Two conservation events in Kansas are being celebrated this week.
On Saturday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Gov. Sam Brownback will announce the designation of the Kansas River as the newest addition to the National Water Trails system.
"We are thrilled this is happening," said Laura Calwell, the Kansas Riverkeeper. "This really recognizes the Kansas River as a recreational resource for the state," Calwell said.
She said the national designation will provide funds for highway signage that will direct people to boat and canoe access ramps along the river.
Adding the Kanas River, often called the Kaw, to the National Water Trails system will make the river more widely known, officials said.
The designation "will draw additional visitors to experience the recreation and great outdoors along the Kansas River," said Linda Craghead, assistant secretary for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
Salazar, Brownback and others will hold a news conference on the river designation at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.
Another conservation development is the dedication of a $6 million visitor center and headquarters at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City.
Salazar and Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius were to be on hand Friday for that event.
The preserve is co-managed by the National Park Service and Nature Conservancy.
Both the National Water Trails designation and new facilities at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve are part of President Barack Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" initiative.
Obama unveiled the initiative in 2010 to work with states, communities, conservation groups and others to establish a conservation ethic and to reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the natural world, according to the White House.