New to Kansas or a longtime resident interested in learning more about your state? You’ve come to the right place!
Here you will find facts and information covering many different aspects of our fascinating state, from everyday life to places to see to historical background. There’s a lot more to the Sunflower State than tornadoes and I-70, so dig in!
This guide offers a look at past governors, men and women who have shaped the history of the state. Along the way, we will explore the diverse backgrounds of the governors, the main events of their time in office, and the lasting legacies that they have left behind. Most importantly, we will read their own words to get a glimpse into their minds and understand how they determined their course. Read more »
The Sunflower State has been blessed with diverse and beautiful scenery, ranging from forests to hills to wide-open farmland. Geologists have divided Kansas into 11 distinct regions, each with its own unique characteristics. Our guide to physiographic regions will take you through our gorgeous state, exploring its topography, soils, vegetation, water resources, climate, and agricultural practices along the way. So pick a region and start your discovery. Read more »
Kansas State Parks
Kansas is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and our 26 state parks make it easy! For a small fee, you can enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other fun outdoor activities. Plus, these parks showcase the diverse regions, native plants, and fascinating wildlife of our state. Many of the parks contain sites of historical significance, as well. Read more »
Grasses of Kansas
This guide contains key information on the many diverse grasses of Kansas, whether they come from the tallgrass prairie, the sandsage prairie, or just the average roadside ditch. For each plant, you will learn characteristics, distribution, life cycle, ecology, uses, hazards, and similar species. Whether your interest is as a nature buff, an ornamental gardener, or a dedicated grazier, we hope you’ll find the information you need to identify and properly manage the grasses on your property. Read more »
Birds of Kansas
Kansas is home to an amazing array of birds, from the regal red-tailed hawk to the state bird, the eloquent western meadowlark. In this guide, you can find out more about the appearance, best field marks, voice, distribution and occurrence, and behavior of our state’s many bird species. You will also learn how to attract them for viewing or hunting purposes (when applicable) and how to distinguish them from confusingly similar species. Read more »
- What climate zone is Kansas?
This depends largely on what climate classification system you use. The whole state lies within the northern temperate zone, with the southern third being subtropical. Using the Köppen system, most of the state is humid continental (hot summer subtype), with parts of south-central and southeastern Kansas being humid temperate (hot summer subtype) and parts of western Kansas being semi-arid and cold. The four USDA plant hardiness zones in the Sunflower State are 5b, 6a, 6b, and 7a.
- Are there wolves in Kansas?
At present, there is no established population of wolves in the wild in Kansas. The last time a gray wolf has been seen was in Trego County in December 2012.
- When did gray wolves become extinct in Kansas?
Other than the 2012 Trego County wolf, the last gray wolf sighting in Kansas occurred in 1905.
- Did cowboys sing on the trail?
Yes, they did. Singing was a favorite way to soothe restless cattle, as well as to keep in touch with other riders on a dark night or just simply to pass the time. Singing folk songs, familiar and original, formed a great deal of the evening entertainment in a cattle camp.
- What did the pioneers use as a windmill?
The windmill of the 1800s and 1900s is still a common sight on the Great Plains landscape today. It is characterized by a fan on top of a tower.
- How do old windmills work?
The wind turns the fan at the top of the windmill. The fan is connected to a set of gears (the motor), which pulls a pump rod up and down. The pump rod operates a piston in a cylinder pump in the well. This piston draws a column of water up into a pipe and then out into a stock tank.
- Why were round barns built?
Round barns were very efficient to build and work in. They required fewer building materials than other designs. Feed could be stored in the center of the barn and distributed easily, with the farmer working in a circular pattern. There was also anecdotal evidence that round barns typically survived tornadoes far better than their rectangular counterparts.
- What religion built round barns?
People of a variety of beliefs built round barns, as they were thought to be quite practical. Round and octagonal designs have also been used for churches of many denominations. Probably the most famous round barn associated with a particular religion was the dairy barn at Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.
- What are the negative costs of a highway?
Interstate highways have probably contributed greatly to the phenomenon of urban sprawl and rural decline across the country, as well as the “flyover effect.” The loss of land to eminent domain was also a hardship to many, as was the loss of traffic to those involved in the railroad industry. Traffic congestion is another difficulty on some highways.
- El Cuartelejo: A Place of Refuge
- Farming Practices of the Plains Indians in Kansas
- How Plains Tribes Predicted the Weather
- Four Centuries in Kansas
- Kansas Forts and Bases
- How Kansas Got Its Shape
- The Seal of Kansas
- Peopling the Plains
- The 100th Meridian in History
- The Exodusters
- The Railroads and the Homesteaders
- The Roots of Cattle Driving
- What Really Ended the Cattle Drives?
- The Heritage of Turkey Red Winter Wheat
- Why Did People Build Round Barns?
- How the Kansas Legislature Tried to Eradicate the Sunflower
- Rain Follows the Plow
- Kansas Populist Movement Basics
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- What Caused the Dust Bowl?
- Farming the Dust Bowl
- The Agricultural Adjustment Act in the Great Plains
Life in Modern Kansas
- 6 Reasons to Preserve Kansas Heritage
- What is a Barn Quilt?
- Challenges to the Ogallala Aquifer
- Kansas Department of Agriculture Licensing Guides
- Pros and Cons of Gardening in Kansas
- Pros and Cons of the Interstate Highway System
- USDA Releases 2017 Ag Census Results
Literature & Legends
- Cricket in the Thicket
- Johnny Kaw, a Tall Tale
- “Seasons in the Flint Hills“
- “Thank You, God, for Kansas“
- The Story of Sod Corn Jones
- The Kansas Poems of John Greenleaf Whittier
- The Prose Poetry of Walt Mason
Stone Arch Bridges
- Stone Arch Bridges
- Stone Arch Bridges of Butler and Cowley Counties
- Dunkard Mill Bridge: How Cowley County Came to Build Stone Arch Bridges
- How Cowley County Stone Arch Bridges Were Built
- Why Cowley County Adopted the Stone Arch Bridge
- The History of Pudden Bridge
- Freeport, Formerly the Smallest Incorporated City in Kansas
- Top 10 Kansas Towns
- Top 10 Strangest Kansas Town Names
- WaKeeney: Christmas City of the High Plains
Places to See
- Greenwood Hotel
- Kansas Historical Markers
- Kansas Outdoor Treasures
- Pawnee Indian Museum
- Registers of Historic Places
- Top 10 Strangest Sights to See in Kansas
- Top 10 Sights to See in the Flint Hills
- Top 10 Sights to See in the Smoky Hills
- Atlas of Historical County Boundaries
- Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States
- Historical Atlas of Kansas
- What Type of Climate Does Kansas Have?
- Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley
- Kansas State University Weather Data Library
- Winkler Crater: A Kimberly Pipe in Kansas
- Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
- Tallgrass and Shortgrass
- Red Cedar Invasion
- Insects in Kansas
- Fishes in Kansas
- Rattlesnake or Kingsnake?
- A Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Mammals
- Big Predators Return to Kansas
- Birds in Kansas
- Kansas Bird Checklists
- The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots
- What is the Central Flyway?