On May 4-6, 2011, time will take a step back at the Twin Pines Conservation Education Center to the 1930s through the eyes of Lennis Broadfoot. Area school children will be attending seven sessions in which local Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff and volunteers bring to life men and women who scraped out a living in the rugged Ozarks Hills. "Pioneers of the Ozarks," first published in 1944, is a collection of portraits and biographies written and sketched by Lennis Broadfoot, a Shannon County native. Seven of these “character studies,” as Broadfoot called them, were chosen that most closely match the mission of the MDC of protecting and managing the fish, forest and wildlife resources of the state. These include Mary Boxx, the hog caller; Ed Loutheridge, turkey hunter; Orville Cassaday, champion fiddler; Ellen Boxx, rugmaker and Margaret Swiney, midwife.
Many of today's hot topics are addressed through the character portrayals. Feral hogs, game limits, gathering plants on conservation areas and protecing our natural resources are just some of the topics. Nearly 600 students from Winona, Eminence, West Plains, Poplar Bluff, Bunker, Cabool and Gatewood will learn how conservation lessons learned in the past are as important today as they were in the time of Lennis Broadfoot.
Reprints of "Pioneers of the Ozarks" are available from the Harlin Museum in West Plains, Mo., where the original drawings are on display. For more information on additional programs at Twin Pines, call 573-325-1381.