Helping put conservation on the ground and connecting people with nature are the main goals of the construction arm of the Department — the Design and Development Division. Whether you are floating Missouri’s rivers from a boat ramp or parking your vehicle prior to a hunting or birding trip on a conservation area, the Department’s Design and Development staff have planned, designed, and built facilities to enhance your outdoor experience. Boat ramps, parking lots, and a variety of on-the-ground infrastructure make accessing conservation easier for Missourians.
Four major projects in process around the state include the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area Shooting Range renovation, wetland enhancements at Duck Creek and Fountain Grove conservation areas, and a new nature center at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. These major projects will bring a state-of-the-art shooting range to the Busch Conservation Area, replacing the Department’s largest and oldest staffed shooting range. The wetland improvements at Duck Creek and Fountain Grove conservation areas will support a higher level of management well into this century. Expanding and improving the visitor and education facilities at Shepherd of the Hills in Branson will expand citizen conservation services and better serve Missourians for years into the future.
Through on-the-ground construction projects, Design and Development professionals help Department biologists and researchers better manage conservation areas for you. They are regularly working with area managers to maintain ponds and lakes for fishing and roads for public access and repair storm and flood damage on conservation areas. Heavy equipment operators are often called upon to help with statewide storm and flood recovery efforts. A major component of design and construction work includes keeping department fish hatcheries online and up to date. This complex coordination and work with Fisheries personnel has created a network of state-of-the-art fish hatcheries that provides quality fishing today and for years to come.
Carpenters, heavy equipment operators, facility maintenance staff, and their supervisors are front-line public service providers for buildings and outdoor facilities that help each of us have a better outdoor experience. The Department utilizes a blend of in-house expertise and contractors to build projects and put conservation on the ground in a timely manner.
Accessible, safe, and clean facilities await you at nature centers and hiking trails, shooting ranges throughout Missouri, and wetland conservation areas. Department staff takes great pride in offering you a first class conservation experience at these areas, including our department offices. If you see anything that you think can be repaired or improved, please let us know at the area itself, by calling your local office, or by dropping us a note at AskMDC@mdc.mo.gov.
The next time you visit one of your conservation areas, nature centers, shooting ranges, or local offices, remember there’s a team of professionals working diligently behind the scenes to make sure you have a safe, enjoyable outdoor adventure.
Tim Ripperger, deputy director
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler