The Kansas Humanities Council is sponsoring two sessions in Greensburg about water in Kansas.
The Kansas Humanities Council will make possible two Saturday sessions focusing on Wa- ter/Ways in Kansas, September 30 and October 7. Both sessions take place at 2 p.m. at the Big Well Museum in Greensburg. The Kansas initiative focuses on the numerous relationships between people and water and invites communities to consider how water has shaped history and traditions, how it impacts daily life, and what the future holds for water, especially in western Kansas. The Water/Ways initiative is anchored by a Smithsonian exhibit of the same name touring six communities; nine Water/Ways Partner Sites featuring local exhibitions, including The Big Well Museum.The Big Well Museum will unveil a new exhibit in the gallery space featuring Greensburg’s water stories, “Look Down to Think Forward.” From Greens- burg’s founding and the digging of the Big Well to current water conservation efforts, water has played a huge role in the- beginnings and survival of this town. Free presentations will be made by Rex Buchanan, interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey and the authors of books about Kansas geology and water; and by Aaron Barnhart, an author whose work focuses on history, civil society, rural American and food ways. Buchanan’s presentation on Saturday, September 30 is called “Water in Kansas: Past and Present.” Early evidence of Native peoples in Kansas shows that they lived near springs, seeps and rivers. Later, settlers established cities in areas with plentiful water supplies. Bucanan will speak to this history as well as discuss to major modern issues: reservoir sedimentation and the rapid draw down of the Ogallala portion of the High Plains aquifer. On October 7, Barnhart will talk about “Care for the Creation.” He will show that natural resources are vitally important to the economy of Kansas, they have contributed for generations.