Kansas Quick Start

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!



Kansas Governors

Kansas Governors

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 »

Kansas Regions

Kansas Regions

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 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

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

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.

Essential Information

Native Americans

Territorial History

State History

Life in Modern Kansas

Literature & Legends

Stone Arch Bridges


Places to See





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