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Mark your calendars for the 13th Annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup!

Meet at Lawrence Dumont Stadium along with 700 of your closest friends to clean up the Arkansas River from 9am to noon on Saturday, April 26. Check-in starts at 8:30.

Why clean up the river? By removing trash from the river, you are beautifying our city – just in time for River Fest. You are also improving the habitat of the animals who live in and near the River. Cleaning up the River in Wichita impacts everyone downstream from Derby all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Check-in for the 13th Annual Arkansas River Trash Roundup is at 8:30am at Lawrence Dumont Stadium. There you can pick up trash bags and gloves. Wear sturdy shoes and clothes that can get dirty. After you fill a few bags, enjoy a post-cleanup cookout with Cargill and Ducks Unlimited back at Lawrence Dumont Stadium.

I am still thinking about the possibility of solar gardens in Wichita. As I drive around I keep noticing flat roofs and wondering if the owners of those roofs would be interested in hosting a solar garden.

One of my professors drew my attention to a Westar Energy press release from January 8 of this year. In the article, Westar announced that it is seeking schools, non-profits, and government agencies in Kansas who are interested in solar projects. Westar intends to fund the purchase and installation of solar panels at 15 to 20 of these locations. The installations will not only provide electricity, but also will provide an opportunity for people to learn about the potential for solar power generation in this state.

Westar has already approved funding for one solar project in Kansas. It is at the Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia. The installation will include three solar arrays – one rooftop and two on the ground. This location offers a great opportunity for students to experiment with the panels to discover how to manipulate their orientation throughout the year to reap the greatest benefit.