Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | October 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: October 2022

A majestic, century-old silver maple that shaded our home from the summer sun and sheltered many a critter throughout its life, finally had to come down recently. I said my farewell and offered up gratitude for the tree’s life and for the previous homeowner who chose to plant it so many years ago.

The last few weeks I’ve had great joy in visiting MDC staff across the state and seeing firsthand the work they are doing today to benefit others and the future. From their tireless efforts to restore prairie, which is home to declining grassland birds, to countless efforts in our reservoirs and streams ensuring bountiful fish for our anglers, to work in woodlands creating the right habitat to support turkey and deer, the task is never-ending, never easy, and never happens overnight.

In Lincoln County, staff introduced me to a landowner we’ve worked with over many years in his efforts to restore hundreds of acres to open woodlands now carpeted in native wildflowers.

As we toured his beautiful oasis, his journey’s message was clear — it takes patience, perseverance, and time. In the end, I left the old maple trunk standing. Though it no longer provides shade to our home, it still shelters birds, squirrels, and other critters that make their way by. I’ll plant another tree there someday in hopes that a future homeowner will benefit from its lofty beauty and protection. It will need good soil, sun, water, and, yes, time. That’s nature’s way.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director



This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation Manager - Laura Scheuler