O.K. Kids Day awards go to several state parks for events designed to bring youngsters outdoors
LAWRENCE -- The Kansas Wildscape Foundation has honored Meade State Park as the winner of the 2006 Kansas Wildscape and Capitol Federal Savings & Loan’s O.K. Kids Day Top Site Award. Wilson and El Dorado state parks received honorable mentions for the success of their O.K. Kids Days. Johnson County's Ernie Miller Nature Center also received special recognition for their Birding Fiesta.

O.K. Kids is an opportunity to give kids all across Kansas an alternative to indoor, sedentary lifestyles by providing a day of fun and excitement at the state's parks, lakes, marshes, and trails. For many, it is their first exposure to the beauty and enjoyment of the outdoors; for others, it's a reawakening of outdoor interests they once enjoyed. For all, it's a chance to have fun and learn more about natural Kansas.

This is the seventh year of the O.K. Kids program and the fifth year that Meade State Park has received an award. Meade, located in southwest Kansas, attracted nearly 800 participants to their O.K. Kids day on May 6, 2006. Families came from miles away to participate in different activities, including a fishing derby, archery, flint knapping, making pine cone bird feeders, and much more.

Some of the most original activities this year came from Wilson State Park. Wilson kicked the day off with a Kids Fishing Clinic followed by a Kids Q -- a cooking contest for children. Other activities included a treasure hunt, a visit by the Sunset Zoo’s Mobile Zoo, and an evening campfire with snacks.

El Dorado State Park welcomed 450 participants to their 2006 O.K. Kids Day. Activities ranged from a fishing derby and clinic to "garbage aerobics" and pirate treasure games.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center has also received recognition for their annual Birding Fiesta that incorporates craft and educational activities with birdwatching hikes.

O.K. Kids days are available to all kids free of charge. More than 5,000 youngsters participated in O.K. Kids day in 2006, and even more are expected to attend this year. Each site prepares its own day and promotes local participation and sponsorship. Free lunches and t-shirts are provided to all participants, with additional prizes available for kids.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about O.K. Kids Days is the opportunity for Kansas youth to enjoy outdoor activities they would not have experienced otherwise.

These events are held from April through September across Kansas. 2007 O.K. Kids Day dates will be posted on the Kansas Wildscape website,, soon. For more information about Kansas Wildscape and O.K. Kids Day, go to the website or contact Rebecca Reichenbach at 866-655-4377.