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Welcome to!  This is your virtual bulletin board – a place to share information and celebrate your events, your accomplishments, your projects as well as a place to find info about organizations of like-minded folks, cool places to go to experience the outdoors at its best, and resources offering data, information, expertise.  You are invited to share your news and enjoy the news of others! Got news? Report it to   Please note: we make every effort to ensure accuracy in our website; however, we cannot be responsible for info garnered from sites other than ours.
The mission of is to facilitate communication and to celebrate efforts and accomplishments among the environmental community of the Southwest Missouri Ozarks and to provide useful information to those who live in or visit the Region. Learn more...

Breaking News





Missouri Butterflies, host plants and Caterpillars

Go here to see a great poster of common butterflies and their caterpillars!


Cicada Information

Did you know that Cicadas do not sting or bite because they do not have the necessary mouth parts to do so. They do not spread disease and they are not toxic. They are actually very good for your plants. They are loaded with nitrogen which feeds into your soil when they pass away. They aerate your lawn to improve water filtration. So just let Nature do her thing. Cicadas are actually just our ROWDY friends who haven’t settled down.


Missouri Department of Natural Resources


Watershed Center of the Ozarks

James River Basin Partnership

Click to read the 2023 Annual Report

Children and Nature Network

Annual Report
Finding Nature News


Springfield Community Resource Guide



Dish to Dirt Program

Read to find out how to subscribe and see what events are coming up.  Learn about composting, free workshops and more! Click HERE.

The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance (OCAA)  Go HERE to find out more. and the Clean Air Action Plan


White River Sierra Club

The Schoolcraft Ozarks Society

Dark Sky Missouri (Click here for more information)

Missouri Environmental Education Association (MEEA)

Missouri Recycles (MORA)  

Check out what can be recycled at Staples.


Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resources will host four free pesticide pickups in 2024

 The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will offer four free waste pesticide collection events in 2024. All of the events will be open from 8 a.m. to noon and are open to all Missouri farmers and households.

  • Sept. 7 – Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center, 14548 State Road H in Mount Vernon.

  • Oct. 5 – 901 S. Main St. in Carrollton.

Accepted (Limited to 8,000 lbs. total product weight):

  • Herbicides.

  • Insecticides.

  • Fungicides.

  • Rodenticides.

  • De-wormers.

  • Fly tags.

  • Fertilizers containing pesticide.

Not Accepted:

Register for one of the collection events at More information about the Missouri Pesticide Collection Program is available online at

Ozark Soul

Ozark Riverways Foundation
Ozarks Greenways

Missouri Department of Conservation  

MDC and MU Extension thank Missouri Master Naturalists for 2023 accomplishments

Volunteers provided more than 70,000 hours of service to local communities in 2023.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and MU Extension thank the Missouri Master Naturalists for volunteering thousands of hours to conserving Missouri’s natural resources in 2023.

Missouri Master Naturalists participate in a chapter-based natural resource education and volunteer program within their community that is sponsored by MDC and MU Extension. They sometimes assist with MDC research or conduct habitat improvement projects, but they often serve at educational or special-event programs that are conducted with numerous chapter partners within the community. Participants first must enroll in a core training with approximately 40 hours that is focused on Missouri’s ecological systems and conservation. Core training is conducted at the chapter-level and led by chapter advisors with both MDC and MU Extension. Master Naturalist chapters provide a corps of well-informed volunteers to serve nature and natural resources in their community.  


According to Bob Pierce, Program Coordinator with MU Extension, there are 12 Missouri Master Naturalist Program chapters, : Boone’s Lick in Columbia, Chert Glades in Joplin, Confluence in St. Charles, Great Rivers in St. Louis, Hi Lonesome in Cole Camp, Lake of the Ozarks in Camdenton, Loess Hills in St. Joseph, Meramec Hills in Rolla, Miramiguoa in Washington, Mississippi Hills in Hannibal, Osage Trails in Kansas City, and Springfield Plateau in Springfield.



Rebecca O’Hearn, MDC Program Coordinator for Master Naturalists, reports that during 2023, 177 volunteers participated in the Core Training Course conducted by the Miramiguoa, Great Rivers, Confluence, Osage Trails, Mississippi Hills, Boone’s Lick, and Lake of the Ozarks Chapters. The St. Louis Chapter hosted both a spring and fall training for the first time.


Through 2023, with combined efforts of the 12 chapters, 3,115 volunteers have been trained as Missouri Master Naturalists since the program was first organized in 2004.


During 2023, volunteers provided 71,249 hours of service to local communities – an increase of more than 14,000 hours of service from the previous year. Since 2004, Master Naturalists have volunteered more than 893,749 hours of service to local communities, says Pierce.


More than 855 volunteers became Certified Missouri Master Naturalists, maintained certification, or were active members in 2023.


The economic impact of the 2023 Missouri Master Naturalist volunteer service is valued at $2,621,436. The cumulative economic impact of Missouri Master Naturalist volunteer service is valued at $26,433,297.



During 2023, Master Naturalists resumed their programs and events following the three-year global pandemic that made in-person meetings and indoor service activities a challenge. Chapters received numerous offers to enter new partnerships, options for service projects were abundant, and chapters returned to in-person meetings.


The waitlist for prospective new Master Naturalists that accumulated over the pandemic is steadily declining as chapters offer annual and bi-annual core training classes.


Many chapters participated in seed collections, native plantings, and invasive plant control with partner organizations in their local communities. For example, the Osage Trails Chapter collected 93-pounds of seeds in partnership with Dunn Ranch during 2023.


Education and outreach programs are a staple of the Master Naturalist Program, and all chapters contributed to this goal during 2023. One exceptional highlight is the Mississippi Hills Chapter that provided over two-dozen guided educational hikes for their local partners and communities.


Chapters were also highly active with citizen science projects. Thirty Master Naturalists assisted with MDC’s Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance. Volunteers also helped with MDC’s Eagle Watch Program, bat counts, and herpetology surveys. Other citizen science activities included Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, Missouri Stream Teams, and the Bumble Bee Atlas.


Read more about the Missouri Master Naturalist chapters’ accomplishments and highlights in the 2023 Annual Report, available online at

To learn more about the Missouri Master Naturalist Program and how to get involved, visit


The people of Southwest Missouri are known for their ability to work together to solve problems.  Communication is a critical component of those efforts. All advocacy work takes a toll on its warriors – we all need to celebrate our successes., created by Barbara Lucks, is a vehicle for both of these important components of a successful effort – communication and celebration.

Barbara Lucks grew up on a family owned and operated resort at the Lake of the Ozarks.  Her father built the resort in 1932, just as the Lake was filling. She grew up with a love and respect for everything outdoors and of nature.  Following graduation from Missouri State University, she stayed in Springfield and returned to a familiar pursuit – a career in corporate-level hotel management.  In 1994, she joined the City of Springfield as the Materials Recovery/Education Coordinator and was instrumental in positioning Springfield as a regional recycling hub.  She left the City in 2016, as the City’s first Sustainability Officer, to go into private consulting. She has an extensive resume – both professional and as a community volunteer leader.

Got news?  Let us know!


Subject Line: Ozarks Environment News

Barbara Lucks
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