The Mission Continues Vets to deploy at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center July 12 for FOX Sports Midwest Summer Service Slam

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Kirkwood, Mo. — The troops will be landing at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center this summer. Their mission; give the facility a major makeover.

Powder Valley has been selected for this year’s Summer Service Slam Project by The Mission Continues. This nonprofit organization redeploys veterans to serve again here at home by finding new missions that harness their skills and dedication for operations in their local communities. The goal of The Mission Continues is to empower veterans to find new ways to serve, easing their transition back to civilian life.

For one day this July, their mission will be Powder Valley.

The Summer Service Slam is a yearly project of The Mission Continues and FOX Sports Midwest, bringing together both veterans and volunteers from the public for a focused day of service work. The Fourth Annual Service Slam will take place at the nature center Saturday, July 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans will be working alongside civilian volunteers of all ages on a variety of projects to improve the nature center.

“It is very difficult to accomplish the many tasks required for upkeep of the nature center and its 112 acres of oak-hickory forest,” said Nature Center Manger Tamie Yegge. “From fighting invasive species such as bush honeysuckle to trail maintenance and mapping, there are many projects on the list that haven’t yet been accomplished.”

”The Mission Continues is thrilled to once again partner with FOX Sports Midwest for the Summer Service Slam,” said Meredith Knopp, Vice President, Programs for The Mission Continues. “This generation of veterans brings unique talents and energy to solving problems facing our communities. We’re excited to work with the team at the Powder Valley to upgrade and improve their Conservation Nature Center for the entire community to enjoy. ”

The Mission Continues expects as many as 300 vets and volunteers to show up for 3-4 hours of intensive work. Some of the anticipated accomplishments for the day include:

  • Building a fire ring and seating area for public programs
  • Cleaning the 3,000 gallon aquarium
  • Servicing trails by adding mulch, creating log barriers, and repairing asphalt
  • Building a number of sitting benches
  • Making a 20-by-20 foot rain garden and installing a rain barrel
  • Reconstructing two ponds
  • Removal of invasive bush honeysuckle and garlic mustard

FOX Sports Midwest also joins the effort as a media partner. They will promote the Summer Service Slam during St. Louis Cardinals baseball telecasts and produce a feature story the day of the event.

“We’re proud to showcase Powder Valley and the great work of The Mission Continues and its veteran leaders to the hundreds of thousands of fans who watch Cardinals baseball,” said FOX Sports Midwest marketing director David Pokorny.

Volunteers are encouraged to join The Mission Continues veterans for a family-friendly day to do some work, get a little dirty, and accomplish a lot of good. Tools, work gloves, snacks and water will be provided. For more information on the Summer Service Slam Program and how to volunteer, go to

“It’s gratifying to see that, like so many other Missourians, The Mission Continues and FOX Sports Midwest are demonstrating they care about conservation by spending a day to help the nature center,” Yegge said. “They stand to accomplish in one day what might take months for our limited number of staff to do.”

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center is owned and operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. It is located at 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44 in Kirkwood. Those interested in finding out more can also call the nature center at 314-301-1500.