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Source: John Briggs, 785-532-0140, jbriggs1@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

K-STATE'S KONZA PRAIRIE BIOLOGICAL STATION A FINALIST IN EIGHT WONDERS OF KANSAS GEOGRAPHY COMPETITION

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Konza Prairie Biological Station is one of 24 finalists in the Eight Wonders of Kansas Geography competition, sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

The competition is an extension of the foundation's Eight Wonders of Kansas. The series features what the foundation calls the eight elements of rural culture: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history and people. The aim is to help visitors and residents develop a fresh perspective on the state's rural assets and heritage by asking them to vote for their favorites.

"We are very honored to be one of the 24 finalists in the Eight Wonders of Kansas Geography competition," said John Briggs, director of the Konza Prairie Biological Station. "I would like to encourage everyone who has experienced the Konza Prairie, either by walking the nature trail or at the biennial visitors day, to cast their vote in our favor."

Konza Prairie was first developed as an ecological research site in 1971 under the leadership of the late Lloyd Hulbert, an ecology professor at K-State. Jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and K-State, and managed by the university's Division of Biology, the Konza Prairie spans about 8,600 acres, with 93 percent of the prairie having never been plowed. The station is host to around 130 registered research projects by roughly 150 scientists from all over the world and has been one of the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research sites since 1980.

The Konza Prairie also is known for its six miles of versatile public hiking trails, which made Backpacker magazine's list of the top 100 day hikes in the country.

The list of other geographical wonders is available at:
http://www.kansassampler.org/8wonders/geography.php

The competition asks the public to vote for their favorite geographical features. People can place their votes online at http://www.kansassampler.org/8wonders/ or by paper ballot. Ballots can be printed from the Web site and also are available at the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau, 501 Poyntz Ave. In addition, they may be requested by calling the Kansas Sampler Foundation at 620-585-2374.

The winners will be announced by Wednesday, Feb. 23.