Pathways Community Impact Report

Read more about the Pathways Community Impact Report for May 2022.

The City of Burden park has a new feature – a bench that will help families, specifically breastfeeding moms. In 2018, the Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County (BACC) received a grant from the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition for the design, construction, and installation of a breastfeeding bench.

The goal of this project is to provide a safe, comfortable and sheltered area to breastfeed and change a diaper. BACC is dedicated to normalizing breastfeeding in the community and advocating for mothers, babies, and families in Cowley County.

The breastfeeding bench was constructed by Central of Burden High School Shop class. The bench features a shaded canopy and was installed near the playground equipment. This location helps caregivers sit and feed children without having to leave the park.

Design plans for the bench were donated by Agora Architecture. The Topeka Breastfeeding Coalition used the plans and coordinated the installation of a breastfeeding bench at the Topeka Zoo.

Additional local bench sponsors are the City-Cowley County Health Department, Sunflower OB/GYN, and William Newton Memorial Hospital. BACC appreciates also thanks the City of Burden for allowing the park as the pilot community, and Daniel’s Ready Mix for the donation of concrete.

Contact Taylor Schwartz at (620) 442-5735 for more information about the breastfeeding coalition.

Check out the latest RISE Cowley updates in the February 2022 newsletter!

Check out the latest RISE Cowley UPdates in the Fall 2021 newsletter!

Within the next week, three farmers markets in Cowley County will open for the season. The Walnut Valley Farmers Market will open on Saturday, May 29 at the entrance to Island Park in Winfield from 7:30-11:00 a.m. The Ark City Farm and Art Market will open Tuesday, June 1 under the Rotunda at Wilson Park, 701 N Summit from 4:00-6:30 p.m. Dexter’s market, now called Bebo’s Place, has moved to 310 E Valley Street, and will start on Friday, June 4 from 8:00-11:30 a.m. These locations will be open with new products each week throughout the summer season.

Potential vendors or customers can get more information by visiting each market’s Facebook page. The markets will often have special entertainment and events including special drawings. Toilet and handwashing facilities are available at all market sites.

Shoppers will find a variety of hand-crafted items in addition to seasonal produce, meat, eggs, and baked goods. Retail food sales (including farmers markets) in Kansas are regulated for food safety by the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Food Safety and Lodging program.

The Cowley Farmers Market Association oversees the Ark City Farm and Art Market and Walnut Valley Farmers Market. The market manager for both locations is LiAnne Brant. The market locations will frequently host musical guests and ready to eat food vendors in addition to the various produce, craft, and service vendors.

Bebo’s Place leadership is provided by Lynn Norris and Jennifer Moreland. The market has fourteen vendors and will feature twelve unique market sites and a mini farm with a donkey and goats. Several youth vendors will have booths. Hawaiian Literacy Day is set for June 25 which will include new books and book bags for families.

SNAP-EBT is accepted at the Farmers Markets in Arkansas City and Winfield. New for 2021 is the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) Program. SNAP card users can double their benefits up to $25 per market visit in extra tokens to be used only for locally-grown fruits and vegetables. DUFB goes along with the market’s regular SNAP (EBT) card program. When customers use their EBT card to shop at the market, they get a dollar-for-dollar match in DUFB tokens, up to $25 per market day. The Double Up Food Buck tokens are active in over 50 farmers markets in Kansas and Missouri and customers may spend DUFB tokens at any participating market on locally-grown fresh produce.

Numerous produce vendors at all markets can accept Kansas Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, a program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Low-income seniors that qualify can acquire coupon booklets of seven $5 checks to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs and local honey. Seniors interested in this program should contact Sarah Long at South Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging after June 1 at 620-442-0268.

For specific inquiries about the markets, please contact market leadership using bebosplace@yahoo.com (Bebo’s Place in Dexter) or cowleyfarmersmarketassociation@gmail.com (Ark City Farm and Art Market or Walnut Valley Farmers Market in Winfield).

I love getting a glimpse “behind the scenes.” I enjoy seeing how things are made or that unique “backstage tour.” In our community, there are various groups that work “behind the scenes” to make things happen.

RISE Cowley is the community health coalition. This group evolved from the Vision 20/20 process convened by Cowley First. Participants represent the public and private sectors interested in community development, health, and wellness. This group is coordinating phase 2 of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, a health initiative grant funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Behind the scenes, this group has been part of various community improvement projects, including the lights at Arkansas City’s Poplar Trail, the playground surface at Winfield’s Lion’s Club park, partial funding for the Udall Park walking trail, and the basketball court concrete in Burden (just to name a few). New projects have been identified and additional community champions are needed to help us make progress.

The Cowley Farmers Market Association is working behind the scenes to organize details for the Ark City Farm and Art Market and the Walnut Valley Farmers Market. This working board (who are also vendors) meets throughout the year to review best practices, train vendors, and promote local foods.

Other community volunteers and vendors are starting Bebo’s Place - a new name and location for Dexter’s Farmers Market scheduled for Friday mornings. All local farmers markets will be starting in a few weeks (Winfield, May 29; Arkansas City, June 1; Dexter, June 4.)

Both RISE Cowley and local farmers market groups appreciate volunteers willing to help with “behind the scenes” tasks. There are always short term tasks or needs, such as setting up signs, taking photographs, or writing stories for social media or newspaper articles.

If you are interested in helping “behind the scenes,” contact me and I’ll help you connect. K-State Research and Extension Cowley County is located in the Cowley County Courthouse at 311 E 9th in Winfield. The office is open weekdays 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30- 5 p.m. and can be reached at 620-221-5450.

Source: Facebook @RISECowley; @dexterfarmersmarket.org; @WalnutValleyFarmersMarket; @ArkansasCityFarmAndArtMarket

Upcoming K-State Research and Extension Events
Call 620-221-5450 for more information or to register
May 22 - Celebrate Ag Day, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Free, Winfield Fairgrounds
May 28 - Sitter Solutions, the beginning babysitting class for ages 11-14, $10, Winfield
June 4 - Sitter Solutions, the beginning babysitting class for ages 11-14, $10, Arkansas City

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.