Missouri Prairie Foundation Bestows 2018 Awards

 The 52-year-old prairie conservation organization and land trust honored champions of prairie conservation on August 4 at its Annual Dinner in Columbia, MO.

JEFFERSON CITY (August 6, 2018)—The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Dinner is a celebration of Missouri’s prairie resources, held this year on August 4, 2018 at the University of Missouri Alumni Center. Guests remembered the organization’s co-founder, Bill Crawford of Columbia, who died on December 7, 2017; were inspired and informed by speaker and restoration pioneer Steven Apfelbaum; and also paid tribute to six awardees.

“Prairie in Missouri is a rare and valuable resource,” said Dale Blevins, Missouri Prairie Foundation President. “Protecting and promoting it requires hard work and commitment from many people. Our awards program recognizes individuals who have made or are making a positive difference in the conservation of Missouri’s prairie legacy.”

The Missouri Prairie Foundation 2018 awardees are:

2018 Grow Native! Native Plant Pioneer Award: Scott Woodbury of Gray Summit, MO.

The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s 18-year-old Grow Native! program promotes the use of native plants, and this award recognizes efforts that have been foundational to the advancement of the native plant industry and movement. Woodbury, the Curator of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, received this award in recognition of his work to demonstrate and promote the horticultural and ecological value of native plants over the course of nearly 30 years.


Emily Horner2018 Bill T. Crawford Prairie Professional of the Year Award: Emily Horner of Polo, MO.

Horner, formerly a Natural History Biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation and currently an independent contractor, was recognized for her prairie survey, monitoring, and management work, as well as for carrying out a Private Prairie Inventory with willing landowners, to ground truth the current status of privately owned prairies.


Ann Earley and Bob Siemer2018 Donald M. Christisen Prairie Volunteer of the Year Award: Ann Earley and Bob Siemer, of Chesterfield, MO.

This dynamic couple was recognized for outstanding volunteer outreach efforts to educate citizens about the importance of prairie conservation and use of native plants, at festivals, conferences, and other venues around the state, as well as to develop and present programs on monarch butterfly conservation to various groups.


Bonnie Teel2018 Clair M. Kucera Award, Prairie Landowner of the Year: Bonnie Teel of Rich Hill, MO.

Teel is the proud owner of Prairie View Farm, 184 acres of which is a designated Missouri Natural Area and contains one of the best remaining examples of dry-mesic limestone/dolomite prairie left in the Osage Plains ecoregion of Missouri. Thanks to Teel’s commitment and efforts to protect and restore her prairie, many rare species and abundant wildlife thrive.


Mary Nemecek2018 William A. Davit Award, Prairie Communicator of the Year: Mary Nemecek of Kansas City, MO.

Active in a leadership capacity in many conservation groups, Nemecek is a tireless advocate for prairie and other habitats, birds, and many other species. Through letters to the editor, magazine articles, and other outlets, Nemecek educates citizens around the state about the need to take action to protect the natural resources on which all life depends.


Walter Schroeder2018 Dick Dawson Prairie Pioneer of the Year Award: Dr. Walter Schroeder of Columbia, MO.

University of Missouri Emeritus Professor of Geography Dr. Schroeder was recognized for his landmark work to develop the presettlement prairie map of Missouri, published in 1981 and made possible through his years of meticulous examination of 650 volumes of field notes of the U.S. public land survey. Schroeder’s map is a blueprint of Missouri’s prairie legacy and helps guide prairie conservation efforts statewide.