Letter from Executive Director - Ralph Pfremmer

Magnificent Missouri’s mission is to conserve and increase appreciation of the Katy Trail and the last 100 miles of the Missouri River Valley — as a premier regional asset — through education, events, and collaborative projects.

What’s in a story?

First a huge thanks to everyone for such a warm welcome these past couple of weeks. As I continue to become acquainted with the people and places of the region, I remain in awe of the pride and enthusiasm everyone exudes when expressing their love of the area. And having recently immersed myself into the history and culture of this great place myself, I cannot express how excited I am to be a part of such a compelling story.

So what's my story? Born and raised in Boone County, MO, I spent most of my younger years hiking and biking the Hinkson and Grindstone Creek watersheds, then later along the banks of the Missouri River at McBaine and Easley, MO. Who knew that the Katy Trail would replace the tracks that I wandered almost daily along the river and bluffs throughout my early teens? Things appear to have come full circle.

Fortunately for us, our story has a setting that encompasses the last 100 miles of the Missouri River. It's ecologically diverse, historically rich, and in the backyard of an urban area with 3 million residents. This place is a resource that, if appreciated and conserved, will provide continued recreation, lifestyle, and economic benefits for generations to come. Magnificent Missouri is committed to bringing forth commerce and conservation initiatives that leverage the unique strengths of the region.

As I move around the corridor one of the things that grabs me is the opportunity to improve how we communicate with each another. Almost everyone I visit with expresses the desire to bring more tourists, travelers and day-trippers to the region. They also say that its important the we collaborate on a higher level, increasing what we know about each other in order to participate in a common narrative that others can understand.

We have a remarkable collection of stories that convey "why we love this place." It truly resonates. It's what brings us all together - unites us in purpose. I think we can make some progress in getting our story out there a little more, engaging others in a way that draws them in, and in a way that's easy to convey among visitors and each other.

I am often asked, what does Magnificent Missouri do? We help organizations build capacity - putting forth commerce initiatives with special attention to conservation outcomes. We seek to increase the enthusiasm. We want to prudently leverage the assets that uniquely comprise the last 100 miles of the Missouri River - assets important to conservation when seeking to preserve the natural beauty and landscape that we love.

We are a collaborative, focusing on regional leadership: governments, businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and individuals. Everyone has their story, and we want to share them with you. We are building on the success of The Katy Land Trust and the Commerce & Conservation initiatives that have previously engaged many of you.

Some of you live within the footprint of Missouri River County, others live in the metropolitan area conveniently connected. Magnificent Missouri thinks of the region as one, together, a bigger story.

In the next few months, you will find Magnificent Missouri taking a new approach to communications as we plan to engage more people. The best way you can help us is by staying engaged and sharing our content:

Join the Magnificent Missouri movement! Help keep this beautiful rural countryside along the Katy Trail and the last 100 miles of the Missouri River a story we can be proud of for generations to come.

We'll see you out there!


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