Public voting underway to choose from 24 Kansas attractions
SCOTT CITY -- Scott State Park and Cheyenne Bottoms, two popular attractions managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), have something in common. They’re among 24 finalists for the Eight Wonders of Kansas.

The Kansas Sampler Foundation launched a project to find the Eight Wonders of Kansas. The number eight represents the eight rural culture elements established by the Sampler Foundation: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people. After public nominations, a selection committee met to determine the 24 finalists.

Scott State Park, one of 24 parks operated by KDWP, has generated a legion of fans over the years. An oasis of natural springs, deep wooded canyons, and craggy bluffs, the 1,020-acre park is located 14 miles north of Scott City in western Kansas. Rich in history, the park is home to the remains of El Cuartelejo, the northernmost Native American pueblo in the U. S.

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, together with nearby Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, are internationally known for their importance to migratory birds. Acquired by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in the 1950s, Cheyenne Bottoms is managed to provide hunting opportunities and important habitat for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

“The real purpose of the Eight Wonders campaign is to encourage people to know more about their state,” said Marci Penner, president of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. “We hope the fun of this project will inspire them to travel to all 24 sites this summer and fall before they vote. They’ll find lots of other great stops along the way, too.”

The 24 finalists include the following:

  • Arikaree Breaks, Cheyenne County;
  • Ball of Twine, Cawker City;
  • Big Brutus, West Mineral;
  • Big Well, Greensburg;
  • Brookville Hotel, Abilene;
  • Chase County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls;
  • Cheyenne Bottoms/Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Barton and Stafford counties;
  • Cimarron National Grasslands, Morton County;
  • Constitution Hall State Historic Site, Lecompton;
  • John Steuart Curry Murals in the State Capitol, Topeka;
  • Davis Memorial, Hiawatha;
  • The Eisenhower Center, Abilene;
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site, Pawnee County;
  • Garden of Eden, Lucas;
  • Gypsum Hills Scenic Drive, Barber County;
  • Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson;
  • Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Hutchinson;
  • Keeper of the Plains, Wichita;
  • Scott State Park, Scott County;
  • Monument Rocks/Castle Rock, Gove County;
  • Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site, Republic County;
  • St. Fidelis Catholic Church (Cathedral of the Plains), Victoria;
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Benedict; and
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve/The Flint Hills, Chase County.

Interested persons can learn more about each site at Public voting is underway now through Dec. 31. On Jan. 29, 2008 (Kansas Day), Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will announce the Eight Wonders of Kansas as determined by public vote.
Online voting is highly encouraged but brochures and ballots can be obtained from the website or by calling 620-585-2374.