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Coalition Created to Promote, Protect Native Limestone

Greenhorn Limestone FormationIt has been used in fencing, architecture, grave markers, art and just about anything you can imagine in central Kansas. Now a group of people passionate about native Kansas limestone has joined together to create a coalition promoting the area.

The Kansas Post Rock Limestone Coalition was recently organized with a mission of "promoting, preserving and protecting the history, art and architecture of the Kansas Post Rock Limestone region through education and tourism."

The group is comprised of businesses, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, art centers, preservationists and private citizens interested in the native stone. Their geographic area covers 18 Kansas counties stretching from the northern border of the state (Jewell, Republic and Washington Counties) flowing southwest down to the Dodge City area (Ford, Hodgeman, Pawnee and Edwards Counties).

The Grassroots Art Center in Lucas received a grant from the Russell County Area Community Foundation earlier this year to establish the organization. Still in an infancy stage, the Kansas Post Rock Limestone Coalition has plans to tell others about the region's limestone heritage.

"For 25 years, the people living in the 'Land of the Post Rock' have talked about forming a unique tourism region in Central Kansas centered around the Kansas Limestone," said Rosslyn Schultz, Director of the Grassroots Art Center. "It's so exciting to be finally planning various activities in the region like 'Limestone Adventure Trails' to share our one-of-a-kind architecture, heritage, geology, archeology and customs of this region."

The Coalition's new Board Chair agrees with Schultz.

"The Post Rock limestone is unique to this part of Kansas. Many of these century-old buildings have fallen into disrepair and hundreds of miles of Post Rock fences have been removed. It is our goal to raise awareness of this part of our heritage and to preserve what remains for future generations before it is lost forever," Bradley Penka, Chairman of the Coalition, said.

The organization is in the process of filing for federal non-profit status and will be hosting various events throughout the year, along with educational programs to promote the area. They are working with the Kansas Historical Society on cataloging various buildings constructed of the native stone.

The area covers these Kansas counties: Barton, Cloud, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Hodgeman, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ness, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Republic, Rush, Russell and Washington. This area is where the Greenhorn Limestone Formation can be found and is where early Kansas pioneers used the native stone for multiple uses, including fence posts and building construction.

The newly-elected board members are:

  • Bradley Penka, LaCrosse
  • Andy Stanton, Hays
  • Jeannie Stramel, Lucas
  • Terry Bailey, Beloit
  • Christina Hayes, Great Bend
  • Tami McGreevey, Ellsworth
  • Lisa Goodheart, Mankato
  • Kris Heinze, Lincoln
  • Stacey Jackson, Osborne
  • Charma Craven, Luray
  • Terry Rowe, Stockton
  • Rosslyn Schultz, Lucas

The group has established a website at www.kansaspostrocklimestone.org and is active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kansaspostrocklimestonecoalition and Instagram at www.instagram.com/kansaspostrock.

(Information and graphic courtesy Kansas Post Rock Limestone Coalition.)

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