2021 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Dr. Tom Eddy
Dr. Tom Eddy was a professor at Emporia State University, where he taught for more than 50 years. He has devoted his life to teaching others to appreciate and understand the ecology and biodiversity in the Flint Hills. Dr. Eddy is known for his willingness to help others with plant identification and prairie appreciation. His work has floristic studies on the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kansas.
“Interpretation of the history and ecology of the tallgrass prairie provides insights not only into the dynamics of prairie life but teaches us how we can better understand our own lives,” Eddy said.
2020 Friend(s) of the Flint Hills Awarded to Emily Connell & Annie Wilson
Click here to watch the 2020 Friend of the Flint Hills Virtual Recognition video. This video tells the story of the Flint Hills Maps & Education project created by Emily Connell & Anne Wilson.
2019 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Marty Vanier
“Marty and her late husband Bob Krause were the first to provide a generous gift to the Foundation, recognizing the fundamental role of the city in creating the Discovery Center, and that gift was acknowledged with the naming of the Horizon Ranch Immersive Experience Theater,” Bruce Snead, President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, said. “Marty’s support of the Foundation, and her recent gift, which will expand and enhance the projection system of the theater, add to what will be a unique legacy of actions to preserve the Flint Hills.”
The Discovery Center and Foundation will be forever indebted to Marty for her vision and initiatives in support of our mission together to sustain the Flint Hills in all of its rich dimensions.
2018 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Scott and Carol Ritchie
The Foundation is pleased to recognize the Ritchies for their promotion of sustainable range management practices and their desire to protect the Flint Hills Region from invasive development.
They have also supported a variety of nonprofits which utilize and advocate for the Flint Hills.
“Scott and Carol Ritchie have spent most of their adult lives enjoying the great national treasure that is the Flint Hills,” Bruce Snead, President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, said.
Scott and Carol Ritchie were honored at the annual recognition event on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.
2017 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Symphony in the Flint Hills
The Foundation is pleased to recognize all those who have created and supported the Symphony in the Flint Hills and their contributions to the Flint Hills with this award.
“It is difficult to overestimate the value and impact the Symphony has had in growing the appreciation and knowledge of our Flint Hills, not only here in Kansas but truly around the world,” Snead said.
2016 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Nancy Kassebaum Baker
Kassebaum’s love of Kansas and the Flint Hills region was exemplified by her efforts along with that of others in the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, KS in 1996. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.
Kassebaum served three terms representing the state of Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997. She returned to her permanent home in the Flint Hills in 2014 following the death of her husband, former U. S. Senator Howard Baker.
Marty Vanier and Bob Krause Donate $750,000 to FHDC Foundation
“The FHDC Foundation is thrilled to facilitate this generous contribution which recognizes the critical value of the creation and construction of these wonderful exhibits by the City of Manhattan,” Snead said. “These donors see the great regional benefits of the FHDC and especially the Immersive Experience effects on visitors and residents.”
The Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater will be named in honor of this generous gift.