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Magnificent Missouri at Work: A Voice for Conservation


Missouri Bluffs Preservation

Magnificent Missouri at Work: A Voice for Conservation

Dan Burkhardt of Magnificent Missouri voiced concerns over the proposed Missouri Bluffs development during a St. Charles Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Read on.

Magnificent Missouri serves as a voice for conservation and preservation of this publicly-owned river bluff property with old-growth trees and potential for recreational use.  Magnificent Missouri and many others have opposed the Missouri Bluffs subdivision project since it was announced in late 2017.

Read more history in this Post Dispatch op-ed: A public legacy — and an opportunity to lead and in Ray Hartmann’s column “What began as a university conservation effort is ending up a subdivision” in St. Louis Magazine.

The subdivision plan documents show a large housing development proposed on property in this area that is currently owned by the University of Missouri, overlooking the Katy Trail, and close to the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas just west of Chesterfield.

The scale and the location of the project are cause for questions regarding the impact on the river bluffs from the perspective of plant and wildlife habitat, aesthetics, and traffic.

“Missouri Bluffs // Preserve This Place” video by Kyle Spradley

The land that stretches west along the Missouri River past Highway 40 remains largely rural and undeveloped. Driving Highway 94 or riding the Katy Trail in that area feels much like a drive or ride deep in the Ozarks, not 5 minutes from suburban St. Charles. This area provides hiking, biking and sightseeing that are among the best in Missouri. It has retained that feel for decades because of the land protection provided by creation of the Busch and Weldon Spring Conservation Areas in the late 1940s.

Commerce & Conservation:

Balancing Nature and Commerce in the Missouri River Valley


In an ambitious effort to engage the community with talks of how to boost both commerce and conservation along the Missouri River, Magnificent Missouri’s Dan Burkhardt organized the Commerce & Conservation conferences.

Centered around collaboration and growth, partners of Magnificent Missouri and conservation advocates gathered in coordination with other pillars in the community to share their perspectives on Missouri River Country. With the goal of balancing nature and commerce in the area, attendees work together to find new and innovative approaches to economic development and tourism by focusing on the future of this region while appreciating its rich cultural heritage and incredible natural assets.

A few faces you can see at a Commerce & Conservation event include the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Trailnet, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Nine Network of Public Media, and local representatives from Hermann, New Haven, Marthasville, Washington, Augusta, Defiance and St. Charles – just to name a few!

Missouri River Country

Missouri River Country is a video we commissioned to celebrate all the reasons we strive to conserve this area!

Commerce & Conservation in the News: Missourian editorials and news stories

Balancing Commerce, Nature (2014)

Commerce, Conservation Session Called a ‘Success’ by Joe Barker (2015)

Group Unveils Plan to Promote Region by Joe Barker (2016)

Commerce & Conservation​ in Photos

Conservation Celebration

Our Conservation Celebration events offer local food and camaraderie, complete with fundraising opportunities and live music, to provide a full day of fun sponsored by and highlighting some of the area’s best conservation advocates.

Conservation Celebrations, 2012 to present:

  • 2012: We celebrated at Bowood Farms with delicious food.
  • 2013: We celebrated the release of Missouri River Country at the beautiful and historic Daniel Boone Home.
  • 2014: We celebrated at Shaw Nature Reserve.
  • 2016: We celebrated at Washington Riverfront Park with the release of Growing Up With the River, boat rides on the Missouri River, and an auction of art created out of discarded objects found in the Missouri River.
  • 2017: We celebrated the St. Louis Community Foundation at Oak Knoll Park.
  • 2018: We celebrated Forest ReLeaf at the Third Degree Glass Factory.
  • 2019: We celebrated Missouri Stream Teams at Klondike Park.
  • 2020: We celebrated Paddle MO at Treloar.

2nd Annual Conservation Celebration

For your viewing pleasure, Conservation Celebration in a minute! (2nd Annual Conservation Celebration at Daniel Boone Home)

Conservation Celebration in Photos


Paddle MO is hosted by one of our partners – Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition (Stream Teams United), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to Education, Advocacy, and Stewardship for Missouri’s rivers and streams.

After the Commerce & Conservation conference in the summer of 2015, Holly Neill of Missouri Stream Team applied for a grant to participate in Paddle Georgia. Magnificent Missouri and the Katy Land Trust funded the grant for Holly and another participant to join Paddle Georgia so they could learn all about the details and logistics.

Widely known as a fun, river-centric program, Paddle Georgia is a week-long 100-mile adventure of camping and river exploration, with proceeds going to protect the rivers of Georgia.

Holly knew that Missouri – the Great Rivers State – deserved a program just like Georgia’s, so she came home and developed Paddle MO!

This is what Magnificent Missouri does best – bring the best ideas home to Missourians, facilitate collaboration, and help people experience the natural environment along our river valley.