Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: September 2019

I remember well the first time I took my little tow-headed niece tromping through the woods, stomping in every mud puddle we could find. She was going to spend the night, so I told her not to worry about muddy clothes, we’d have time to launder them before we took her home. Off she went, full of glee… stomp, splash, repeat.

Then time passed, as it always does. And she grew into a beautiful young adult, but one who had more interest in indoor adventures. Off she went to college in New York City. I thought I had lost her forever. But as she would return home for summer breaks, it was the outdoors she craved, asking if we could explore the Ozarks and float its streams.

In this issue, we share how MDC offers a variety of opportunities to engage in the outdoors — from those trying to connect for the first time to regular participants wanting to further their skills. Read more about Hands-on Conservation.

On her most recent visit home, my niece asked if we could go fishing. I felt like the parent of the prodigal son as I prepared for our fishing adventure the next morning, beaming with joy at the request to go afield. Our morning was magical, a pond full of bass and bluegill ripe for the catching. And as she pulled in one after the other, I saw that same smile, that of the towheaded girl ready to find the next mud puddle, to jump in withboth feet … stomp, splash, repeat once more.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler