Kaw Point

(Frank) We’re back and still on the stairway. (Deb) Teetering on the
brink. That’s us. Teetering on the brink. That’ll be our new slogan.
(Frank) Wheeee! (Deb) Bumper stickers. Do you want a bumper sticker?
Around Kansas-Teetering on the Brink! (Frank) Yea, so anyway. (Deb) So I
got to do a really fun event a couple of weeks ago. I went on a Lewis and
Clark Bus Tour. (Frank) Oh yea. (Deb) I got to, along with my friend Terry
Hobbs, we co-hosted a bus tour for the Lewis and Clark Conference that was
in Kansas City this year. And the Lewis and Clark folks meet all over the
nation, you know any of the Lewis and Clark sites. And of course Lewis and
Clark started their epic journey in St. Louis and came up the Missouri,
but now there is a drive underway to include the eastern points, like
Monticello, Jefferson’s home and you know just tell the entire story. But
one of the places that Lewis and Clark camped in Kansas or what would
become Kansas eventually is Kaw Point, there at the confluence of the
Kansas and Missouri Rivers and so today we’re going to visit Kaw Point.
Have you been there Frank? (Frank) Uh huh. (Deb) Isn’t it beautiful?
(Frank) It’s fantastic, yes it is. (Deb) It’s just a stunning site. And
what they’ve done with it is really remarkable, so let’s take a look. The
Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Kaw Point, the confluence of the
Kansas and Missouri Rivers, on June 26, 1804. The expedition camped there
for three days to rest, repair their boats, and explore the surrounding
countryside. They had been traveling up the Missouri almost two months. On
the day the explorers first saw the Kansas River, Clark wrote that they
had encountered a great number of Parrot queets. a bird that is now
extinct. The explorers also saw their first buffalo. Kaw Point is now
surrounded by industry and development. In 2001, the point itself still
existed in an overgrown and neglected state. Volunteers began the process
of building and improving the park in preparation for the Bicentennial
commemorative event held on June 26-29, 2004. The Wyandotte County Lewis
and Clark Task Force, in partnership with the State of Kansas, Unified
Government, local Convention and Visitors Bureau, various community
organizations, and private funders, worked together to improve the site.
Donations from local business and literally thousands of volunteers
provided site cleanup, trail enhancement, infrastructure restoration,
signage, historical interpretation, and visitor support services for the
Bicentennial events. Since 2004, a renewed effort by the newly organized
Friends of Kaw Point Park has resulted in significant improvements and
additions to this legacy project. Today, Kaw Point is located in the
center of metropolitan Kansas City with a great view of downtown, but the
Point itself remains in a natural state with beautiful wooded trails,
wildflowers, and wildlife. This accessible park has an infrastructure to
support a large number of visitors, and has an outdoor amphitheater
equipped with electricity for performing arts and special events.