Roadtrip! Southwind Blows Into Hays

People in meeting room

Southwind members in Hays, Kansas

From Lori Lawrence

On February 25, the entire ExCom of the Southwind Group of the Kansas Chapter caravanned from Wichita to Hays, KS, to meet and greet their members living in the hinterland. Chair Lori Lawrence, Stuart Bolt, Felix Revello, Yvonne Cather, Erin DeGroot, Kent Rowe, and Jennifer Connelly, along with Dan DeGroot and Bill Cather, were joined by Kansas Beyond Coal Campaign representative Ty Gorman at the Sternberg Museum for a listening session.

Of the topics discussed at the meeting, water quality was a huge concern. The guests expressed an interest in bringing together neighbors, friends, legislators, and wildlife groups to work with our lobbyist Zack Pistora on combating pesticide drift. Pesticides are ruining water wells in the area and caused an 86-year-old woman to be hospitalized. 

The Hays area members admitted that they feel isolated from the rest of the Southwind Group and were thrilled to have us come. After we met, they seemed energized to convene again and to try to write some legislation. 

Thanks to the folks who joined us in Hays: Laura Ellison, Mary Ann Boyle and Carmen Ginther. And a special nod to Troy Schroeder, a former colleague of Felix Revello, who even agreed to present a program on pollinator gardens at next month’s Southwind general meeting. 

It was a rewarding experience, including the raw honey and apple butter from the Kansas Originals store that the Southwind folks got to take home, as well-earned souvenirs from a productive road trip.