Garden City is a city in and the county seat of Finney County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,658. The city is home to Garden City Community College and the Lee Richardson Zoo, the largest zoological park in western Kansas.

Garden City in Supervolcano[]

When Vanessa Ferguson fled Denver after the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, she managed to get to the outskirts of Garden City, Kansas before her car overheated and stalled from ingested volcanic ash. She considered waiting in her vehicle for rescue but decided to take the initiative as she had been doing and walk to the city proper. She gathered her belongings and the cat carrier containing Pickles and started walking.[1]

Cars passed Ferguson without stopping to give her a ride and so she walked until her feet blistered and started to bleed. When she got into town, nobody was interested in heading back with her to fix her car. As a car mechanic explained to her, he had more than enough work within town and that there was a fifty-fifty chance his truck would break-down on the way there or back. He did direct her to a shelter the local Red Cross had set up for refugees in a local high school.[2]

Not having a choice, Ferguson walked to the high school and checked in. She was told that no pets were allowed and so had to turn Pickles over to the pound or release him. Fearing that the pound would be swamped and so only be able to put down animals rather than adopt them out, she set Pickles free outside. Having done so, she was assigned classroom K-1 to stay in. It had been cleared of desks but there weren't any cots or mats to sleep on. Ferguson found patch of space on the worn, dirty linoleum and made the best of it. Red Cross volunteers brought in food and bottled water three times a day. For her first night, Ferguson received a MRE stew and a bottle of water.[3]

About a month later, Ferguson and the other refugees were evacuated by FEMA to Camp Constitution, a huge tent city set up just outside ash-fall in Arkansas.[4]


  1. Eruption, pgs. 239-240.
  2. Ibid, pgs. 259-260.
  3. Ibid, pgs. 260-264.
  4. Ibid, pgs. 287-293.