By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
Children in Barton County will be learning more about Cheyenne Bottoms thanks to a new book written by Mandy Kern, program specialist at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center northeast of Great Bend. The fictional children's book is entitled "Ava: A Year of Adventure in the Life of an American Avocet."
Kern said it made sense for her to write a book about an American avocet.
"That's the bird on our logo so that's why the bird was picked," Kern explained. "It's kind of our mascot bird for the Wetlands Ed Center."
The avocet is a shorebird that migrates through central Kansas every year.
Kern said the Covid-19 pandemic played a major role in her decision to write the book.
"Most of my job is getting into schools and working with school groups, and this past year I haven't been able to get into the classroom as much," Kern noted. "Schools haven't been able to come out to us for field trips. And so this was an opportunity to really let kids know the importance of wetlands and why Cheyenne Bottoms is so important."
Every K through six classroom in Barton County will get a copy of the book along with some supplemental materials to help teachers discuss the book. It will also be distributed to every school and public library within 70 miles of the Wetlands Center. An event to launch the book is being planned at the Center for June 19th.