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Annie Wilson listens to Osage elder Eddy Red Eagle explaining Osage history and culture. (Flint Hills Map & Education Program’s map for schools in background).

Special to The Leader-News

Emily Connell, Anne Wilson and the Flint Hills Educational Map Program are being recognized as the 2020 Friend of the Flint Hills by the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.

Connell is the former director of Symphony in the Flint Hills. Wilson is a Chase County resident. She is the coordinator of Emma Chase Friday Night Music among several other roles in the community.

These two dedicated Flint Hills community members provided key leadership to the creation and development of the Flint Hills Map and Education Program, which placed maps in schools and institutions throughout the region. In 2018, the program was recognized with the “Award for Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education” from the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education. The Educational Map and accompanying online learning materials can be found at the Flint Hills Learning Center at www.flinthillsdiscovery.org/learningcenter.

“This project represents a most significant effort to educate young people about the Flint Hills and provide resources for that education,” President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation Bruce Snead said. “The Foundation was privileged to support this endeavor and work with Emily and Anne over several years in coordination with the Discovery Center, where the unique educational resources are hosted on the Discovery Center’s web site.”

The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has given the “Friend of the Flint Hills” award to an individual, couple, program, nongovernmental organization or public institution each spring since 2012. The award honors significant time, effort and resources devoted to the cause of conserving the Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma.

As developers of the Flint Hills MAP and Education Program, Connell and Wilson will be honored at the annual recognition event on April 11 in Manhattan.

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