Communities complete projects with Cawaco grants


Three local communities made improvements this year with grants from the Cawaco RC&D Council. 

The Sipsey Heritage Commission received $5,000 to make preparations for Childers Landing at Mulberry Fork.

Sipsey native Delaney Childers donated an acre of land for a kayak rest stop, according to the commission's Martha Salomaa.

"The goal is that it will be accessible by the river. It's between the Forks and Lynn's Park. Our final goal is to have a pavilion, a place where people can cook and things like that," she said.

A beaver dam had to be removed as part of the project, which has been a discussion for at least two years but was put on hold following last summer's Tyson spill.

There is currently no public access in that area, which stretches between eight and nine miles.

"Sometimes you'll see people pulled off on the side of the bank. Maybe someone who doesn't want to paddle the whole 8 miles can paddle a couple of miles from the Forks and then paddle back. They can rest and eventually be able to have a cookout there if they want," Salomaa said. 

Construction of Childers Landing will take place in the next phase of the project.

In Eldridge, a $2,500 grant from the Cawaco RC&D Council was used to paint playground equipment and add new pieces near Town Hall. 

The new pieces added included a tire swing, monkey bars and baby bucket swings. A carport was also purchased to cover several picnic tables.

"We just wanted to do a little bit to get more people interested in coming to this playground instead of going outside the city limits," said town clerk Sue Piotrowski.

Mayor Bobbie Jean Dodd confirmed that the original equipment had been in place since Town Hall was a school, making it more than 30 years old. 

The town of Kansas received $2,000 to purchase lights and poles for Kansas Memorial Veteran Park.

The recent grants were awarded in late 2019 and projects were required to be completed by July. Cawaco worked with grant recipients to get their projects completed on time in spite of complications caused by excessive rainfall and the COVID-19 pandemic.