The 4th Annual Energy Conference will be held January 25-28, 2012, in Wichita, at the Drury Inn (formerly the Broadview Hotel) and Century II. The conference was previously held at the WSU Metroplex, so this represents a venue change, and the conference has also been expanded. It is now officially titled the “Energy & Sustainability Conference and the Kansas Historical Preservation Conference,” and it is now four days instead of two.
To learn more about the upcoming conference, go to greenwichita.org. Most of the links on this website are “Under Construction,” which they have been for a couple of years, but you can glean some information from “Upcoming Events” and from “2012 Conferences” (top right). On Wednesday and Thursday, January 25-26, the schedule is posted for the speakers and events. Some of the events (a couple of films) on Wednesday are free to the public, but it’s unclear whether Thursday’s activities are free.
I spoke to the contact person for the historic preservation part of the conference, Kathy Morgan, Senior Planner, Historic Preservation, Metropolitan Area Planning Department (MAPD), in August. I was attempting to learn what Morgan knew about weatherization programs in Wichita, and I briefly explained the new Energy Efficiency & Conservation Project that is now sponsored by the Kansas Sierra Club for the low income community in Wichita. She indicated that perhaps a weatherization session could be added to the upcoming energy conference.
There is no information available, at this time, on the greenwichita.gov website for the Friday-Saturday, January 27-28, portion of the conference. Typically, Friday was focused more on company and agency activities, and Saturday was considered the day for the general public. You can find the Friday and Saturday schedules, from 2011, on the greenwichita.gov webpage. Last year, on Saturday, there were sessions on “Do It Yourself Home Energy Audits” (Westar), “Home Repair and Window Restoration” (Kathy Morgan, MAPD), “Using A Rain Barrel and Building A Rain Garden,” and several others.
In previous years, there were opportunities available for exhibitors, and the Southwind Group of Sierra Club has participated under the Green ($50) category, and I anticipate that we will do likewise in 2012. With the expansion and relocation of the conference to downtown Wichita, there may be some changes from past years so, hopefully, this information will be put up on the webpage soon. In past years, Kay Johnson, Environmental Initiatives, City of Wichita, was the person in charge. She can be reached at KJohnson@wichita.gov, or 316-268-4251.