Gov. Sebelius, partners commemorate state park cabin construction project

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was the guest of honor at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 14th celebrating the completion of two cabins that will soon be moved to Wilson State Park . At the ceremony, conducted at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility where the cabins are built, Gov. Sebelius lauded the partnership that provides more benefits than just cabins for state parks.

The cabins, which feature home-style amenities, are the result of a partnership between the Kansas Wildscape Foundation , the Southeast Kansas Education Services Center (Greenbush), the Kansas Department of Wildife and Parks, and the Kansas Department of Corrections .

Wildscape, an independent tax-exempt foundation, helps raise funds and provides financial services to acquire the cabins for the state park system. Greenbush, a Girard-based provider of educational services, contracts with the Kansas Department of Corrections to provide training to inmates in skills necessary to build the cabins.

“This partnership is a win-win arrangement for everyone concerned,” said Warden Louie Bruce of the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. “The park system receives cabins for the public’s use and the inmates gain valuable work experience that will assist them in becoming productive members of their communities when they have completed their sentences.”

KDWP Secretary Mike Hayden told attendees that the cabins add a valuable new attraction in state parks, and that many more of the units will be placed in state parks in the coming years. Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz noted that the partnership demonstrates the multiple benefits to all Kansans of cooperative ventures between state agencies and other partners, and that it assists his department’s mission to provide a safer Kansas through effective correctional services. Warren Gfeller of the Wildscape Foundation said the project aptly illustrates Wildscape’s mission to enhance outdoor recreation in Kansas.