2019 MPF Year in Review

    

Enjoy our 2019 Photo Album

The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) accomplishes a sustained, high level of conservation activity for prairie, people, and native plants. MPF owns and manages some of Missouri’s most biologically diverse prairies—22 properties totaling more than 3,300 acres. Our stewardship sustains the stunning biodiversity of these prairies and their natural integrity, which also makes them irreplaceable sites for prairie research.

In 2019—thanks to an active board, Grow Native! committee, other valued volunteers, only four employees working in the field and from home offices, and members and other financials supporters—MPF has already completed an incredible amount of work including these highlights:

  • Dedicated our newest prairie acquisition—an original 40-acre prairie in Lawrence County near a prairie owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and accepted a donation of a rare, 20-acre loess hill prairie in northwestern Missouri. 
  • Treated invasive species and/or brush on all MPF prairies and administered contracts for invasive plant and brush treatment on 4,039 acres that included several MDC and MPF prairies, and The Nature Conservancy’s Rock Hill Prairie. 
  • Conducted prescribed burns on 747 acres over portions of 10 MPF prairies, as well as on the Ozark Land Trust’s Woods Prairie and the Joplin Urban Prairie site.  
  • Cleaned and broadcast more than 200 pounds of bulk seed at MPF prairie reconstruction sites: Pleasant Run Creek, Snowball Hill, Schwartz, and Carver prairies, as well as at city park property in Joplin and a private prairie in Pettis County. Hand-collected seed was cleaned for plug propagation and eventual transplanting on several MPF prairie reconstruction sites.  
  • Contracted for bird surveys at MPF’s La Petite Gemme, Noah Brown’s, Stark Family, Linden’s, Gayfeather, Stilwell, Golden, Carver, Snowball Hill, and the newly acquired Northwestern Lawrence County Prairie. Also, contracted for botanical surveys at MPF’s Stilwell, Gayfeather, and Northwestern Lawrence County prairies. 
  • Carried out extensive Grow Native! programming with workshops held in Edwardsville, IL, and Monett, Springfield, and Columbia, MO; sold more than 145,000 Grow Native! tags to help plant producers sell natives in the market place; distributed 25,000 copies of the 2019 Grow Native! Resource Guide at Missouri outlets and elsewhere in the lower Midwest; organized a successful Grow Native! professional member conference; cared for Grow Native! gardens at the Missouri State Fairgrounds; organized a “native plant classroom” for 30+ elementary students in Jefferson City, and much more. 
  • The Missouri Invasive Plant Task (MoIP), a resource of MPF’s Grow Native! program, developed a ranked assessment of 142 invasive plants in Missouri to prioritize control efforts statewide; MDC has adopted this assessment as its official list. 
  • Awarded Prairie Garden grants to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, the Terrace Retirement Community of Columbia, Holy Cross Lutheran Church of St. Louis, City of Branson City Hall, the Farm School at Gibbs Road in Kansas City, and the Kansas State Research and Extension Master Naturalist Program. 
  • Gave kits of 43 different native plants to 38 Missouri agricultural teachers with Future Farmers of America chapters along with study guides and instruction on seed collection, to encourage incorporation of native plants on farms. 
  • Produced three issues of the Missouri Prairie Journal—now in its 40th year of publication—sent to members, elected officials, schools, teachers, landowners, and conservation leaders, with articles by Dr. Tyler Lark of the University of Wisconsin, interview with Dr. Peter Raven, Front Yard Formal native garden designs, and much other fascinating and useful content. 
  • Staff and board members gave presentations on prairie and native plants to many groups including the opening keynote at the North American Prairie Conference in Houston, TX; conferences of the Missouri Municipal League, Western Landscape & Nursery Association, and Missouri Parks & Recreation; talks to garden clubs and other groups, had booths of information and activities at St. Louis Earth Day, St. Louis Zoo Pollinator Dinner, Conservation Day at the Capitol, and many other locations. MPF organized prairie hikes, its 10th Annual Prairie BioBlitz, and other activities.

Ecologists rank temperate grasslands—which include Missouri’s prairies—as the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. Of Missouri’s original 15 million acres of prairie, we now know that fewer than 60,000 acres of high-quality scattered remnants exist. Prairie protection efforts in Missouri, therefore, are not only crucial to preserving our state’s natural heritage, but also are highly significant to national and even global conservation work. In 2020, we will continue our award-winning conservation work, as the only state-based organization dedicated exclusively to prairie protection. 

MPF greatly appreciates the financial support you provided this year that made our on-the-ground prairie protection, prairie outreach and education, Grow Native! program, and invasive species control advocacy possible. We cannot protect prairies or promote native plants without you! Become a member or make a donation to help us continue to save prairies and promote native plants for present and future generations.