Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: October 2018

In our work of conserving natural resources, the weight of our challenges can sometimes seem greater than our ability to meet them. From Chronic Wasting Disease in deer to the loss of critical habitat, the skies can seem dark with no light filtering through. It lifted my spirits recently when reading a book called Switch, which is all about how to thrive through significant challenge and change. The authors shared inspiring stories of how people solved challenges by focusing on where things are working — the “bright spots” — and how to replicate successes rather than spending time focused on problems.

Jan Wiese-Fales’s article highlights bright spots in our efforts to bring back songbirds and butterflies by planting native shrubs and trees, which in turn brings back the insects the birds depend on. There are so many examples of Missouri communities and landowners doing their part on this front. I thought of the 12-by-10 pollinator garden we planted this spring and the monarchs now using it. Such a small step for the future of monarchs, but perhaps a bright spot as they prepare for their long flight to Mexico.

Next year, we’ll expand our pollinator garden. My guess is the monarchs and other pollinators will respond. I know there are bright spots everywhere throughout our wonderfully conservation-minded state. Those of you who are doing your part, whatever you can and wherever you are, keep up the good work. You’re a bright spot, too —filtering through stormy skies and casting a lasting and meaningful light on conservation in Missouri.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

Also In This Issue

Sinkhole formation in the woods
Explore Missouri’s original landscapes at hard-to-reach natural areas.
Native Trees and Shrubs
Native trees and shrubs bring songbirds, butterflies, and other benefits to urban landscapes.

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