Thanks to a grant from the L-A-D Foundation, MPF organized a prairie and woodland management training opportunity Jan. 5–7, 2021 at its Stark Family Prairie in Hickory County. MPF specifically invited young people entering the field of natural resource management to gain hands-on management experience.
Ably led by MPF Director of Prairie Management Jerod Huebner, with much valued instruction and participation of MPF board members David Young, Glenn Longworth, and Bruce Schuette, the training included two days of mechanical thinning of undesirable woody growth, basic woody plant identification, proper use of chainsaws and loppers, importance and proper use of personal protective equipment, and information on the historical vegetation of the Ozarks—a matrix of prairie, glades, open woodland/savanna, and forest.
The training also included one day of a prescribed prairie burn, with emphasis on the importance of fire line establishment, fire behavior, proper use of tools like flappers, rakes, backpack blowers (for fire lines), and proper use of personal protective equipment for prescribed burning.
Students from Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as professionals with St. Charles County Parks, the Missouri Department of Conservation, George Owen Nature Park, and conservation volunteers from Columbia and Kansas City were among the 14 trainees.
MPF is grateful to the L-A-D Foundation for the funding to make this three-day training possible, and for the participants’ enthusiasm and hard work!
Cover Photo: Back row (L to R): Bruce Schuette, Glenn Longworth, Sarah Hinnah, Hannah Bartron, Mary Grinter, Jennifer Buchanan, Carter Stoelzel, Arthur Ludwig, Josh Yantis. Front row (L to R): Jerod Huebner, Melanie Haney, Ellen Thomas, Samantha Grove, Abigail Chambers, Julia Widmar, Chris Feldewerth. Photo by Brooke Widmar