52 Weeks of Fun

Not Just Destination Finders, But Destination Storytellers


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Kansas Wetlands Education Center


Experience a unique nature activity by visiting the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. KWEC overlooks Cheyenne Bottoms; the largest inland marsh in the United States and a Ramsar designated Wetland of International Importance. The KWEC is managed by Fort Hays State University in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism.

A multitude of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds stop over and refuel at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira before continuing their long journeys. It has been estimated that 45% of all migratory shorebirds nesting in North America stage at Cheyenne Bottoms, including more than 90% of the continent’s populations of Wilson’s Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper and Stilt Sandpiper. Hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, and cranes find refuge at Quivira each Fall. It’s no wonder that both areas have been designated Wetlands of International Importance.

A walk through the state-of-the-art center exhibits tells visitors the story of Cheyenne Bottoms from its ancient geological formation to the management challenges of the future. Discover the magnificence of these wetlands and the animals and plants living there. From inside the Center or out, watch Great Blue Herons stalking prey or Mallards tending their young. Submerge yourself in the wetland experience by walking to the observation point. Naturalists are on hand to interpret the area and answer questions.

Located at the eastern edge of the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and The Nature Conservancy Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve, the center offers an interpretation of the richly unique natural resources of the region. Visitors can also take a vehicle tour of the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area and the Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve. During migration seasons, thousands of shorebirds or waterfowl take flight while passing through the area. While driving the miles of dikes and roads, visitors may see American Avocets, Long-Billed Dowitchers, and much more. The area is open year-round to vehicles. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center maintains a list of seasonal and noteworthy bird sightings for Cheyenne Bottoms.

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A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Kansas Wetlands Education Center

In Kansas, Ducks Unlimited members have helped conserve more than 17,000 acres.

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  • Kansas Wetlands Education Center
  • Great Bend
  • (620) 566-1456