At its Board meeting on February 24, 2012 in Lake Ozark, Missouri the MCHF Board approved funding for 16 projects for the Missouri Department of Conservation. These grants are made possible through private donations to MCHF and revenue from MCHF Conservation License Plate donations:
1. Discover Nature Schools Program ($2,370)
The Department’s Discover Nature Program helps engage teachers and students in hands-on, outdoor learning. In 2011, more than 78,000 Missouri children participated in the program. An important step in growing this successful program is training teachers on the value of the program. Funding will help cover costs of a five day Discover Nature training workshop for 25 Saint Louis area teachers. The training will include field studies and training in the Discover Nature Program curriculum.
2. Macon Family Outdoor Fun Day ($1,000)
The Macon Family Outdoor Fun Day is a cooperative event hosted by the Department, several conservation organizations and many local sponsors and volunteers. Last year, 750 people attended the event that offered individuals and families the opportunity to learn about shooting, fishing, fly typing, campfire cooking, and numerous other activities (last year there were over 30 activities).
3. Grand Pass Bird Monitoring Station ($3,800*)
In partnership with several conservation groups, the Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) maintains a bird monitoring station at Grand Pass Conservation Area. Funds will be used to cover costs of two summer interns from Missouri Valley College, Biology Department. The interns will work with MRBO staff and volunteers to conduct bird monitoring at Grand Pass Conservation Area. Funding will also cover the cost of multiple field trips by 150 fifth-grade students from Beuker Middle School in Marshall, Missouri. During each field trip students are given hands on experience in mist netting, bird watching and research.
4. Native Prairie Appreciation Field Trips ($2,339)
This program is aimed at exposing high school students in the Montrose School District to Missouri’s remnant prairie communities in southwest Missouri. The majority of the high school students come from families with an agricultural tie. Department staff will work with the students to conduct scientific projects and field studies, which will include visits to several conservation areas with high quality prairie. Funds will help cover the cost of plant propagation supplies.
5. 75th Anniversary Commission Partner Gifts ($2,000)
In 2012, Missouri is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Department of Conservation. Funding will allow Conservation Commissioners and Department leadership to present key conservation partners and leaders with awards of appreciation.
6. Springfield/Green County Parks Archery Program ($5,000)
Funding will help construct an indoor archery range in the Springfield area for several Missouri National Archery in the School teams, 4-H and scout programs. In addition the facility will provide opportunities for many groups and individuals to use the facility. MDC staff and Springfield Parks and Recreation are working to secure additional partner funds.
7. Grand River Clean Up ($5,220)
Since 2001, the Missouri River Relief has hosted numerous Missouri River cleanup efforts. Funding will help Missouri River Relief with a cleanup event on the Missouri River and lower three miles of the Grand River. The event is well supported by private donations and conservation organizations. Additional funding will help cover the cost of equipment, salaries and trash disposal.
8. Missouri Girls Exploring Nature ($2,000)
The goal of this three day camp is to introduce young ladies between the ages of 11-15 to the outdoors. The camp is presented annually by conservation agents in the Northeast Region and several local businesses and conservation groups provide support. Funding will help cover the cost of supplies.
9. Blinds for Smithville Lake Disabled Deer and Turkey Hunts ($6,000)
The Smithville Lake disabled managed deer hunt is held each year during the last weekend of the fall firearms deer season. Last year, 75 disabled hunters applied for 63 blinds around Smithville Lake. Hunters who were not initially drawn often have a chance to hunt the second day. The hunt is designed to provide a deer hunting opportunity for persons with a permanent disability. In addition, two youth hunts, spring turkey and fall deer, are held annually at Smithville Lake. Funding will help cover the cost of fiberglass hunting blinds.
10. Bennett Spring Kid’s Fishing Day ($800)
The annual Bennett Springs Kid’s Fishing Day is a community based program designed to involve youth in the outdoors. The event is held in early May and is supported by local businesses and several conservation groups. On average, 800 to 900 kids attend the annual event. Funding will help cover the cost of fishing supplies and food.
11. Eagle Days 2013 ($1,700)
Funding will help cover the cost of rental equipment for this annual Eagle Day event at Chain-of-Rocks Bridge in Saint Louis. On average, over 5,000 individuals visit the Chain of Rock Bridge Eagle Day event. Several partners will supply equipment and funding for the event.
12. Kansas City Wildlands Blue River Signage ($1,275)
Funding will help the Kansas City Wildlands community partnership replace several interpretative signs located along trails in the Upper Blue River Conservation Opportunity Area. This heavily used trail system occurs in a large riparian corridor along the Blue River. Four new signs will be installed and the signs will focus on water quality management and the importance of healthy riparian forests.
13. Green Roof for Observation Shelter ($2,500)
The City of Columbia is developing an Urban Ecology Restoration Project in downtown Columbia. The City is converting the old water-water treatment plant into a 23 acre outdoor educational center. The site is adjacent to the much used M-K-T trail in Columbia, which has 126,000 users annually. Funds will help convert an existing shelter to an educational center, create 3 wetland pools and native plant restoration. The project is supported by several conservation groups and local businesses.
14. DeKalb County Upland Game Bird Youth Day ($600)
Funding will provide 50 upland game birds for the fifth annual DeKalb County Upland Game Bird Youth Day. The event is scheduled for October 2012 at a local game bird shooting preserve. Department staff and several conservation organizations are sponsoring the event. Funding will allow 25 youth between the ages of 11 and 15 to participate in this exciting event.
15. Sugar Creek Gobbler’s Weekend Outdoor Workshop ($1,000)
Funding will support a youth outdoor weekend sponsored by the McDonald County National Wild Turkey Federation in March 2012. Twenty lucky youth between the ages of 11 to 14 will be randomly selected to participate. Youth will participate in a variety of outdoor skill events including archery, firearm shooting, trapping, shotgun reloading and turkey calling.
16. Missouri National Archery in the Schools National Tournament ($2,400)
Since 2007, the Missouri National Archery in the School Program has impacted the lives of over 33,000 students in over 200 schools. Each year, the state tournament attracts over 600 students from across Missouri. Funding will allow the three winning teams from the Missouri National Archery in the School Program state tournament in March 2012 to attend the national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Funds will help cover the cost of travel, lodging and food.