KU News Release


April 13, 2011
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, 785-864-8860

KU hosting work day, centennial celebration for Potter Lake

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will celebrate Potter Lake’s 100-year history and its promising future at two upcoming events.

The Potter Lake Project, a group of students that has collaborated with faculty, staff and community members to restore the campus landmark, planned the events, scheduled for April 23 and 30.

On Saturday, April 23, the Potter Lake Project is hosting its final work day at the lake. Beginning at 10 a.m., volunteers are welcome to help plant switch grass, remove trash from the area and prepare the lake for its centennial celebration the following week. The switch grass will be planted on the south side of the lake, near a new sediment basin, to help maintain the lake’s health.

“Our goal there is to help filter out the sediment before it gets into the lake,” said Matt Nahrstedt, a member of the Potter Lake Project.

The cleanup event is open to anyone who would like to help and will last about two hours.

The lake’s history will be celebrated at a centennial celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30. The event will follow the spring football game and will include food, drinks and live music from local performers.

“It should have a nice, picnic-like atmosphere,” Melissa Allen of the Potter Lake Project said about the celebration. “It’s an opportunity to enjoy the day, but also to learn more about Potter Lake, its history and where it’s going.”

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will address the crowd, and presentations about the lake’s life will be made. Individuals who have worked to restore the lake’s health will share information about the effort over the past few years.

Originally built in 1911 as a fire control method for Jayhawk Boulevard, Potter Lake has had a changing role in campus life over the years. It hosted regattas and swimming meets in its early years. In recent years, though, it had become overgrown with plant life and filled with sediment. Funding was provided by Student Senate, the Office of the Chancellor and alumni donations to remove the excess vegetation, install aerators, dredge the pond and remove sediment. Facilities Operations donated the switch grass. The work was a collaboration between faculty, staff, students and community members.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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