It was formed around 100 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous era and has been used in fencing, architecture, grave markers, art, and just about anything you can imagine in central Kansas. Now a group of people passionate about native Kansas limestone has joined together to create a coalition promoting the area.
The Kansas Post Rock Limestone Coalition was recently organized with a mission of “promoting, preserving, and protecting the history, art, and architecture of the Kansas Post Rock Limestone region through education and tourism.”
The group is comprised of businesses, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, tourism organizations, art centers, preservationists, and private citizens interested in the native stone. Their geographic area covers 18 Kansas counties stretching from the northern border of the state (Jewell, Republic and Washington counties) flowing southwest down to the Dodge City area (Ford, Hodgeman, Pawnee and Edwards counties).
The Grassroots Arts Center in Lucas received a grant from the Russell Area Community Foundation earlier this year to establish the organization. Still in an infancy stage, the Kansas Post Rock Limestone Coalition has great plans to tell others about the region’s limestone heritage.
“For 25 years, the people living in the ‘Land of the Post Rock’ have talked about forming a unique tourism region in Central Kansas centered around the Kansas Limestone,” said Rosslyn Schultz, Director of the Grassroots Arts Center. “It’s so exciting to be finally planning various activities in the region like ‘Limestone Adventure Trails’ to share our one-of-a-kind architecture, heritage, geology, archeology and customs of this region.”
The Coalition’s new Board Chair agrees with Schultz.
“The Post Rock limestone is unique to this part of Kansas. Many of these century-old buildings have fallen into disrepair and hundreds of miles of Post Rock fences have been removed. It is our goal to raise awareness of this part of our heritage and to preserve what remains for future generations before it is lost forever,” Bradley Penka, chairman of the coalition, said.
The organization is in the process of filing for federal non-profit status and will be hosting various events throughout the year, along with educational programs to promote the area. They are working with the Kansas Historical Society on cataloging various buildings constructed of the native stone.
The area covers these Kansas counties: Barton, Cloud, Edwards, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Hodgeman, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ness, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Republic, Rush, Russell, and Washington. This area is where the Greenhorn Limestone formation can be found and is where early Kansas pioneers used the native stone for multiple uses, including fence posts and building construction.
The newly-elected board members are:
Bradley Penka, LaCrosse
Andy Stanton, Hays
Jeannie Stramel, Lucas
Terry Bailey, Beloit
Christina Hayes, Great Bend
Tami McGreevey, Ellsworth
Lisa Goodheart, Mankato
Kris Heinze, Lincoln
Stacey Jackson, Osborne
Charma Craven, Luray
Terry Rowe, Stockton
Rosslyn Schultz, Lucas
The group has established a website located at www.kansaspostrocklimestone.org and is active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kansaspostrocklimestonecoalition and Instagram at instagram.com/kansaspostrock.