MDC, Elk Chute Drainage District partner on access improvements to Hornersville Swamp CA

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DUNKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Elk Chute Drainage District (ECDD) have partnered to make improvements surrounding Hornersville Swamp Conservation Area (CA). The improvements are intended to alleviate issues that caused ECDD to restrict access of public vehicle traffic to portions of their levee along the east side of Hornersville Swamp CA.  ECDD hopes to reopen part of the levee road within the next week, which will allow access to the conservation area.

“We work with neighbors all across the state to ensure positive relationships are maintained and the public has access to conservation areas,” said Matt Bowyer, MDC’s southeast regional wildlife regional supervisor. “We’re pleased to make these improvements and work with our drainage district partners while providing a great place for Missourian’s to hunt, go fishing and enjoy nature.”

“A working relationship between Missouri Conservation and Elk Chute Drainage District will better serve MDC’s sporting constituents and our farming landowners. This proposal advances our different missions to complement both,” said Charles Earnest, president of ECDD.

Within the next week, ECDD will relocate the entrance gate just south of the CR 730 and levee road intersection to the southeast corner of the conservation area.  This will allow access to the majority of the area and to Big Lake Wildlife Management Area’s mobility impaired trail. All of the other gates will remain the same.

Additional proposed improvements will be less immediate, according to Bowyer, as they will require budget approval and contractual agreements. These include:

  • Construction of three parking lots along the east side of the conservation area, including construction of a new boat ramp in the se corner of the Conservation Area.
  • A County Aid Road Trust fund agreement with Dunklin County to haul and spread rock supplied by MDC on County Roads 730 and 707. 
  • A Community Assistance Program agreement for MDC to maintain 2.75 miles of levee roadway on the north-south levee that is open to public use along the east side of the conservation area. 
  • A native grass restoration program along both sides of the levee to provide cover for wildlife and reduce future mowing needs.

More information about Hornersville Swamp CA can be found at