they are completely extinguished.”

Governor declares state of emergency due to wildland fire danger

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly issued a verbal declaration of a State of Disaster Emergency at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, due to a high risk of wildland fires and red flag warnings in the majority of Kansas counties.

The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

The majority of the state’s fire weather outlook for this week is in the elevated or critical categories. Conditions across the state are dry with low relative humidity, gusting winds, and an abundance of dry grass and other flammable vegetation.

“Fire season is in full-force, and we must all do our part to protect our fellow Kansans,” Kelly said. “Exercise caution and do not do any burning at this time. Remember it only takes a spark to start a fire that can quickly get out of control with the high winds.”

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the situation and will assist counties with requests for state assistance.

Kansas Forest Service personnel are assisting with fires in Reno and Geary counties. They will also have Tanker 95 on standby along with ground resources.

“It has already been a long fire season and it’s good to see strong partnerships and cooperation in providing the assistance needed,” said Jason Hartman, Kansas State Forester. “There is a long season still in front of us, it’s necessary to be diligent and safe.”

Red flag warning, high winds Wednesday

Osage County will be in a red flag warning that covers much of northeast Kansas for most of the day Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, due to expected high winds and low relative humidity.

The National Weather Service in Topeka issued the red flag warning that is in effect from noon until 9 p.m. Wednesday. The warning area covers Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Douglas, Lyon, Osage, and Coffey counties in Kansas.

Wind is forecast to be southerly at 30 to 40 mph during the day, with gusts up to 70 mph expected, and will become westerly by early evening. Humidity could be as low as 15 percent. Isolated thunderstorms are possible across eastern Kansas during the late afternoon.

A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

Governor issues state of disaster emergency for potential wildland fires

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly made a verbal declaration of a State of Disaster Emergency at 9:25 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, due to weather conditions that elevate the danger of wildland fires. The conditions for fires in south central and southwest Kansas are extreme today. There are 26 counties in red flag warning throughout Kansas today.

The National Weather Service in Wichita has issued a fire weather watch for extreme grassland fire danger, which is in effect from Friday morning through Friday evening. Winds are projected to be westerly from 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph; relative humidity may be as low as 25 percent.

The governor’s declaration will allow the state to preposition firefighting assets in key areas.

“Getting ahead of any potential fires is key in containing them,’ said Kelly. “Prepositioning firefighting personnel and equipment will allow us to do that and keep Kansans safe.”

“Much of Kansas is primed for wildfire due to the lack of precipitation, dried out fuels, and warm windy conditions,” said Mark Neely, state fire management officer, Kansas Forest Service. “We urge Kansans to be careful outdoors and report any fire immediately.”

Kansas state parks offering free entrance on Black Friday

PRATT, Kan. – There’s no better deal than free and this Friday, there’s no better place to snag that deal than at a Kansas state park. This Black Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, entrance fees will be waived at all Kansas state parks as part of the nationwide #OptOutside initiative.

Those who visit any of Kansas’ 28 state parks on Nov. 26 will also have a chance to win a free night’s stay in a Kansas state park cabin of their choice. To enter, visitors must simply take a “selfie” within any Kansas state park and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the tags #OptOutside and #MyKsStatePark.

#OptOutside began after outdoor retail giant REI closed all 150-plus stores for a day in 2015 and paid more than 13,000 employees to instead spend the day outside. It’s since become an annual event for REI, state parks across America, and the millions of people who opt to spend the day outside and enjoy nature.

“We couldn’t be more excited to once again offer free entrance to Kansas’ state parks on Black Friday,” said Linda Lanterman, director of Kansas State Parks. “Being outside in nature does wonders for our physical and mental health, so I hope everyone opts to go outside this year and enjoy a Kansas state park as part of their holiday experience.”

Rail trail group celebrates progress at annual meeting in Overbrook

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will be celebrating the past year’s progress on the trails under its cooperation at the group’s annual meeting in Overbrook Saturday. Overbrook is on the Landon Nature Trail, one of the trails under the group’s cooperation.

KRTC members and other trails enthusiasts are invited to attend the meeting, with registration starting at 11 a.m. and lunch for $10 at noon, Nov. 20, 2021, in the community room at the Overbrook Library. Reservations requested for the meal.

Jeff Carroll, owner of Ottawa Bike and Trail, will be the keynote speaker. After learning about the progress the conservancy has made in the past year, members will elect directors to its board.

Nominees for the conservancy’s board include Scott Allen, Council Grove, Scott Averill, Overbrook, Clark Coan, Lawrence, Owen Harbison, Ottawa, Brian Patton, Ottawa, John Payne, Berryton, Linda Schneidewind, Lyndon, and Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon. Other candidates can be nominated at the meeting.

After the meeting, attendees are invited to enjoy the autumn day by walking, riding or biking on the Landon Trail.

For more information about the meeting, or to RSVP for the meal, email [email protected].

In its fall 2021 newsletter, the conservancy reported a new three-mile of the Flint Hills Trail was reopened east of Osage City this summer after improvements. Much of the trail in that area consisted of loose ballast from the railroad bed, and has since been covered with gravel. The Flint Hills Trail has been under development by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks since a few years ago. KRTC reports the trail is mostly completed for about 94 miles, from Osawatomie to Council Grove, except for a two-mile section west of the U.S. Highway 75 bridge and a 2.3 mile section west of Ottawa. Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded KDWP $5.6 million in federal funds to build a bridge over the BNSF railroad west of Ottawa, and also complete the 2.3 mile stretch of trail there. The bridge project is expected to take three years.

The organization also reported new sections of the Landon Trail were to open this year. One stretch is 1.5 miles from 197th Street to Stubbs Road near Michigan Valley. This will make a nearly seven-mile stretch of open trail from Overbrook to Michigan Valley, bringing the trail to only two miles from Pomona Lake. Another section expected to be open by spring is a two-mile section in the Clinton Wildlife Area. The group’s members continue to work on the Landon Trail near Overbrook, and volunteers are welcomed. To volunteer in the Overbrook area, contact Scott Averill at 785-224-3453 or [email protected].

Bush honeysuckle – invading the underbrush of Kansas

Meet on the trail to learn about bush honeysuckle control

The Frontier Extension District, in conjunction with Ecotone Forestry and the Kansas Wildlife and Parks, will host a meeting regarding bush honeysuckle on at 2 p.m. Nov. 22, 2021. The meeting will be at the Prairie Spirit Trail-Princeton Railhead, just off Galveston Street in downtown Princeton, Kan.

What is bush honeysuckle? It is a wild shrub that has taken over the brush understories in many areas of Kansas. Bush honeysuckle is very noticeable in the spring as it greens up early and flowers in mid-May. In the fall bush honeysuckle holds on to its leaves much longer than our native trees and shrubs giving it an extreme competitive advantage. In the 1800s pioneers used bush honeysuckle as an ornamental plant in landscaping around houses. For anyone who wants to promote native species on their property, controlling bush honeysuckle is a must!

Ryan Neises, owner of Ecotone Forestry, has scouted the area next to the meeting site and has several plants to show for identification, and then will talk about a couple of different control methods. One method is the use of a backpack mist blower and a glyphosate herbicide in the fall, normally late-October through late-November. The other popular method is the cut stump method, where the plant is cut at ground level and the stump is treated with Tordon RTU or glyphosate.

For learn about bush honeysuckle, join in at 2 p.m. Nov. 22, at the Prairie Spirit Trail rest area, Princeton. For more information, contact Ryan Schaub, Frontier Extension horticulture agent, at 785-448-6826 or [email protected].

State experts offer tips for preventing deer-vehicle collisions

PRATT, Kan. – As the days get shorter and weather gets cooler, the breeding season for deer will begin. Traversing pastures, roadways, rivers and streams – male white-tailed and mule deer will begin a nearly month-long quest for suitable mates, stopping for very little, including motorists.

Commonly referred to as the rut, this time of year marks the distinct period when deer-vehicle collisions are most frequent, and the Sunflower State is no exception. That’s why the Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and AAA Kansas offer helpful tips that can help drivers safely navigate Kansas roadways and potentially avoid collisions with deer.

“If you are unfortunate enough to have a deer enter the highway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” said KHP Lieutenant Candice Breshears. “Often, we find more serious crashes occur when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

While the vast majority of deer-vehicle collisions do not involve serious injury, data collected by KDOT indicates that from 2011 to 2019, 51 people have been killed in Kansas crashes involving deer.

“In addition to potentially causing human injuries and loss of life, deer collisions often cause significant vehicle damage that can lead to large expenses for the vehicle owner if not properly insured,” said Shawn Steward, public and government affairs manager for AAA Kansas. “Of the animal strikes reported by AAA Insurance policy holders in 2020, the average cost per claim was nearly $5,500, an increase of more than $1,000 per claim from 2019.”

Steward attributes the higher repair costs to advanced driver assistance technology and the expensive sensors and calibration requirements in newer vehicles.

To avoid incurring costly vehicle repairs, or worse, state experts offer these helpful tips:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk, when deer are more active.
  • If you see one deer, expect others, as deer seldom travel alone.
  • Drive at a reduced speed and be extra vigilant near wooded areas or green spaces, such as parks and golf courses, and near water sources such as streams and ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs show areas where high numbers of vehicle-deer crashes have occurred in the past; heed these warnings.
  • Use bright lights when there is no oncoming traffic, and scan the road ahead for the reflective eyes of deer.
  • Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer – the most serious crashes sometimes occur when motorists veer and collide with another vehicle or run off the road and hit an obstacle.
  • Always wear a seat belt and use appropriately-fitting child safety seats, as these are the best defenses in a crash.
  • Honk the vehicle’s horn using one long blast, as this may frighten large animals, such as deer, away from the roadway.
  • Lastly, if a collision occurs, move the vehicle to the shoulder of the roadway, if possible, and call law enforcement – KHP dispatch at *47, the Kansas Turnpike at *KTA and local law enforcement at 911.

Anyone involved in a deer-vehicle crash resulting in personal injury or property damage that totals $1,000 or more is required to immediately report the incident to the nearest law enforcement agency. Failure to report any vehicle crash is a misdemeanor and may result in suspension of driving privileges.

To remove a deer carcass, or any part of a deer, from a crash site, a salvage tag must first be obtained. Salvage tags can be issued by KHP troopers, sheriff’s deputies or KDWP game wardens.

This fall season, motorists can ensure the holiday traffic they encounter remains as safe as possible, for humans and deer, by staying alert and simply slowing down.

Powered by WordPress