One of my most treasured possessions is a hand-stitched quilt a dear childhood friend made for me before I went off to college. I always felt awed by this beautiful gift that required such commitment of time and talent. This quilt came to my mind not long ago. It had been a long week of meetings and hearings, and I still had talks to give both Friday night and Saturday. As I arrived in St. Louis for an event with the Gateway Trout Unlimited Chapter, I looked at my notes, wondering how I might inspire those in attendance.
But as I began meeting the volunteers of the 800-member chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU), I heard a collection of marvelous stories, each one truly inspirational. Some were motivated to connect with school-aged children through classroom programs about trout and water quality. Others were motivated to get folks fishing, including wounded veterans. Some members found their passion restoring their favorite stretch of Missouri’s wild trout waters, while others focused on bringing like-minded conservationists together. When the time came to give my remarks, I found myself more energized and inspired than I had been in a long time. Here I thought I was coming to inspire and instead the gift was given me.
Much like my prized quilt, the stitching together of individual passions, talents, and commitment to continue our legacy of conservation in Missouri filled me with awe. You will read about other inspiring community-based conservationists. I know there are similar stories to be found all around the Show-Me State. I can’t wait to discover them, to be awed and inspired by the conservation efforts each one is making.
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler