Jan. 23, 2014

Wichita’s GPNC recognized for its unique partnerships


WASHINGTON DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell presented the 2013 Partners in Conservation awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC on Jan. 16. The Secretary honored 20 partnership projects that have demonstrated exemplary natural resource conservation efforts through public-private cooperation. Four partnerships nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS), including The Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita,received awards.


The Great Plains Nature Center, located at 6232 E. 29


Street N in Wichita, is a wild oasis in an urban setting. Each year the Center provides outdoor recreation and educational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of visitors. The facility is a one-of-a-kind partnership that began in 1988. It serves as an outdoor education center for the City of Wichita, a regional office for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, and an administrative site for theUSFWS. The Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center help visitors learn about the plants and animals of the Great Plains through live animal exhibits, dioramas depicting native flora and fauna, and nature trails leading to abundant wildlife viewing opportunities on the adjacent Chisholm Creek Park. Its education programs operate throughout the year, and a highlight of the Center is a massive 2,200-gallon aquarium offering close-up views of native fish.


Other award winners include the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program in Texas, the Klamath Tribal Leadership Development for Integrative Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Program in northern California and southern Oregon, and the Center for Land-Based Learning Partnership in California.


Partnerships are vital to wildlife conservation efforts nationwide as they allow us to combine the strengths of our stakeholders with the resources and abilities of our staff, saidUSFWSDirector Dan Ashe. Almost anything is possible when you leverage the skills, talents, dedication and abilities of diverse groups of stakeholders that share a common conservation agenda.


A total of 14 partnerships were submitted nationwide by Service staff for consideration as part of this year’s awards.


Additional information on the selected programs and full listings of entities involved are available here: