The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation recognized Nancy Kassebaum Baker as the “2016 Friend of the Flint Hills," on Saturday night April 16, 2016. The award honors significant time, effort and resources devoted to the cause of conserving the Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma and to the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
Kassebaum’s love of Kansas and the Flint Hills region was exemplified by her efforts along with that of others in the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, KS in 1996. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.
Kassebaum served three terms representing the state of Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997. She returned to her permanent home in the Flint Hills in 2014 following the death of her husband, former U. S. Senator Howard Baker.
The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has received a gift of $750,000 from Marty Vanier and Bob Krause. Foundation President, Bruce Snead, announced today that over a five year period, $500,000 of the gift will be earmarked for the City of Manhattan, $220,000 will establish a semi-endowment fund for upkeep of the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater, and $30,000 will support the Foundation in fundraising efforts.
“The FHDC Foundation is thrilled to facilitate this generous contribution which recognizes the critical value of the creation and construction of these wonderful exhibits by the City of Manhattan,” said Snead, “These donors see the great regional benefits of the FHDC and especially the Immersive Experience effects on visitors and residents.” The Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater will be named in honor of this generous gift.