Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: August 2018

Mother Nature is fickle. There’s no better example of this in the Show-Me state than the Missouri River. I wrote this poem, describing the Big Muddy, a few years back in memory of a dear colleague:

She was a mighty river, like no other in our land
She ran wild like a stallion, with a mane made of sand
Which she pitched and tossed and flung about with a strong, unbridled will
Then as quickly as you’d turn around, she’d run silently and still
Now, men had tried to tame her, tried to rein her powers in
But her torrents, wild torrents, brought defeat time and again
Oh, she’d comply for a while and let man think that he was King
Then she’d silence all his efforts with one mighty surging swing

When I moved into my home, less than a mile from the Missouri River, I made acquaintance with my lovely new neighbors.

When I asked one neighbor if I might walk my dogs along his levee, he heartily agreed, on one condition — if the river levels got high enough to put his farm at risk, I would respond to the call. And early one day in 2011, the call finally came. Although the water lapped to the top of our quickly constructed wall, the sandbags held, and disaster was averted.

Sometimes Mother Nature overrules our best efforts and the Great Flood of ’93 was a memorable example of her power. The Mighty Missouri provides so much to so many, but she should never be taken for granted. She’s proved that time and time again.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

This Issue's Staff

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