Public invited to reimagine Robinson Park, formerly the site of prayer rock sacred to Kaw Nation

photo by: Austin Hornbostel/Journal-World

Robinson Park, located near the intersection of Sixth and Massachusetts streets, is pictured Friday, April 19, 2024.

This weekend, community members will have a chance to share their vision for the future of Robinson Park, the former site of a 28-ton red quartzite boulder that is sacred to the Kaw Nation.

Leaders with the team behind a project to return Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe (pronounced “EE(n) ZHOO-jay wah-HO-bay”) after it was taken from the Kaw’s traditional homelands nearly a century ago and made into a monument to Lawrence’s white settlers are hosting a reimagining workshop at the park this Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Following a visit to the park, participants will move to the auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library to brainstorm new possibilities for the park, including how it’s named and designed, what stories it embodies and how it’s accessed.

This workshop and others slated for later this spring will inform a proposal for the future of the park set to be presented to the Lawrence City Commission and Douglas County Commission this fall, according to a Facebook event page for the workshop.

As the Journal-World has reported, work to explore the park’s future began soon after Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe was moved from Lawrence in late August 2023. The park currently is bare, after it had remained closed through the end of 2023 for water-line repairs.

The workshop falls not long after Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe was installed at Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park — located in Council Grove and owned by the Kaw Nation — in late March.

photo by: Mike Yoder

The relocated Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe is pictured Friday, April 12, 2024, in Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park just southeast of Council Grove. In the background is the park’s Kanza dance arbor used for intertribal powwow dances and activities.

Jay Johnson, professor of geography and atmospheric science and director of the Center for Indigenous Research, Science and Technology at the University of Kansas, told the City Commission earlier this month that a dedication for Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe at its new location in Council Grove is set to take place June 22.

photo by: Mike Yoder

From a nearby hill, this view to the southwest shows the location of Iⁿ’zhúje’waxóbe in Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park near Council Grove. Visible on the other side of the tree line near the prayer rock from left to right is the Flint Hills Nature Trail, which stretches for 118 miles across east-central Kansas from Osawatomie in the east to Herington in the west. The trail has an access point in Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park.


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.