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Buy A Wreath – Make a Difference – Order Holiday wreaths & decorations now from Lawrence Central

Lawrence Central Wreath SaleLawrence Central continues our annual fundraiser for the work we do every year. As in year’s past, we will be selling wreaths and other holiday decorations from Lynch Creek Farms and in Lawrence Central’s partnership with them, we receive money back from every sale to help fund the service projects we do.  Some examples of our service activities include:

We want to continue to do this work and more with help from you and all you need to do is simply purchase holiday decorations. You can do this by talking to any of our members or there’s an even easier way – visit our Lynch Creek fundraising website, peruse what they have, and order yourself!  We’ve even set up an easy link:

http://bit.ly/lcrholiday20

If you’re not comfortable with ordering online we totally understand – you can also call Lynch Creek direct toll-free at 1-888-426-0781 and please Lawrence Central Rotary Fundraiser #246673.

Lynch Creek is a family business that started in 1980, now transformed from selling a few flowers and vegetables at the local farmers’ market on the weekends, to a full-blown year-round business that ships throughout the United States.

We could go on about how great these wreaths are, but when we were at the Lawrence Rotary Club recently,  Jennifer Berquist stopped us and told us this,

“I purchased several Lynch Creek items as holiday gifts. Those who received the evergreen gifts were so pleased and impressed with the quality. It is a huge seller for me that the Lawrence Central Rotary Club receives part of the profits. I will definitely place another order this year!” – Jennifer Berquist – Lawrence, KS 

Lynch Creek Farms have been amazing to work with and they care about the groups that sell their wreaths and decorations. Here’s a video about the business.

Dr. David Cook

Dr. David Cook, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Economic Development at the University of Kansas, provided an update about KU, it’s current issues and initiatives. 

Dealing with COVID pandemic has been the preoccupying concern of University leaders.  Testing protocols that were implemented in fall 2020 have proved to be successful, and the University will adopt a similar plan for the 2021 spring semester.  Cook was pleased to report that at this time there have been no transmissions, no hospitalizations, and no deaths associated with the virus on campus. 

Other good news:  There was a smaller enrollment drop due to the pandemic than anticipated last spring.  Retention of students has been good with drops occurring primarily in the international student population and in number of the incoming freshman. 

The University continues to move forward on several initiatives.  A new Welcome Center to be located near the Alumni Center on campus will improve the first impression that the campus presents to prospective students.    

Other initiatives include KU’s involvement with the University Engineering Initiative Act (UEIA); an expansion of the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) on west campus and work to recruit companies for job growth and capital investment and to place graduates in the local economy; and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) task force will make recommendations. 

Microbes and Mankind

Kris Krishtalka is someone who thinks deeply about genomic biodiversity, evolutionary patterns, and the history of science. He is professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics – Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. He also serves as director of the KU Biodiversity Institute.

Kris declares that humans are the newest and most powerful geologic agents transforming the planet.  As evidence of the impact of human activity, he notes that the earth stopped vibrating for four months in early 2020 when people stopped their normal routines in order to control the coronavirus.  We create, transform, and destroy life of earth.

He names five urgent challenges now facing mankind: 

  1. Appreciating the diversity of life by documenting more of the 3.6 to 18 million species estimated to live on the planet.
  2. Figuring out how are species related.
  3. Learning the language of life in genomes and their coding.
  4. Exploring how ecosystems fit together and their interdependencies.
  5. Accepting that natural history and human history are now one and the same.

To address the challenges at hand, Kris believes we must focus attention on microbial life. As a recent article in The Economist entitled “Microbes Maketh Man” explains, human metabolism and health are controlled by microbes.  They are ubiquitous, ever-changing, superabundant, diverse, and comprise 95% of the biosphere. 

Read more of Kris’ ideas in the Biodiversity blog at KU.

Team Brownsville Helps Asylum Seekers

Educators and other volunteers walk from the bus station in Brownsville, TX, across the Rio Grande to Bridge Plaza in Matamoros, Mexico.  Each pulls a wagon of food, basic necessities, and donated clothing and shoes.  What began as a modest effort to help those seeking asylum in the United States has evolved into a robust non-profit entity called Team Brownsville.

Cynthia Smith, Lawrence-area attorney, activist and volunteer, visited Brownsville in late 2019.  She described the situation to Lawrence journalists when she returned, declaring “these are human beings” and deserve our help.  

Brownsville educators initiated assistance to asylum seekers when the Department of Homeland Security changed the protocols for people seeking admission to the U.S.  These people are attempting to enter the United States legally.  They are individuals and families who are running for their lives from drug cartels and gangs.  Smith pointed out that they were peaceful, organized, industrious, and grateful for help.

Each person or family seeking asylum is interviewed.  If they are deemed to have a “credible fear,” they are referred to immigration court.  In the past, they were released into the US with papers to await their court date and could find work and live productively.  Rules in place since January 2019, however, require them to await their court date in Mexico.  Most squat in tent cities just across the border.  They have neither resources to be self-sufficient nor other types of support.    

Thanks to the on-going attention of Team Brownsville and their own contributed labor, the 1200 residents of the tent city in Matamoros now have water for washing and drinking, portable toilets, showers, and space to ward off COVID infection .  Another non-profit offers medical care.  Volunteers deliver and serve food daily.  They provide “sidewalk schools” for the children.  These basics provide invaluable dignity to those who live in this situation.

2020 Community Bike Ride Weeks 3 & 4

Ok Community Bike Ride Fans. It’s time to tell you about the trails for week three and four.

Week 3

Levee Trail

CBR Levee Trail

Description: Take your Bubble “off-road” by checking out the Levee Trail in North Lawrence. This trail runs along the Kansas River providing views of the water, wooded areas and agriculture. Although technically unpaved, the crushed gravel surface is well maintained and can support narrow road bike tires as well as larger ones. Although this is a longer route it is very level, giving youth an opportunity to up their mileage without added stressors of hills or other traffic. Bring plenty of water and watch out for the wind as the trail has little shade or wind protection. Bonus: The route outlined follows the Levee East from North 2nd street, but you can also ride to the West!

Directions: Head out the south side of the parking lot towards the river. There is a crosswalk you can use to get up to the levee. Turn left and head east away from the damn. Turn back when you get to the yellow gate (or when you start to get tired)

Parking: There is free public parking available at the corner of Locust and North 2nd street if you want to ride the whole route. Or you can park at the 8th and Oak boat ramp and ride from there if you want to shorten the total distance.

Amenities: There is a fix it stand at the corner of 2nd and Locust. A port-a-john is placed at the 8th and Oak parking lot year round.

Mileage: 9.5 Miles for the whole out and back.

Elevation: 20 Feet

Activity: Across Locust from the parking lot is the Historic Union Pacific Depot, which until recently served as the Lawrence Visitors Center. Explore the French themed garden and enjoy sculptures by Jim Brothers and Shellie Bender before or after your ride. Look for the High water markings on the Depot to see where there has been flooding in the past, and you might even get to see a train go by.

Week 4

Baker Wetlands

Description: Take your bubble on one of the newest sections of the Lawrence Loop! Running adjacent to the Baker Wetlands on the south side of Lawrence, this section of the Loop provides beautiful views of the wetlands. The few hills are steep but short. Keep an eye out for lilies blooming towards the east end and the many redwing blackbirds that call the wetlands home!

Directions: Follow the sidewalk east from the parking lot up to Michigan Street. At Michigan turn right staying on the sidewalk and turn right again jest before the overpass. Turn back when the wall ends for the mileage listed.

Parking: To ride the full distance listed you can park at the Baker Wetlands Interpretive Center off of Michigan Street. If you would like to ride a slightly shorter route you can park at Broken Arrow Park off of Louisiana Street and use the underpass to access the trail.

Amenities The Baker Wetlands Interpretive Center is currently closed due to COVID but will hopefully re-open in 2021. Broken Arrow Park has restrooms that operate from April 15th through October.  

Mileage: 3.5 Miles

Elevation: 85 feet

Prairie Park Trails

Description: Prairie Park Nature Center opened in 1999 and in addition to the building that houses various animals from around Kansas there is a trail and lake. This trail is shared with many walkers and joggers so it’s a good fit for young riders who aren’t going too fast. After going through the nature park you can ride past Prairie Park Elementary and through the neighborhood!

Directions: From the entrance to the trail turn right and follow the trail around the lake and up to the school. Ride to Kensington Road and take a left. Turn left again on 27th street, and once more on Harper (there are sidewalks the entire route).

Parking: The trailhead parking lot is at 28th and Harper. Or you can park at the Prairie Park Nature Center and ride south on Harper to get to the trail head. The distance of the loop remains the same.

Amenities: Prairie Park Nature Center is currently closed but there are activities for children outside of the center including a butterfly garden.

Mileage: 1.75 Miles

Elevation: 98 Feet

Thank you for checking out our 2020 Bike With Your Bubble Rides.

Please remember to stay distanced from other trail users and always bring a mask in case you need it.

We hope to see your smiling faces again in person in July of 2021.

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