Saving Missouri Wilderness
The Missouri Wilderness Coalition held a meeting in Salem in September to develop strategies for advancing a campaign to designate seven additional areas of public land as Missouri wilderness. This designation takes an act of Congress. The designation would save those areas from the chain saw but still allow hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and horseback riding. It would prohibit mining, logging, grazing, road building or access by motorized vehicles and bicycles.
Go to www.mowild.org for details about the seven proposed areas and the legislative process for saving them. One of the proposed wilderness areas is Swan Creek, a 9,000+acre section of Mark Twain National Forest about 30 miles from Springfield. The White River Group has made one trip to Swan Creek as an outing and will onsider "adopting" this area to actively campaign for its preservation. Another proposed area, Spring Creek near Noblett Lake, is about 1 1/2 hours from Springfield. Piney Creek, an existing wilderness in Mark Twain National Forest near Cassville, is about 1 1/2 hours from Springfield. An overnight outing is being planned for Piney Creek the weekend of Nov. 8.
If you'd like to get involved with the campaign to save the remaining fragments of wilderness in Missouri, contact Jennifer Ailor at 417-581-4018 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Cynthia Andre at 417-581-8318 or email@example.com.
Improving Water Quality
Increased development in our area raises the risk of pollution of nearby streams and lakes as well as a dimishing of our water supply. One solution is retaining rain water on site, where it can be filtered by plants and help recharge the underlying aquifer.
WRG, together with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, established a demonstration rain garden at Water Valley Mill Park in Springfield. The garden will collect and filter some of the runoff from above the pavilion and parking lot on the east side of the Park’s lake.
Rain gardens are attractive additions to any landscape, planted with native perennials that are colorful and showy for three seasons of the year and hardy and low maintenance once they are established. If you’d like to know more about rain gardens, volunteer for one of our work/play outings to the garden. These outings may include a hike around the lake afterward or bring-your-own lunch in the lake pavilion with other volunteers.
The garden is located just north of the parking lot on the east side the lake; follow the concrete (pervious) trail beside the lake. Attractive signage provided by the Watershed Committee explains how the garden functions to protect water quality. For more information, contact Deb Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org.