Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: April 2019

Last year at a national conference, I heard an impressive young man from Harlem share his story about how he first fell in love with the outdoors. It wasn’t what I was expecting. He said it all began in Central Park in the heart of New York City. Here he first learned how to fish with the help of several older men planted on a nearby park bench who would call out advice to the novice anglers. His love of the outdoors was born in that busy place.

Memories of the first catch are powerful. In this photo of my first fishing memory at age 3, I’m looking pretty smug at the camera because my brothers, who had “hogged” the only extra rod for what seemed like a lifetime that day, finally had to share with their kid sister. It was my turn now. And on Swan Creek in southwest Missouri, my thrill of fishing first took hold and still runs strong today.

One doesn’t have to travel to the heart of the Ozarks for a great fishing experience in Missouri. MDC offers bountiful fishing opportunities in our urban areas and has been doing so for half a century (see 50 Years of Urban Fishing in St. Louis on Page 10). This past February, it made me smile to see the story of two friends fishing in Forest Park in the heart of St. Louis when one hooked a 26-inch rainbow trout, stocked through MDC’s urban winter trout program. It was only his second time fishing. My guess is he will be hooked for life.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
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