MDC and Rock Bridge Elementary School celebrate 30 years of partnership

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Rock Bridge Elementary School celebrate 30 years of Partnership in Education this year. The Partnership in Education program allows Columbia Public Schools to partner with members of the community to share resources, strengthen school programs, and enhance the community’s economic growth.

Each spring, Rock Bridge Elementary first grade students celebrate the end of the school year with a day of nature activities. MDC staff provide fishing materials, and students learn how to cast, catch, and release fish before having the opportunity to practice their new skills. These students also can participate in a nature walk where the students make connections between their science curriculum and conservation practices.

MDC Malacologist, Steve McMurray participated in this year’s event. “We are honored to be able to continue the 30-year tradition of providing a fun filled day of fishing, nature, and hot dogs for the Rock Bridge Elementary 1st Graders,” McMurray stated. “From my own experience, MDC staff get just as much enjoyment out of watching the kids catch fish and the excitement on their faces, as they do.”

Rock Bridge Elementary staff enjoy the day just as much as the students. Rock Bridge Elementary principal and parent, Dr. Ryan Link, recounts, “The fishing field trip with Rock Bridge Elementary (RBE) first grade students, partnering with MDC, is a long-standing tradition.  At RBE, we value important traditions and feel they are important for our students.”

MDC continues to diligently work with partners to encourage outdoor learning and good conservation practices. Learn more about the work MDC is doing at