ELSBERRY, Mo — Two key organizations in conservation are both commemorating 75th anniversaries this year by presenting a day of family fun that celebrates the value of wetlands.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Ducks Unlimited (DU), both leaders in wetland and waterfowl conservation, are partnering to sponsor a joint 75th Anniversary Celebration and Wetlands Fun Day on Saturday, June 30, from 1-4 p.m. The event will take place at the B.K. Leach Conservation Area near Elsberry in Lincoln County. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.
After brief opening remarks by representatives of MDC and DU, the event will kick off with a number of activity stations where visitors of all ages can discover the importance of wetlands, and how they are managed for public enjoyment.
Activities will include rocket-net shooting demonstrations, duck and goose calling, and an educational station on trapping. Retriever demos will highlight the special skills of these dogs as they perform on land and water. Kids will have the chance to explore and learn duck identification by navigating through a duck wing maze. And both beginning and experienced bird hunters can attend presentations that will help them develop and improve effective wing shooting skills.
There will also be tours of the conservation area, as well as demonstrations that allow visitors to discover how marsh birds are surveyed, and reveal the close connections between wetlands and our big rivers.
The event will proceed rain or shine, so it’s recommended that visitors come prepared for a day outside. Activities will take place around the area headquarters. The main tract of B.K. Leach Conservation Area is located three miles south of Elsberry on Highway 79, then three miles east on Route M.
A reception open to all who attend the Wetlands Fun Day will take place immediately after the event at nearby Forrest Keeling Nursery 4-6 p.m. There will be refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and cake to celebrate the MDC and DU 75th anniversaries. Forest Keeling Nursery is on Highway 79 just south of Elsberry and northwest of B.K. Leach.
For more information on the MDC/DU 75th Anniversary Celebration and Wetlands Fun Day, call 636-441-4554.
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s mission is to protect and manage the forest, fish and wildlife resources of the state, and to provide opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, the citizen-led agency was created by popular vote in 1936. It continues to be recognized as a national leader in fish, forest and wildlife management.
Ducks Unlimited is also celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. It was formed in 1937 by concerned sportsmen with the mission to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl, and also for the benefit of other wildlife and people. DU is now the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization.
The 4,300-acre B.K. Leach Conservation Area borders the Mississippi River in northeastern Lincoln County and contains wetlands, forest, and cropland. It features waterfowl blinds, several fishable sloughs, and ponds.