The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), Division of Tourism, has announced the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Tourism Award. The award was presented during the 2012 Kansas Tourism Conference in Dodge City. The conference is co-sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of Kansas.
The recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Tourism Award was the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The award was accepted by Shirley Meyer, Secretary, and board members Scott Allen and Frank Meyer. In the past 10 years, over $800,000 in private funding was raised to support over 60 miles of trail that has been constructed and opened. Hard-working volunteers continue to build and maintain the trail.
Located on the right-of-way of the famous “Colorado Eagle Line: of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the 154-mile long Flint Hills Nature Trail is the longest trail in Kansas and seventh longest rail-trail in America. It spans seven counties and covers more than 2,000 acres from Herington to Osawatomie. The trail traverses a wide variety of natural areas including the Chippewa Hills, the riparian forests of the Marais des Cygnes and Neosho River valley, and the Flint Hills, the largest expanse of tallgrass prairie remaining in the world. The trail links state and local parks, wildlife areas, waterfalls and wetlands, and shares Kansas’ heritage with those that trek it.
The Governor’s Tourism Award was established in 1983 to recognize Kansans for outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry and to encourage others, in the tourisms industry, to strive for excellence in their respective endeavors. The award is presented annually to an individual or group that demonstrates cooperation, sustainability, and quality in their support of the growth of tourism in Kansas.