There are few people who are as excited about the arrival of elk as Mason Blanks. This third grader at Winona Elementary heard about the elk reintroduction and immediately knew what his science project was going to be. Working with McKenna Bockman, a sophomore at Winona High School, Mason completed his project with materials he received at the Elk Arrival Celebration at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center. After the judging during school, the student exhibits were on display for the public on May 11 in the elementary cafeteria. Mason placed second in his class and third overall.
Mason, son of Cynthia Blanks of Winona, is a member of the Nature Nuts at Twin Pines Conservation Education Center and has been an outdoor enthusiast since before he could walk. His uncle, Michael Blanks, takes every opportunity to take Mason hunting and fishing. Michael, who works for the Missouri Department of Conservation, was one of the individuals who worked on the elk holding pen at Peck Ranch.