COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites urban planners, local municipalities, conservation organizations, nature enthusiasts and others interested in how conservation ties into economic and social benefits in their communities to attend the first statewide community conservation workshop on May 7–9 at Stoney Creek Inn, 2601 S. Providence Road in Columbia.
Resource conservation is becoming an increasingly vital component of urban planning in cities. This three-day workshop, hosted by MDC, will provide opportunities to learn how to integrate ecological services into community infrastructure. Topics will cover economic, environmental and social benefits of community stewardship of natural resources.
“Community conservation planning is an emerging field in Missouri with the potential to change the way our cities grow and operate,” said MDC Community Conservation Planner Ronda Headland, who is chairing the workshop. “More and more communities are embracing conservation practices that benefit local forest, fish and wildlife and promote green infrastructure, community identity and healthy living.”
Workshop sessions will feature speakers from MDC, city governments, regional planning councils, and the University of Arkansas Community Design Center. Attendees will learn about watershed management, forestry practices, hazard mitigation plans, conservation friendly development and more. Additionally, the workshop will include a field trip to innovative project sites in the Columbia area.
One innovative site will be MDC's E. Sydney Stephens Central Regional Office and Conservation Research Center. This location puts urban conservation principles into practice through low-impact development practices such as grass- porous paving systems, ground sculpting, and rain gardens to retain and direct storm water and minimize runoff. Landscaping included native grasses and other water-efficient plants, erosion and sediment control and storm water control.
Cost to attend the workshop is $50, which covers refreshments, a field-trip lunch and a certificate of professional development hours completed during the workshop.