Kaw Lake’s anniversaries will be observed Saturday

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The 50th anniversary of the official groundbreaking for Kaw Lake on May 21, 1966, will be observed Saturday during an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Kaw Lake Overlook, just west of Kaw Dam.

Also to be noted is the fact that May 21 was the date of Kaw Lake’s official opening in 1976. In addition to recognizing those two events, the Saturday celebration is to include an announcement of the next step in the history of Kaw Lake, local officials said.

Kaw Lake Association and the Kaw Lake Educational Foundation will reveal the company being hired to conduct an environmental assessment needed to allow for construction of a Visitor’s Information and Education Center at the Overlook site, said the officials.

In September 2014, the two organizations had initially announced their plan for the center, which will tell about both the lake and the different Indian tribes which have populated the area. Groundbreaking for the center — originally set for 2016 — is being pushed back as a result of the Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that the assessment was needed before a lease could be granted for center site.

“We realize it will take time to raise the funds needed for building a quality facility,” said Wayne Ray Mitchell, a past president of KLA. “However, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to celebrate the the 40th anniversary of the opening of Kaw Lake or the 50th anniversary of the lake’s groundbreaking.”

Following a brief ceremony to announce which company will conduct the EA, a birthday cake will be cut in celebration of the lake’s dual anniversaries. Brief remarks are to be made by local state Rep. Steve Vaughan. The public is invited.